According to the Tennis Channel, Comcast discriminates against its programming in favor of sports channels that Comcast owns directly, causing the Tennis Channel to be distributed to about 1/5th as many homes. (See article here)
If true, Comcast, as a carrier of cable data signals, may be engaging in the kind of content discrimination that harms the market place and should be regulated. This article caught my eye this morning in light of the previous posts on net neutrality on this blog. The obvious question is whether Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBC would result in the same kind of preferential treatment for NBC shows carried on Comcast’s cable network, and whether such discrimination will begin to occur for internet users looking for particular internet content. Perhaps we will see the same rise in network discrimination that we saw when banks started charging non-bank customers a fee to use the bank’s ATM machines.