Press Release

Media Alert: Public Knowledge to Host Press Briefing on Ending the Cable Box Rip-off

February 16, 2016 , , , ,

Public Knowledge will host a press briefing Wednesday, February 17 at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to unlock the set-top box market. According to research by the Consumer Federation of America, cable subscribers are overpaying somewhere between $6 and $14 billion annually to rent cable boxes to watch TV on outdated devices. This simultaneously limits how consumers access their pay-TV content while raking in billions of dollars for the cable industry in rental fees in an era when most other consumer electronics costs have actually decreased.

Public Knowledge’s Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO, will present a group of experts to review how unlocking the set-top box market increases competition, benefitting consumers, artists, and especially independent programmers struggling with cable gatekeepers that prevent content producers from reaching wider audiences.

These experts include Sen. Markey (D-MA, who championed the pro-consumer/competition provisions of the 1996 Telecommunications Act), Allison Abner (writer/producer, The West Wing and the Netflix series, Narcos), Eric Easter (Chairman of the National Black Programming Consortium), and Ellen Stutzman (Senior Director of Research and Public Policy for the Writers Guild of America, West). Participants will also be available to answer questions.

If you’d like more information, please view our recent fact sheet and letter to the FCC.

Press Call Participant Information:

WHEN: Wednesday, February 17 at 11 a.m. ET
DIAL-IN: 1-712-432-3071
PASSWORD: 676292
INSTRUCTIONS: 5* to queue questions, please state your name and outlet clearly