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NY Times, Wired, FCC blog

Game-Changer! FCC Proposes Rules That Would Make Cord-Cutting More Enticing to Consumers. Finally, the Widespread Ability to Truly Choose TV Services A la Carte?

Oct 30, 2014  •  Post A Comment

“In just the latest sign that the future of television is online, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed a new rule that would let Internet TV providers license television content just like cable and satellite companies do,” reports Wired.

The story adds: “On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler explained the thinking behind the proposal, writing in a blog post that opening access to Internet TV providers will foster competition in the television industry and give viewers more control over what programming they pay for. In other words, it would allow companies to use the Internet to serve up any show that’s available on good old-fashioned broadcast television.”

In its version of the story The New York Times reported: “‘Consumers have long complained about how their cable service forces them to buy channels they never watch,’ Mr. Wheeler wrote in [his] blog post. ‘The move of video onto the Internet can do something about that frustration — but first Internet video services need access to the programs.’”

In other words Wheeler, a former president of the National Cable Television Association, was saying that if the FCC makes this change, a la carte TV choices could become widespread.

Wired reported that the “new rule would essentially expand the definition of a so-called ‘multichannel video programming distributor’ or MVPD. These are the companies that are entitled to negotiate carrying fees directly with broadcasters for television content. Currently, the MVPD distinction only applies to cable companies, satellite providers, and services like Verizon FiOS. The new rule would change that, redefining MVPDs so they’re ‘technology-neutral.’”

To read more about this potential game-changer, we urge you to click on the various links in this item, which will take you to the original reports.

2 Comments

  1. This is all fine and dandy, but how about killing the rules forcing carriage of programs on specific levels of service. Even better, let providers offer smaller tiered bundles, Sports, News, Family, General Interest.. rather than the bloated and exceedingly expensive Expanded Basic Package. Customers want choice and the ability to control costs. Programmers and Broadcasters are not allowing this to occur and are in fact the ones driving costs through the roof.

  2. The satellite and cable companies need to get ahead of this and start offering complete al a carte packages now. People are not against cable and satellite; they are against the forced subscriptions. If the cable and satellite companies allow users to make their own choices, they may find that they won’t lose as many customers as they fear. Internet video can still be very haphazard – especially in the evening when usage is high. The quality of sat and cable HD signal is still more stable, and is worth paying for if users can manage what networks they have to buy.

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