On December 17, 2014, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a proposal to update its rules to better reflect the fact that video services are being provided increasingly over the Internet. The FCC proposes to change the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) because video programming is now no longer tied to a particular distribution technology (such as cable or satellite). The new proposed definition of an MVPD will include providers that make multiple linear streams of video programming available for purchase, regardless of the technology used to distribute the programming. This proposal is designed to ensure that (1) the Commission’s regulations continue to cover members of the video distribution industry if they change their services to Internet protocol delivery and (2) new web-based video programming services have access to the tools they need to compete with established providers.
Specifically, the NPRM proposes to define the term MVPD in either one of the two following ways:
- Any programming distributor of multiple linear video programming streams, including Internet-based services, OR
- Any programming distributor that has control over a transmission path.
The NPRM asks for public comment on the benefits and burdens of each of these possible definitions, and how each would impact MVPDs, consumers, and content owners.
Links to the News Release:
Links to the NPRM: