Paul McMorrow’s Weekly Dig account of yesterday’s Statehouse hearing on Verizon’s bid to do away with local regulation of cable television franchises is so entertaining that I’ll forgive him for deriding “local legislators and cable access nerds” as guys who wear “pants from Kohl’s.” Even though I’ve been known to wear pants from Kohl’s. (Not today, though. They’re from Bob’s.)
What undermines it, unfortunately, is characteristic Dig cynicism. To wit:
At the heart of it, this is a battle between two mega-corporations — Verizon and Comcast — over who gets to have a near-monopoly where. Comcast is fighting the legislation, and is reportedly helping to fund a massive, Yay local! ad effort to defeat it. Verizon, pissed that Comcast is muscling in on its phone market, is pushing back by getting all up in Comcast’s digital-TV grill. At the end of this fight, somebody’s gonna end up richer than they were before, and it’s probably not going to be you.
Thanks for the link, Paul. And I certainly agree with the proposition that Comcast’s motives are no more pure than those of Verizon. But at the moment, at least, it’s in Comcast’s corporate interests to keep cable franchising and regulation at the local level — and that’s what’s best for consumers and local media as well.
More coverage from the Globe, the Associated Press (by way of the Herald), the Eagle-Tribune, the Springfield Republican and State House News Service (via the MetroWest Daily News) can be found here.