[opendtv] Re: FCC Proposes Defining 'Linear' OVDs as MVPDs | Multichannel

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:05:47 +0000

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> The FCC is simply forcing the content owners to treat new OVD services
> the same as the rest of the MVPDs.

Just like the FCC did for Verizon FiOS TV, or for that matter, just like what 
the FCC did for true IPTV systems (as opposed to Internet TV), such as AT&T 
U-verse. So, nothing new at all. The only thing you got was a couple of other 
MVPDs. And, just to hammer that point home, Verizon decided to stop expanding 
their FiOS, because of high costs and not a whole lot of consumer demand! No 
huge surprise, really.

But once again, the FCC is merely saying, if a third party TV distro network 
wants the government to force content owners to give them access, this third 
party distro networks has to emulate an MVPD. The techhive article is much more 
to the point.

> What is less clear is how the new service will deal with access to OTA
> channels. With facility based MVPDs the issue is straightforward. You offer
> the local channels. It got a bit more complicated with DBS, as they serve
> many markets; the issue moved to where the receiving dish is located.
> With OTT services, we now have the issue that the receiver can be anywhere.

It's all up to the content owners! So for example, if your local ABC affiliate 
wants to make *its own* weather/news/local interest content available around 
the world online, both live and on demand, they are free to do so. If they want 
to limit the geographic area of online distribution, they are free to do so.  
And so is ABC, for its own high value content. Or, if ABC decides, ABC can 
allow the local affiliate to post its shows online as well. And the FCC would 
have nothing to say about any of this.

> Can I access the local channels from the market where I live, when I
> am traveling?
> Does the OTT service use geo location data to determine which local
> channels can be accessed?
> If they base access on geo location, how do they negotiate rights for
> every market?

These legacy questions vanish as soon as the owners of the content and the 
holders of the rights decide to get beyond the MVPD walled garden distribution 
model. Which is the only thing that makes Internet TV interesting.

> The question is VERY different for HBO and ESPN, as we have discussed.
> Obviously these companies do not go to the FCC to deal with changing
> market dynamics.

Exactly. And the same goes for the congloms, the sports leagues, and any other 
owner of content. The congloms, much as described in the techhive article, have 
ALREADY established their own web sites for their high value content, and they 
have already also put their high value content on aggregation sites such as 
Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix.

> What is a constant is that the entrenched players evolve and maintain
> control, as the Sullivan article you posted confirms...

Yes, but exerting control does not mean that "the bundle," within walled 
gardens, or available online with walled garden subscriptions, remains sacred.


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