Scattered Scenes

Congress spends a lot of time fussing over television one recent instance being hearings to weigh whether telephone companies should get quick access to local markets to deliver broadband video in competition with cable. These sorts of issues are like dark tunnels that no one should have to enter alone, so let me point to Paid Content’s coverage of hearings before Sen. Ted Stevens’ Senate Commerce committee this week.

“So far, Stevens and the committee don’t see a clear way to aid the telcos without causing problems at the local level,” writes editor Staci Kramer.

Here is the rub: cable firms must obtain local franchises which involves a lenghty negotiating process. Should telcos get a quicker process? Is that fair or not, pro-consumer or not? And would a national policy preempt local government authority?

These are only a few of the considerations. You can find more coverage in TV Week.

Hearings like this are erupting all over the mediascape as big industries collide with each other — and with rising media powers like Google and Yahoo. We can wax poetic about citizen media or user-generated content but at every stage of the game, the rules are being argued in hearings like this. So pay attention to the backroom.

Useful links: Poynter columnist Sree Sreenivasan offers several suggestions for tracking the TV world, including, the blog of the authoritative Broadcast and Cable Magazine, and, launched by a former Broadcast and Cable editor. Both are likely to be “businessy” which appeals to me.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media