Win fight to make you buy unwanted channels
November 29, 2007
U.S. Cable companies fierce lobbying over the threat of expanded government control paid off late Tuesday night, as federal regulators approved a watered-down proposal that effectively blocks efforts to allow Americans freedom to buy individual cable channels on an “a la carte” basis. Cable company executives hailed the action as a big win for consumers saying consumers have plenty of money but don’t really know how they want to spend it anyway.
“Consumers shouldn’t have to endure the pressures of ‘freedom to choose’ by having to decide what channels they get when they pay for TV from us cable guys,” said Bob Jones CEO of Mega-Cable, and brother of the late Jim Jones, the man who led Peoples Temple and convinced all the members to drink poison Kool-Aid and give it to their children back in 1978. “People need to be told what to do because they can’t decide for themselves. That’s one thing I strongly agreed with my brother about. God rest his soul.”
Americans who subscribe to cable has climbed to 71.4 percent and at issue in Tuesday’s FCC meeting was this year’s iteration of an annual report to Congress in which the FCC attempts to quantify competition in the cable industry. The FCC chairman said the report indicates the industry is no longer competitive but industry lobbyists’ said it still was. After a rocky day of closed-door negotiations, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin caved to pressure from fellow commissioners over how to handle the contentious cable competition report.
“Screw it,” said FCC’s Martin, handing out Trojan condoms to bystanders. “And expect to get screwed early and often by the cable companies. I can’t get help from the commissioners who’re supposed to be working with me to protect the American consumer, so I guess getting hosed is now the new American way of life. So much for the right to pursue happiness and pay for what you want to buy. Guess we’ll have to keep buying the crap we don’t want to get a few of the channels we do.”
Reportedly cable companies will continue to bundle unwanted cable networks along with ones that American’s want so that they can say they offer lots of channels and impress consumers. It also helps the executives who own shares in poor doing cable channels that no one would pay for if they weren’t forced on consumers.
“We’re doing Americans a favor by keeping the number of total channels high,” said a cable company provider who thinks he’s Humphrey Bogart. “Never mind that you have to buy products to block channels you don’t want your kids to see, or that half the channels you get you never watch. You’ll take them, like them, and pay for them because I said so. And if you keep mouthing off I’ll send one of the boys around to have a little chat with you.”
In related news, cable company executives said that freedom is over-rated and that Taliban style government management is actually very efficient. “Except for the veils and beheadings, the Taliban displays a useful approach to governing,” said a millionaire cable CEO scratching an itch. “And I’m not saying that just because I can and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
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