FCC Says Comcast Can't Buy More Cable Companies, But Murdoch Can Own Everything

Today, in an attempt to anger fans of both regulation and deregulation, the FCC approved two new rules. The first one restricts cable companies to owning no more than 30% of a market; the second one “gives owners of newspapers more leeway to buy radio and television stations in the largest cities.” One nice thing about the first rule is that Comcast can’t buy any more cable companies. One bad thing about the second one is that it will likely mean that Rupert Murdoch will win “permanent waivers to control two television stations in New York, as well as The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal.”

The New York Times describes the passing of the rules as a victory for FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin, but then goes on to point out that in the process, “he has expended significant political capital and made political enemies of powerful industry groups and influential lawmakers.” Both rules are expected to be challenged considerably in the coming weeks, so they may not last long into 2008.

“F.C.C. Reshapes Rules Limiting Media Industry” [New York Times]
(Photos: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. youbastid says:


  2. Munsoned says:

    Martin is clearly an NFL fan.

  3. smitty1123 says:

    The cross ownership only applies if the following conditions are met:
    (1) the market at issue is one of the 20 largest Nielsen Designated Market Areas (“DMAs”);
    (2) the transaction involves the combination of only one major daily newspaper and only one television or radio station;
    (3) if the transaction involves a television station, at least eight independently owned and
    operating major media voices (defined to include major newspapers and full-power
    TV stations) would remain in the DMA following the transaction; and
    (4) if the transaction involves a television station, that station is not among the top four
    ranked stations in the DMA.

    Here is the link to the full press release” on FCC website.

  4. smitty1123 says:

    /sorry about the formatting, the comment preview isn’t working for me today.

  5. smitty1123 says:

    Oh for the love of… I even posted the wrong damn link…
    Anyway, here is the correct link.

  6. homerjay says:

    Oh I’ve heard of this. In fact, I think I’ve heard it referred by congress as “Rupert’s Law”

  7. parad0x360 says:

    alright so now when is the gov gonna rule on the Sirius XM merger so my friggen stocks can gain some value?

    let them merge already, and bust that 30% down to 15% and while we are at it screw Murdoch and all his owning of the news.

  8. dscosson says:

    This change is a really terrible one that’s only good for company
    executives and is nothing but bad for the average Joe and for what is
    left of American culture.

  9. superborty says:

    Any rule that hurts Comcast or any other cable company is a good one in my book.

  10. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    …But any rule that allows a monopoly in favor of any other company is a bad one.

    Consistancy is seriously lacking in the United States, these days…

  11. @Soldier_CLE: Consistency has been lacking in America since November 5th, 2000.

  12. LionelEHutz says:

    Murdoch is a dick, and the rules shouldn’t be changed just to benefit his propagandist butt, but to be fair the WSJ is a national paper and it’s already a well known that it’s editorial page is more right wing than the Washington Times (a/k/a the “Moonie Times”). What’s going to suck for people who crave real business news is that the WSJ will now probably introduce page 3 girls and horoscopes, while ditching the apparently high quality reporting, not opining, that goes on in the actual news pages of the WSJ. In other words, BS won’t be restricted to the Op-Ed and Editorial pages anymore, it’ll spread throughout the paper.

  13. nidolke says:

    Anyone with a cd player in their car has no reason to ever listen to the radio again, ever.