PTC Details Requirements for Comcast/TWC Merger

In letter to House Judiciary, PTC Urges Protection of Consumers From Potentially Higher Cable Bills

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Parents Television Council

On behalf of our membership and millions of other concerned families and consumers, we urge you to compel Comcast and Time Warner to provide specifics in terms of what programming solutions they will offer to their customers.

(PRWEB) May 08, 2014

In a letter sent to each U.S. House Judiciary Committee Member yesterday, the Parents Television Council detailed requirements that should be included in an approval of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger in order to protect consumers from potentially higher cable bills. The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the merger today.

In the letter, PTC President Tim Winter says, “On behalf of our membership and millions of other concerned families and consumers; we urge you to compel Comcast and Time Warner to provide specifics in terms of what programming solutions they will offer to their customers. Failing meaningful consumer and family-driven choices being made available, we urge you to oppose the proposed merger. Cash strapped American families deserve and demand better choices and better service and are relying on Congress to help them.”

Winter continues, “Without question, the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable will alter the communications marketplace in the United States for many years to come. Consequently, it is critical that Congress gather as much information from the parties and other affected groups as possible before any would-be merger is approved. It is encouraging that the Judiciary Committee has gathered a stellar panel for its hearing on the issue to be held tomorrow.

“While we expect to hear expert testimony from panelists who support the merger as well as those who may oppose it, we strongly encourage you and the Committee to keep its focus where it must remain: whether the newly-forged mega company would result in benefits for consumers generally and families in particular. More specifically, with cable rates outstripping inflation by about 3-to-1, what assurances are there that rates will be held in check, particularly considering the lack of wireline competition in cable television and broadband service? The record so far indicates very little.

“We have long advocated a more consumer choice-oriented model for cable television programming. Not necessarily the oft-maligned ‘government-mandated a la carte,’ but the simple idea that families should have more options to tailor their programming purchase to their own specific needs. This would introduce a free market in programming that simply does not exist today, would help end the subsidy of cable programming that most families find offensive or even harmful to their children and, not insignificantly, help keep downward pressure on programming prices.”

The Parents Television Council® (http://www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members and 57 chapters across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families. Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at http://www.parentstv.org/blog/. Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.


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