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Cable Regulation in the Internet Era


  • Crawford, Gregory S


The market for multi-channel video programming has undergone considerable change in the last 15 years. Direct-Broadcast Satellite service, spurred by 1999 legislation that leveled the playing field with cable television systems, has grown from 3% to 33% of the U.S. MVPD (cable, satellite, and telco video) market. Telephone operators have entered in some parts of the US and online video distributors are a growing source of television viewing. This chapter considers the merits of cable television regulation in light of these developments. It surveys the dismal empirical record on the effects of price regulation in cable and the more encouraging but incomplete evidence on the benefits of satellite and telco competition. It concludes with a consideration of four open issues in cable markets: horizontal concentration and vertical integration in the programming market, bundling by both cable systems and programmers, online video distribution, and temporary programming blackouts from failed carriage negotiations for both broadcast and cable programming. While the distribution market is clearly now more competitive, concerns in each of these areas remain.

Suggested Citation

  • Crawford, Gregory S, 2013. "Cable Regulation in the Internet Era," CEPR Discussion Papers 9316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9316

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John W. Mayo & Yasuji Otsuka, 1991. "Demand, Pricing, and Regulation: Evidence from the Cable TV Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 396-410, Autumn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna D'Annunzio, 2013. "Vertical Integration in Two-Sided Markets: Exclusive Provision and Program Quality," DIAG Technical Reports 2013-16, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".

    More about this item


    bundling; cable television; competition; foreclosure; internet; pay television; regulation; satellite television;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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