The 1992 Cable Act

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Definition: The 1992 Cable Act

The 1992 Cable Act is also known as the Cable Television Consumer Protection & Competition Act of 1992 which was implemented in the US in the year 1992. This Act stated that most local channels will be carried by cable systems & cable operators will not be charging local broadcasters to carry their signal.

The reason this act was implemented is because it aimed to provide a fair competition to all & a level playing field among all the competitors. This is something exactly which the Competition Commission in India (CCI) does. The US Congress when passed this law stated that it wanted various heterogeneous views, to ensure cable operators continually increase their offerings & grow and at the same time they should not have undue market power. Also, one of the prime aims of this legislation was to protect consumer interests & to increase the cable television availability to the public.

Key Points:

1 Effective Competition- This was a prime aim for which the US government refrained from regulating rates for cable services. “Effective Competition” meant that  30 percent of the households in the franchise area will have to  take up the cable service.

2 Criticism was also faced by this regulation when a Washington district judge made a ruling stating that the act is an example of a horizontal integration but there must be a limit set to it. Therefore, the ruling asked the Federal Communications Commission to come up with regulations. This regulation would require a cable operator to construct “reasonable limits” on the no of subscribers they could achieve. The Impact was that there was a lot of complexity between broadcast stations & cable companies.


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