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

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2014 08:22:02 -0400

On Sep 30, 2014, at 7:05 PM, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> 
> 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.

Yes BERT. I already made that point. What such an order would do is simplify 
the negotiation that Sony, et al are currently engaged in to obtain the content 
for new OVD services. But it would also help extend the bundle business model 
to the Internet.

As for Verizon stopping the expansion of their FIOS deployments, it's just 
economics. I suspect that they plan to focus on wireless data, and leave wired 
broadband for the cable companies, who are eating the telcos lunch, thanks to 
superiority of their hybrid fiber/coax networks versus twisted pair ADSL. Cox 
Cable is now offering 50 Mbps service here in Gainesville, while AT&T are still 
pushing 5-6 Mbps Uverse.

> 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.

Exactly. And this in turn protects the bundle and retrans consent revenues.

>> 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.

Local stations have been able to offer their locally produced content via their 
own web portals for years. Few do more than a few clips. They want you to watch 
the streaming channel(s), which they do not make available via the Internet.

The local stations do not have the rights to stream the content they get from 
the networks or buy from syndicators. And the networks and syndicators have 
shown no indication that this is going to change. They do offer delayed access 
to some content, but not the first run live streams. 

Obviously the FCC has no say in 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.

To you. But you keep believing that the content owners will move beyond the 
walled gardens, when in reality they are moving the walled gardens to the 
Internet. For most people, the ability to access the subscription content they 
are paying for via the Internet is becoming an important feature of the 
service. If they also get on demand access to this content via the Internet - 
and they will - they will find TV delivered via the Internet to be very 

>> 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.

Sadly, IT DOES.

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