Walden Warning: Content-Controlling Viewers Should 'ScareHeck' Out Of Cable

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Wednesday that consumers
would ultimately settle the debate over the rights to move TV programming to
smaller screens (like, say, cable programming to iPads), and he thinks it will
be by becoming their own programmers.

He said he thinks the people now creating their own audio
playlists will start doing that for video as well.

"Eventually [consumers] will create their own lineup of
shows the way they want them. That ought to scare the heck out of you," he
told is American Cable Association audience. He said that ultimately the
delivery platforms for programming will change so that it will be available
on iPads and other tablets" because consumers and market forces
will dictate it.

Currently, there is a fight in that marketplace over whether
cable operators--notably Time Warner Cable--can stream channels other devices
in the home like iPads. TWC says yes, some programmers say no, but Walden
deferred that decision to Judiciary, which oversees copyright.

Walden said that interplay of consumers and market
forces could be "brutal to industries along the way," adding
ominously: "There aren't many blacksmith shops around anymore. I think
ultimately that is where it ends up."

He said his Subcommittee will try to do the right thing,
make sure the market works effectively.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.