Cable Operators

NPR’s ‘Wait, Wait’ Scenario: When FCC Forces A La Carte, Industry Has CRAP Response

11/07/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

According to National Public Radio, the
Federal Communications Commission is now requiring
cable operators to off er their programming services a la
carte.

Before National Cable & Telecommunications Association
president
Michael
Powell reaches
for the phone or
the Tylenol, that
“news” was reported
on Wait,
Wait Don’t Tell
Me
, the radio
network’s comedy
panel show.

In the show’s “Bluff the Listener” segment, a caller has
to distinguish the real, goofy, news item in a trio with two
made-up ones. In one of the latter, the show’s writers took
a shot at basic-cable programming, delivered by panelist
Tom “We’ll Leave the Light on for Ya” Bodett.

Bodett, saying that the FCC now required cable channels
to be sold separately, explained that the government
move made it tough for cable operators to sell
some of that “big steaming pile of … programming” they
used to be able to package.

‘”When you can no longer bundle Bridezilla with The
Ellen Show
, the bride is going to be left at the altar,” he
said, attributing the observation to “industry spokesman
Marsha Aaron,” then continuing to relate her faux quote:
“We had to figure out how to add some market buzz to
some, let’s face it, pretty awful television. That’s when we
came up with Curiously Ridiculous Adult Programming.
CRAP TV offers the entire lineup of channels you used
to only watch drunk or in the basement guest room with
your relatives. Judge Alex, Wheeler Dealers, CNN, and
people are paying for it. We sell CRAP TV as the guilty
pleasure. It is the white-powdered Donette to premium
cable’s banana nut muffin.”

The contestant, a military intelligence officer, was not
fooled by the faux cable offering, although he was fooled
by the other tall tale, about the Charmin All Hallows Exhibit,
in which the toilet paper maker bankrolled a Halloween
art exhibit featuring smashed pumpkins, graffiti
and TP’d houses. The real news item? Australia is testing
rubber sidewalks to prevent people who are falling-down
drunk from hurting themselves.

COMCAST HQ GETS ‘OCCUPIED’

The Philadelphia branch of the “Occupy”
movement extended into the lobby of Comcast’s
skyscraper headquarters last Wednesday (Nov.
2). Ten people were arrested after sitting in the
lobby for more than an hour, The Philadelphia
Inquirer
reported. The newspaper quoted one
Occupy Philly member as saying the group
chose Comcast because it obtained tax
abatements for the building, which opened in
2008. Comcast declined to comment.

November

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