• Nice Work If You Can Get It

    by  • March 24, 2014 • Cable Choice • 0 Comments

    Want to make $80 million? Simply become the head of Time Warner Cable, serve for 44 days, then sell the company to Comcast. Voila — instant “golden parachute.”cableTVprices

    This is exactly the route followed by Time Warner Cable’s CEO Robert Marcus. Last week, it was revealed that Marcus is eligible for a compensation package worth $80 million, in spite of having served for barely more than a month – and selling the company he was supposedly hired to lead to its biggest competitor.

    But the issue here isn’t really Marcus’ payoff . It is the fact that the more than 100 million Americans who subscribe to cable and satellite TV are forced to subsidize, not only exorbitant deals like this, but dozens of channels showing hundreds of programs they never watch and don’t want.

    Furthermore, the Comcast-TWC merger will create a monopolistic behemoth, which will control between 30-50% of the cable households in America. With this kind of power and no meaningful competition, it is inevitable that the new Comcast-TWC hybrid will raise prices, and customers will have to pay…because, short of giving up cable altogether, what choice will they have?

    Some media insiders recommend that customers “cut the cord.” Rather than getting their programming from cable, they would then watch it over the internet, via Netflix, Amazon Prime, and similar systems. But here’s the problem: Comcast and TWC ALSO control internet access, and telephones as well. (This is why these companies offer subscribers “triple play” deals which include cable TV, phone service, and internet all bundled together.) Already, Comcast is lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to allow it even more control over the internet. If things continue as they are, it is inevitable that Comcast will either move to restrict  “cord-cutting,” or will just raise the price on internet service. 

    What is needed are politicians who are willing to stand against Comcast’s monopoly, as Teddy Roosevelt and other “trust-busters” stood up against oil company monopolies. But for this to happen, Congress needs to hear from YOU! Contact your senators and congressman today, and tell them to oppose the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger!

    To find your senators, click here.   

    To find your congressman, click here.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

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