April 5th, 2009

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In the midst of an annoying day -- excellent news.

I hate working on Sunday, especially when I need to be Peasach cleaning. So I was momentarily overwhelmed with the good news that catalana received the well-deserved accolade of being inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame.

catalana is one of those people who make so many selfless contributions that people just sort of take it for granted that she is around doing really great stuff and never consider what would happen if she weren't doing it. Make sure such people get recognized and honored is one of the nice things about the Filk Hall of Fame. So hats off to Eirca, and thanks to the good folks at the FHO for recognizing her contributions to the community.
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There Is No Market Says TURN, TURN, TURN . . .

And no competition in California.
http://www.turn.org/downloads/TURN-Telco-Competition-Is-Failing-Full-Report.pdf

Good documentation of what happened when CA deregulated its telecom market in anticiaption of competition replacing regulation. Answer: prices went up, most would-be competitors exited the market when deregulation resulted in a price squeeze (which the Surpreme Court said recently was not an anitrust violation).

Also noted: cable does not create price competition.

Mind you, I predicted this last february based on preliminary figures:
http://www.wetmachine.com/totsf/item/1050

And, as I explained then, it is not really fair to call this a market failure. The market is functioning in a highly predictable way. It just is not working out the way believers in the Gods of the Marketplace would like.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since 'Deregulation' began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Libertarian finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And when all regulation is vanquished, and the brave new world begins
Where incumbents have no market power, and consumers are never locked-in,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.


Hmmm....taste the Cassandrafreude.
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It's not about shows, it's about MVPD business model

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/money/20090403/cabletv03_st.art.htm

The relevant observation is from Viacom. Daily Show is their most streamed and downloaded show, and it's rating continue to rise.

The threat of online content is to the delivery mechanism. Viacom makes money from the ads on streams. Time Warner, Comcast, and other MVPDs do not -- other than by being broadband providers.

It would appear that some of the content providers have figured this out. Disney is actively resisting Time Warner's "TV Anywhere" proposal. Smart move Disney! They understand that internet delivery breaks the cable market power and tips the balance backl to the content creators rather than the content distributors.