Is the new FCC Chairman bucking for a Cable ACE Award?


"It is the Congress that tries to determine whether or not the rules should be applied to cable."

That's new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin signaling that cable producers may have to clean up the sailor talk if they want things to happen in a "deregulatory and not in a regulatory fashion."

Speaking to the Bohemian Grove-style bacchanal known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's annual convention, Martin suggested the cable industry provide new tools to help parents with the extraordinarily difficult task of finding decent family entertainment on their televisions. If not, well, Martin's the reasonable one here; it's the Congress that's breathing down his neck.

"I think this is an opportunity for the cable industry to try to address it, not just speak to me but to speak to the consumers and parents," Martin said. Sound advice! Since not paying attention to their customers has only gotten cable providers 86 percent of the TV market, imagine what might happen if they actually gave people what they wanted. They might even find the average American willing to spend, say $255.18 per year on cable.

One question: If this FC&CC idea gets any more steam (I'm guessing it won't, but if), what will be the clause in the Commission's regulating-the-airwaves mandate that allows it to cover cable? Or will that not matter, since by then all the cable providers will be in jail anyway?