The State of Video Hearing: Can The Web Save us All?
The State of Video Hearing: Can The Web Save us All?
The State of Video Hearing: Can The Web Save us All?

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    The way to lower prices for consumers and create a competitive video marketplace is to embrace online video as the future.

    One of our Senior Staff Attorneys John Bergmayer testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet on Tuesday. His testimony described why the online video marketplace could lower high cable bills for consumers, while still allowing service providers the opportunity to obtain adequate profits. Representatives from the cable, broadcast, and satellite industries also came to detail their problems with the video market. One theme that rang throughout the hearing was the negative impact sports blackouts and drawn out retransmission disputes have on the public.

    You can watch the hearing in full over at CSPAN, but for a quick overview check out the Storify below.

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    State of Video Hearing

    Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer testified today before the Senate to show what the online video marketplace could look like with laws to promote competition.

    Storified by · Wed, May 15 2013 11:17:55

    #Stateofvideo hearing in the Senate is just now kicking off! Watch live: PKer @bergmayer testifying laterPublic Knowledge
    My opening stmt on a la carte cable bill before Commerce Committee #stateofvideo hearing today:…John McCain
    Sen. John McCain started the hearing off with an explanation of why his newest bill to introduce more a la carte options to the video marketplace is needed. He highlighted that consumers need more choices, and that without them they are being underserved. 
    We “shouldn’t pay for TV channels we don’t watch and have no intention of watching” says @SenJohnMcCain #stateofvideo…Joshua Levy
    After Sen. McCain made his points he left the stage making room for representatives from the National Associate of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), DISH, and Public Knowledge to give their testimonies. 
    Gordon Smith, President/CEO @nabtweets presents strong case for #Broadcasters in the Senate State of Video hearing, M. Apgood
    .@NABTweets: Think of the shut-ins! #stateofvideoLydia DePillis
    .@NCTACable Powell says video world’s changing. BUT one thing not changing are cable’s huge profits #stateofvideo Wood
    DISH’s Stanton Dodge is up next. Makes case for Hopper. Also asks for protection from retrans dispute blackouts.Amy Maclean
    DISH’s Stanton Dodge:When local station is pulled during retrans dispute, we should be able to import comparable signal from outside marketJohn Eggerton
    . @Bergmayer is right TV market boundaries are funny, but remember private companies also contract to prohibit distant signals #stateofvideoMatt Wood
    “People don’t mind paying for programming. They just don’t want to feel like they are being ripped off” @bergmayer #stateofvideoBartees L Cox Jr.
    Tuning into #stateofvideo hearing, where the broadcasters are trying to convince Senate that they’ve got innovation under control.Lydia DePillis
    Retransmission consent and the recommendation to “do something about sports blackouts” was a theme in the hearing. Each representative felt that there needs to be a more effective way to deal with retransmission consent. 
    Dodge: Retransmission consent makes no sense when there is competition for content by distributors like we have today. #stateofvideoMatthew Starr
    Sen. Pryor says retransmission consent deserves attention as part of the STELA reauthorization that will occur in 2013 and 2014.Ross Lieberman
    Watching the #stateofvideo hearing…Nielsen maps, retransmission, a la carte, rewrite the Comm Act. Time really can stand still.Cynthia Brumfield
    As Senators started to ask how the market could be more competitive, Public Knowledge’s Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer laid out his recommendations to enhance competition.
    “We can’t change copyright law to make services like @AereoTV unlawful.” It could have so many bad consequences. @bergmayer #stateofvideoBartees L Cox Jr.
    Internet could change video marketplace, but incumbents can use control to stifle competition @bergmayer #stateofvideoPublic Knowledge
    .@bergmayer: There are rules in place created by Congress and the FCC that prevent cable companies from offering a la carte cable.Matthew Starr
    I support the goals of localism the broadcasters want but I think there is a better way to reach these goals @bergmayer #true #stateofvideoBartees L Cox Jr.
    Sen. Wicker giving Michael Powell the 3rd degree at this #stateofvideo hearing.Martyn Griffen
    Former FCC Commissioner and President and CEO of the NCTA Michael Powell piggy backed onto Bergmayer’s ideas of using the Internet to promote competition by saying the internet is already bringing innovation. 
    Michael Powell: Internet is bringing “convulsive change” to industry, forcing rapid innovation. But future is exciting for consumers.Dan Nowicki
    As the hearing came to a close, it was clear that online video is a considerable option in providing answers to many questions surrounding the video marketplace. Will online video become a true competitor to cable? Will a la carte options become a deciding factor in lowering prices for consumers? This hearing didn’t get to the bottom of these questions, but it definitely will start the conversation on Capitol Hill, which will help change the landscape of video on the web. 
    Congratulations John! “@gigibsohn: .@bergmayer hits a home run at his first hearing! Here’s to many more! #stateofvideo”mpetricone