Hell hath no fury like a Gator scorned. Last week, Fox Broadcasting Company threatened to drop its signal from Time Warner Cable and Bright House on the eve of some of the nation’s most anticipated college bowl games. Even members of Congress and the FTC were urged to get involved. Happily, the ban did not take effect, and University of Florida fans across the nation rejoiced. This turn of events was particularly sweet for Central Florida residents, who, angered by the prospect of missing Tim Tebow’s final performance in the Sugar Bowl, had been denied a temporary restraining order against the network earlier in the week. The ban would have also affected Fox’s cable channels, such as the Food Network. I, for one, cannot fathom a world without American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Iron Chef, or, God forbid, Glee.

Once upon a time, the major television networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) derived their income from advertising. However, since the mid-1990s the Big Four have become increasingly dependent upon licensing fees charged to cable providers. Essentially, the cable operators and show producers have passed along the cost of programs to consumers. This concept is laughable, as consumers are now paying for content that they once could watch for free. Isn’t it time for some form of government regulation over pricing in the cable industry?

Abbey Morrow

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