In his weekly radio address, U.S. President Barack Obama calls for more competition in the cable television industry. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The Obama administration on Friday (April 15) weighed in on the debate over allowing consumers to switch from pricey cable television boxes to less expensive devices, urging regulators to set an example for the rest of government on how to boost competition. Consumers can spend nearly $1,000 over four years renting cable set-top boxes. Allowing consumers to chose devices or apps they can own could mean quick savings, according to the administration. In his weekly radio address, U.S. President Barack Obama said that competition was good for consumers and business, particularly regarding the expensive rental fees cable television companies charge customers for using their cable boxes. "While we have almost unlimited choice in what we watch on television, from traditional programming to online content, there's next to no competition to build a better, user-friendly product that allows you to easily access all this content in one place...that means companies have little incentive to innovate," Obama said. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in February proposed a rule to open competition in the $20 billion television set-top box market. It set a 60-day comment period for the rule that could deal a financial blow to cable companies. The administration issued a rare filing on the rule by the FCC, an independent agency. The rule would allow consumers to obtain video services from providers such as Alphabet Google, Apple Inc, and TiVo, instead of cable, satellite and other television providers such Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. It was unclear if the rule will be implemented before Obama leaves office in January.