FCC examining expanded MVPD definition


FCC2014And it wants your opinion. So far, to be considered an MVPD, a company had to own its own delivery system. Like cable wires or a satellite, for instance. Internet video services which rely in ISPs to get their content out there didn’t qualify. The FCC is considering changing that.

It wouldn’t be just any old internet service. Programming would have to be delivered on a scheduled basis to viewers, as a network or cable channel delivers programs. So a strictly on-demand service such as Netflix is not part of this proceeding.

The change in status will give internet distributors certain access-to-programming rights; it will also open them up to the need to contract for retransmission consent.

The FCC is seeking “broad public participation” in the proceeding, and to encourage that, it has changed the status of the notice in terms of ex parte rules from “restricted” to “permit but disclose.”

The purpose of this proceeding is to solicit comment on the interpretation of the terms “multichannel video programming distributor” and “channel.”

The FCC stipulated that the comments should be general and aimed at the definitions. It stated, “Because consideration of the program access complaint that Sky Angel filed will remain a restricted proceeding under the Commission’s rules, parties shall not discuss the merits of that case in their ex parte presentations in MB Docket No. 12-83.”