Monday, January 4, 2016

What Has Happened to Antitrust?

The Washington Post reports:

ESPN is Disney's biggest single business and its most profitable cable channel, and the Big Mouse once regarded it as a virtually unstoppable media force. The traditional cable bundle, in which channels are offered only in bulk, made it an especially sweet deal: The largest chunk of the cable bill goes to ESPN — about $7 a month — whether a subscriber watches it or not.To maintain that stronghold, and to ward off rivals like Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports, ESPN has spent aggressively on massive multi-year contracts for the sports broadcasting rights. In 2011, ESPN agreed to pay more than $15 billion for 10 years of rights to air NFL games — nearly four times what Disney would pay for Lucasfilm, owner of the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" mega-franchises, a year later.

Actually it is more like in excess of $10 per month and it then funds football teams etc. It then is these high paid athletes that end up abusing women and the like. Thus we have a bundle, or in Antitrust terms, a tying arrangement, an act that could be controlled by the Antitrust laws (also See 1996). But it seems we never get there!