NewsCorp upped the ante, as Stelter reports, byblocking Cablevision customers from accessing Fox shows on the popular streaming video site Hulu. While thatmaneuver didn’t last long, it did represent a pretty clear example of what a major media company can do to violate net neutrality.
These fights (as Megan Tady of Free Pressnoted in a piece in Extra! in March) are about giant media companies fighting amongst themselves over money, with the public mostly powerless to intervene.
But when I see Fox getting involved in these fights, I can’t help but imagine a battle over the carriage fees that cable companies pay for the Fox News Channel–costs that are passed on to you, the consumer, whether or not you watch Fox News. By some counts you pay three times more for Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity than you do for, say, MSNBC.
Sowhat if a cable company decided that was too much? And what if Fox retaliated by pulling Fox News Channel from your cable system?Somehow I think we’d all manage to get through the day.
Or, even more drastically, what if customers could choose whether or not they wanted to pay for Fox News Channel in the first place, through an ala carte cable menu? Fox rakes in millions of dollars every year from viewers and non-viewers alike; it seems like a decent media system would give people the right to not contribute to Murdoch’s empire.