Your Television Is A Toaster.
Your Television Is A Toaster.
It's Good Only For Marketing.
One measure of the cost of concentration is the effect that creators say it will have. Here's an extraordinary interview by Bill Moyers with Barry Diller (the man who created Fox Broadcasting and ran some of the world's media giants: ABC Entertainment, Paramount, Vivendi Universal. And is even now chairman and CEO of USA Interactive, itself an empire of informational services from the Home Shopping Network to Ticketmaster).
Moyers':"Doesn't the explosion in the number of channels mean we have more diversity?"
Diller: "No. Because what we have is an absolute fact that five companies control 90 percent of all of it. It has been reconstituted. Instead of it being three channels that were controlled by a few people, there are now 500 controlled by a few people."
Diller: What I mean is, is that is that a very... a handful of companies are in charge of everything both vertically and horizontally that you get to see through a screen, a television screen not a computer screen. And I think... what I do think has to come along with that are rules and regulations that will make it so. That what we do not have in this country is a media and communications business that has no other voices in it. No air in it.
Diller: Well, if you have... if, in fact, you have companies that produce, that finance, that air on their channel and then distribute worldwide everything that goes through their controlled distribution system. Then, in fact, what you get is fewer and fewer actual voices participating in the process. Used to have dozens and dozens of thriving independent production companies producing television programs. Now you have but, you know, less than a handful.
Perhaps we have more diversity.
Diller: No, we don't. Because what we have is an absolute fact that five companies control 90 percent of all of it. It has been reconstituted. Instead of it being three channels that were controlled by a few people, there are now 500 controlled by a few people. This doesn't relate to the internet, by the way. You say, "Where do young people go?"
Diller: My opinion, young people go to the internet. To the internet distribution system right now, you put it up there and it's accessed by the world.
Soon, though, in some years, the internet will have broadband capacity. And that, by the way, is a chance for another reconstitution.
What I'm worried about is that unless you think about this now 'cause broadband may, in fact, be controlled by the cable business. Because cable modems which is the way to get real fast connections today.
I mean, the most vibrant part of the growth is in cable. Well, certainly, what do they wanna do?
They wanna be, if you can figure out how to be, to first create a toll bridge with them standing at one side of it and you having to pass through them. Now, okay. They own the pipe, so to speak.
But not okay to control it in the ways that current media is controlled.
So my reason for being thoughtful about this now, and really it's to be thoughtful.
It's to say, "Wait."
Not full-stop, but wait.
Let's, before we toss things, let's think about the media landscape that exists today. Much less is going to exist tomorrow when more consolidation is, of course, probably inevitable.
So let's think about that.
Let's say what's appropriate?
Is it appropriate for you to control 100 percent of the programming that passes through you?
Is it appropriate for you to be able to block programming that passes through you if it's on economic terms only?
Original post by Lawrence Lessing.
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