Regulation and Internet TV
According to Yahoo Finance, the FCC is considering a new proposal that addresses the regulation of Internet TV and may attempt to level the playing field with more traditional cable and satellite methods. The new idea would actually aid the developing plans from companies such as Sony, Dish Network, and Verizon, which we discussed in the previous blog entry “Response to Cord-Cutting”.
According to the Yahoo article:
The idea concerns online subscription video services that offer scheduled programming similar to traditional pay-TV providers, and not online video services such as Netflix Inc that stream content on-demand.
Traditionally, the FCC has ensured that cable and satellite TV providers such as Comcast Corp could negotiate for rights to retransmit major network programming. Online video services have not had the same regulatory backing because they rely on a different technology and do not have their own video distribution facilities.
Now, the FCC’s Media Bureau is proposing leveling the playing field with a technology-neutral definition of a “multichannel video program distributor,” said the FCC official who spoke anonymously to discuss matters that have not been made public. The goal behind the plan is to encourage new and stronger competition in the video market.
This is still in the preliminary stages before the FCC and still needs to be circulated with the commissioners before being formalized and requesting comments from the outside public. Only then will a vote occur.
Ultimately, the proposal would give Internet TV providers the same rights as traditional TV providers. The long-term effect on Smart TVs will be fascinating to see.