Shawn Ryan, TV show runner and creator of "The Shield" and
Testifying on behalf of the
"The reality of American media is that it is controlled by a handful of companies formed through two decades of consolidation," Ryan said in a statement from the guild. "These companies own the television networks, the production studios and almost all of the scripted content that is available on television and in movie theaters. The cable companies that distribute this content are even more concentrated."
The amount of broadcast network programming created independently has dwindled to 10% of the fall lineup -- a sharp decline from 76% in 1989, Ryan noted. Such concentration restricts freedom of expression, reduces competition and leaves consumers with fewer choices, he said.
His comments come in the wake of large media deals, including
"The open Internet has the potential to create a video marketplace that is more competitive, diverse and independent. But it is clear that action is needed to fulfill this promise," Ryan plans to tell the Senate panel. "The Internet is an information highway, and just as Congress does not allow a handful of private companies to erect tollbooths on our nation's actual highways, it cannot allow a few [Internet Service Providers] to set arbitrary rates and decide which businesses, video providers or political organizations can have prioritized delivery and which are relegated to a slow lane."