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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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educational broadcasting and maybe Channel 5, you'd get what they call a “basic service.” But if you want to add to that HBO [Home Box Office] or CNN or ESPN--any of the special services--you have to pay an additional fee. And that can run up to--I don't know how high it runs in some places, but it can be a substantial amount.

For example, where I'm staying with a friend of mine over on the West Side, she has cable, and I think her cable bill is $36 a month. That's an enormous amount of money to spend for something that I think is not worth that much money--except that it does have sports and it does have movies.


Well, those of us on the West Side have no choice, but to have cable.


Now on the East Side--Winnie [Williams], for example, doesn't have to pay extra for CNN and for the movies. If she gets “pay-per-view,” of course, she has to pay for whatever she sees. I think the government's going to step in and say: “Either you regulate the rates or you have competition.” And that's what Florida decided to do, because down there, anybody could come in and compete with me. Hopefully, I'd do a better job than my competitor, but they could come in, and if they had a service to offer that was unusual--if they were going to offer you the BBC or French television, and they had to get it down from a satellite and pay for that, there's no reason they shouldn't charge extra for that.

But I resent the way they've put the pricing on their services, and I think ultimately either the local communities or the federal government's going to step in and raise regulations that will set rates and it will be treated like a public utility. Or it's going to go to the telephone company, and they'll regulate it through telephone rates.

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