The tech media is all abuzz with news of the proposed merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner. But how exactly does this impact TV fans? More than you might expect.
Already, the two largest cable companies in the U.S. hold some of (if not the) lowest customer satisfaction ratings in the history of service providers. A combination of little-to-no competition keeps their service abysmal and their prices sky-high. However, these factors get much, much worse with the proposed merger of these two giants. Effectively eliminating 1/3 of the competition in the country is a dream for any major corporation, and a nightmare for us, the viewers who are stuck with their service.
South Park describes this situation better than anyone, I think!
Simply put, should this merger be approved, TWComcast would have the ability to apply great pressure on networks to drop niche shows, and will control more internet bandwidth than any one company should. I, for one, do not look forward to the prices of a broadband connection in 5 years already, much less under a ‘monopoly’ of this size.
We can all hope that the FCC does not approve this merger, but that seems a little less likely than Joss Whedon releasing the rights for Firefly to Netflix. If they do approve it, there had better be some stringent impositions on keeping the net neutral, bandwidth high, and prices low. In the meantime, I’m sure many will be looking into how they can cut the cable to their digital overlords!