Technology Liberation Front discusses a paper by Barbara Ebsin that looks at the issue of the NFL Network seeking arbitration to force cable programmers to carry their network (at their prices) because they believe they have "must have" network that should be made available to consumers. Ebsin suggests that carrying this network might actually be anti-consumer, because it may lead to cable companies charging consumers for a network they are not interested in. She makes this argument by pulling out the example of Icenetwork (available online via subscription). Ebsin ponders what would happen if Icenetwork made a similar argument as the NFL Network about mandatory carriage of the network, based on the idea that the network seeks the carriage and a consumer wants it. I have not had a chance to read the paper; I understand the example. It seems maybe she used the Icenetwork because figure skating is so much the opposite of football that she wants the reader to understand that there are other networks with viewer demand but that, if these networks made the same carriage demands that NFL Network does, it would be deemed ridiculous (please correct me if I am getting the point wrong on that one). I guess the amount of viewer demand doesn't (and shouldn't) come into play in her argument, but I am wondering what role it would actually play in any arbitration since NFL ratings are still quite high and there is such outrage when certain games are shown exclusively on there, because so many people do not have access.
Icenetwork as a Hypothetical