www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com


Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013” Report

by Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW, Chairman, R19CWAC 10 September 2013


This report is in response to Senate Bill S912 “Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013”,

read into the Congressional Record on 9 May 2013, and then referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation committee. Please consider the following points:


Part ONE: Over the Air Broadcasting, and the Basic Package of Cable/Video Programming are essential pillars of the American Democracy.


The Broadcast Industry has evolved into an institution of the American democracy by serving in the public interest through the licensing, regulation, and commercial use of the electromagnetic radio wave spectrum which belongs to the American Public.


The US Congress extended Federal Communications Commission Regulation into Cable, and Multiple Video Program Distribution because broadcast news and public affairs programming is vital for decision making by the electorate,


Citizens may receive video programs broadcast free of charge over the air, or subscribe to services offered by Multiple Video Program Distributors, including cable and other competitive video providers.


It has been mandated by law that a basic package tier of programming will be made available to insure that Broadcast News, Public Service, and Community Affairs programming are available at affordable prices to citizens who subscribe to Multiple Video Program Distribution services.


There is no law or regulation which requires package bundle marketing beyond the basic tier. The policy and principle of the Minimum Basic Tier of local and public service channels must remain intact.


PART TWO - The Constitution of the United States guarantees exclusive rights to content creators to profit from their works.


Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, empowers the United States Congress:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.


Content Creators therefore have the right to "unionize" their representation through content rights marketing & administration companies. CBS, Disney, NBC, FOX, etc... are these kinds of companies which market the copyrighted content as channel bundles to Multiple Video Program Distributors.


www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com


Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013” Report

by Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW, Chairman, R19CWAC, 10 September 2013


PART THREE – A “Bundle of Channels” product offering from a multiple video program distributor does not have copyright protection. Only the original content of the authors have copyright protection.


Purchase of Bundled content by Multiple Video Program Distributors is claimed to be the most economical acquisition of their catalog of content. This argument is logical and well supported. TimeWarnerCable, Charter, Comcast, ATT U-verse, etc.. are MVPD types of companies.


There is no law or regulation that requires content purchased for broadcast rights in Bundled Packages by Multiple Video Program Distributors, must remain in package bundles beyond the limited basic tier.



PART FOUR - The cost of each channel in the bundled package is fully accountable.


Creative content marketing companies always negotiate for maximum revenue with full knowledge of their channel costs. The content value calculation of each channel in the bundle must enter the negotiation with the Multiple Video Program Distributors.


It is well known by the public that some program channels - SPORTS in particular, cost vastly more than other programming channels. The Sports Channel Content category has grown rapidly with comparison to all other content categories. Sports programming content now comprises over 50% of all Programming rights acquisition costs.


PART FIVE – Multiple Video Program Distributors have complete freedom to offer unbundled content, beyond the limited basic tier.


Bundled packages may be offered to subscribers for marketing, technical convenience, and to maximize profit. Multiple Video Program Distributors are also empowered to “UNBUNDLE” their content, and apportion the program content costs accurately to the subscribers.


Multiple Video Program Distributors use computer technology to track the distribution of

program content to subscribers, and therefore have the technology to accurately bill for the content as delivered.







www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com


Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013” Report

by Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW, Chairman, R19CWAC, 10 September 2013


CONCLUSION - Legislation and regulation are needed which require Multiple Video Program Distributor pricing plans based upon channel content costs as delivered. Alternatively, the Multiple Video Program Distributors can choose to offer a “SPORTS-FREE” extended basic tier, and accurately apply the sports programming costs to a tier which includes the popular sports channels.


The nationally popular “extended basic” package tier, is now dominated by Sports Channels. This practice by the Multiple Video Program Distributors in essence, levies a SPORTS TAX upon subscribers who would choose to avoid those expensive channels if they could. This DE-facto “Sports TAX” is the underlying motivation for the A La Carte Movement across the nation.


There are many benefits to content delivery billing, including the abolition of the “SPORTS TAX” on senior citizens who only desire the TNT, Movie Classics, and the History Channels in addition to their local Broadcast and Public service programming provided on the basic tier.


The Sports Broadcast Business models which clearly rely upon the SPORTS TAX for an unknown percentage of their high growth and profit margins, may need to restructure according to actual market value of their content.


Respectfully submitted,






Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW

Chairman, R19 Charter Western Advisory Council


Please note: Per www.GovTrack.US analysis, S912 has a 4% chance of moving forward out from the committee, and a 1% chance of actually being enacted.

The language of the bill as read and sent to committee is available at:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s912/text to read, or download from:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s912is/pdf/BILLS-113s912is.pdf