Why the Cable Guys Should Be Freaking Out About the FCC
Remember last week, when a new proposal to regulate broadband freaked out the cable industry? And remember how Barclays analyst James Ratcliffe told investors not to worry and that the whole thing was overblown?
Forget about that last part, says Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett (via Barrons). The Federal Communications Commission’s plans are worrisome enough that he has downgraded Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Cablevision (CVC).
His argument is simple, and basically the inverse of Ratcliffe’s: He doesn’t trust FCC chair Julius Genachowski’s promise not to regulate broadband pricing. For starters, he notes, the FCC is asking for the power to demand “just and reasonable rates.” So if that isn’t pricing regulation, what is?
Maybe Genachowski can explain on Thursday when he delivers a keynote address at the cable industry’s annual convention. We’ll certainly ask him about it next month when he’s onstage at the D8 conference.