Friday, July 18, 2008

The FCC sells out to Mel

I guess we know where Jonathan Adelstein's bread is really buttered. Adelstein, a Democrat appointee to the five-member FCC board of commissioners, is usually known for being a rather "liberal" member, often taking any stance that opposes "big media" from getting any bigger.

Well today he sold out. Oh sure, he's trying to extract a bunch of conditions of the deal...and I give him props for one of the conditions being that any satradio receiver has to include an AM/FM tuner (no word on if that tuner has be HD Radio-compatible as well...that'd be nice if it were).

But ultimately this is still two big companies becoming a sanctioned monopoly. Our government has a bad history of "regulating" monopolies. And I don't care what price restrictions or channel reservations you insist a merged XM-Sirius have...ultimately the consumer is going to get screwed. You'll see more ads. You'll see lower programming quality. You'll see cheap, disposable talent. And, yes, eventually you will see higher monthly subscription fees.

In essence, you'll see what happened to AM and FM radio when the FCC lifted the ownership restrictions on that: the entire industry went to hell. Well, okay, the industry was already in hell...but it went from the third circle straight to the tenth, ya know?

Congratulations, Mr. just made a deal with the devil. Now go wash your hands.

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