Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

There’s No Place Like CounterPunch

There's no place like CounterPunch, it's just that simple. And as the radical space within the "alternative media"(whatever that means) landscape continues to shrink, sanctuaries such as CounterPunch become all the more crucial for our political, intellectual, and moral survival. Add to that the fact that CounterPunch won't inundate you with ads and corporate propaganda. So it should be clear why CounterPunch needs your support: so it can keep doing what it's been doing for nearly 25 years. As CP Editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, succinctly explained, "We lure you in, and then punch you in the kidneys." Pleasant and true though that may be, the hard-working CP staff is more than just a few grunts greasing the gears of the status quo.

So come on, be a pal, make a tax deductible donation to CounterPunch today to support our annual fund drive, if you have already donated we thank you! If you haven't, do it because you want to. Do it because you know what CounterPunch is worth. Do it because CounterPunch needs you. Every dollar is tax-deductible. (PayPal accepted)

Thank you,
Eric Draitser

Can the Comcast and Time/Warner Cable Merger be Stopped?


The announced merger agreement between Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45 billion in stock will combine the nation’s two of the nation’s largest media companies.  Each is a major cable multi-system operator (MSO) within an industry structured on the basis of local “regulated” monopolies, with little meaningful competition.  The merger will be one more step in the further consolidation of the media marketplace that includes “last mile” connections for wireline delivery, wireless communications, Internet access and, increasingly, programming.

Comcast is the largest cable and home Internet service provider (ISP) in the U.S., with 2013 revenues of $64.6 billion. The new post-merger media behemoth will control 34 million cable subscribers throughout the country.  Among the territories it currently controls are Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia.  In 2011, it acquired NBC-Universal Pictures from GE, including 33 local TV stations, the Spanish-language network, Telemundo, 13 cable networks (including USA, CNBC, Bravo, SyFy, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, Oxygen, the Weather Channel) as well as Universal, a major movie studio (and Focus Features, a boutique “art house” micro-studio) as well as the Universal theme parks in LA and Florida.  It addition, it controls the Golf Channel, E! Entertainment, G-4, Style and regional sports cable services as well as the lifestyle website, Daily Candy.  It also runs the Philadelphia Flyers NHL franchise and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.

TWC’s 2013 revenue were $22.1 billion and provides cable service in 29 states, with controlling interests in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York as well as large segments of Maine, North Carolina and Ohio.  Under increasing financial problems resulting from its shotgun marriage with AOL, Time Warned spun off its TWC holdings in March 2009.

Cable television emerged in the late-1940s as a “retransmission” service to improve the signal quality of over-the-air broadcast analog TV channels.  Broadcast TV viewers often received signals that were dimmed or blocked because the local station’s signal was weak or due to interference from natural obstacles (e.g., mountains).  In the 60-plus years since the first cable wires were strung, the industry slowly improved the carrying capacity of the underlying coaxial “cable” and, with digital technologies, enomously increased the number of channels it could offer.

The cable industry’s power is two fold.  First, cable companies operate on the basis of an exclusive franchise negotiated with a particular locality.  Second, cable companies long controlled in-home access to video programming through a subscriber’s rental of the cable converter or set-top box.  Until recently, the cable industry effectively limited competition by restricting programming sources to major media conglomerates and resisting alternative signal providers especially via the Internet.  Today, the cable industry consists of two overlapping (and increasingly integrated) oligopolies: (i) cable multi-system “operators” (MSOs) or distribution companies and (ii) powerful “content” or programming companies exemplified by the Comcast-NBC-Universal merger.

Under today’s “regulated” media marketplace, cable monopolies face apparent competition from satellite companies like DirecTV and telecom companies like AT&T (Uverse) and Verizon (FiOS).  To appreciate how dubious such competition is, in 2011 Comcast and TWC (along with Bright House and Cox) signed a co-marketing agreement with Verizon.  Under the agreement, Verizon ceded competition over the delivery of broadband services in specific territories controlled by the cable companies for control over wireless services.  This contributed to Verizon’s decision to stop building-out its competitive FiOS service.

In all likelihood, the Washington, DC, No Theatre of public “regulatory” deception, the FCC and the Dept. of Justice will approve the merger.  Comcast will likely divest 3 million subscribers to comply within terms of what is known as the “30 percent rule” that ostensibly assures industry competition.  In addition, it is also expect to agreed to net neutrality requirements that it agreed to when it acquired NBC-Universal.

However, the consequences of the merger are clean.  As Free Press notes, “Comcast will have unprecedented market power over consumers and an unprecedented ability to exert its influence over any channels or businesses that want to reach Comcast’s customers.”  Corporate executives and bankers will get rich, cable jobs will be cut through “efficiencies” and subscribers will get worse services at higher prices.  And the U.S. status as a 2nd-rate telecom nation will only get worse.

David Rosen regularly contributes to the AlterNet, Brooklyn Rail, Filmmaker and IndieWire; check out  He can be reached at




David Rosen is the author of Sex, Sin & Subversion:  The Transformation of 1950s New York’s Forbidden into America’s New Normal (Skyhorse, 2015).  He can be reached at; check out

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians