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Economic Regulation and Its ReformWhat Have We Learned?$
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Nancy L. Rose

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226138022

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226138169.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

Cable Regulation In The Internet Era

Cable Regulation In The Internet Era

(p.137) 3 Cable Regulation In The Internet Era
Economic Regulation and Its Reform

Nancy L. Rose

University of Chicago Press

The multi-channel video programming (MVPD) market has changed considerably in recent years. Telephone operators (“telcos”) have entered in parts of the U.S. and online video distributors are a growing source of television viewing. Direct-Broadcast Satellite service, spurred by 1999 legislation that leveled the playing field with cable television systems, has grown substantially. This chapter considers cable television regulation in light of these developments. It surveys the empirical record on the effects of price regulation in U.S. cable markets across the four major periods of regulation and deregulation, focusing on potential price and quality tradeoffs. The evidence suggests that unregulated periods exhibit rapid increases in quality and penetration (and prices), while regulated periods exhibit slight decreases in prices and possibly lower quality. Consumer welfare estimates suggest consumers prefer unregulated cable services. Next, the incomplete evidence on competition between cable operators, and cable, satellite or telco providers, is reviewed. Four open issues in cable markets are considered: horizontal concentration and vertical integration in the programming market, bundling by cable systems and programmers, online video distribution, and temporary programming blackouts from failed carriage negotiations for broadcast and cable programming. While the distribution market is now more competitive, concerns in these areas remain.

Keywords:   cable television, cable television regulation, multi-channel video programming, economic regulation, deregulation, price regulation, bundling

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