FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's latest proposal would change the definition of multichannel video programming distributor and allow online providers like Aereo to negotiate for the right to distribute cable/TV programming. You can get more details in the Bloomberg story below or by reading Wheeler's blog post on the subject.
Online video providers such as Aereo Inc. would be able to distribute TV programs like cable services, helping consumers circumvent large packages of channels, under a Federal Communications Commission proposal.
If approved, the proposal would let Internet-video services negotiate for the right to distribute cable programs and local television. Aereo Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia, who halted his startup's service after losing a Supreme Court decision in June, called the action by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler "an important step."
The proposed change, outlined yesterday in a blog post by Wheeler, would alter the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor, or MVPD, to include providers of online video. New rules wouldn't be final until after a vote by the agency, controlled by Wheeler and fellow Democrats.
"Consumers have long complained about how their cable service forces them to buy channels they never watch," Wheeler said. "The move of video onto the Internet can do something about that frustration."
Aereo is counting on the rule change after the Supreme Court said the company's digital streaming service, which used antennas to get programming over the air, violated broadcasters' copyrights. Though the nation's highest court said the company operated akin to a cable-TV provider, Aereo has been unable to get the license needed to transmit programs under copyright law.
"The way people consume television is rapidly changing and our laws and regulations have not kept pace," Kanojia said in an e-mailed statement. "By clarifying these rules, the FCC is taking a real and meaningful step forward for competition in the video market."
To read the complete Bloomberg article, click here.