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Cableland Gets The Message

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From this morning’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

A split has developed within the entertainment industry as several major cable operators signaled their willingness to give in to regulatory pressure by providing a so-called family-friendly package of programming, despite resistance from many cable programmers.

The nation’s two largest cable operators, Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc., indicated they are considering creating a “tier” of cable channels that would exclude channels airing risqué programs. Two smaller operators, Cox Communications Inc. and Insight Communications Co., hinted they are ready to do the same.

Which “cable programmers” will resist this? MTV, of course, which will see its ratings crash as parents slice the channel from their homes. Other racy channels will disappear as well. The big winners will be those channels that are broadly acceptable to those holding to traditional morals. The market will decide. Which is exactly why the edgy channels will scream every step of the way that it is censorship. It isn’t, of course, as no one is suggesting that they not be carried as an available option to cable subscribers.

Only that they not be subsidized.


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