At the end of an article about a meeting between the major network news chiefs -- Neal Shapiro for NBC, David Westin for ABC, and Andrew Heyward for CBS -- Beth Fouhy quotes Mr. Heyward:
"I think it's important to look at this as in increasingly sumptuous smorgasbord of choices, and Fox started that." Heyward said. "It's very different from the comfortable oligopoly that prevailed at the beginning of broadcast news, where you had networks with enormous market share. I think that's to the public benefit. It puts more pressure on us to be excellent."I think that's the exact right perspective. Imagine how the music and movie industries might change if they decided to aim for excellence rather than merely run insipid commercials about how sharing their products is wrong (whether it is or not).
Competition produces excellence, every time, in every scenario. It's often important to have limits on competition to restrain our evil impulses (e.g., it's not ok to kill a romantic rival), but for the most part competition should be given free reign and recognized as a critical contributor to the advance of civilization.