The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing Wednesday on whether existing communication laws address the demands of new technology.
Representatives for broadcasters, satellite, cable and online technologies discussed advances in technology and their impact on how consumers access video content. They noted that the regulations currently in place are outdated and stem from a time when cable companies controlled a much larger portion of the pay-video market.
Members asked specifically about the effect that blackouts, which occur when video providers and local stations or cable networks fail to come to an agreement on pricing or other issues, have on consumers. They also sought to understand how the competing video services provide viewers with more choices in both programming and price.
Members heard from Hearst Television Inc. President and CEO David Barrett; Roku Vice President of Product Management Jim Funk; Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen; Netflix General Counsel David Hyman; and National Cable and Telecommunications Association President and CEO Michael Powell, among others.