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“TV is stuck in a distribution and consumption model that has not significantly changed in decades” and needs to change, according to a new policy paper from Public Knowledge.
“Tomorrowvision” analyzes the thickets of rules that govern today’s video market and prescribes changes needed to disrupt that marketplace and bring sorely needed competition to consumers. Today’s market is “structured less like a modern competitive industry and more like a medieval guild system where everyone has a place,” the paper, by PK Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer, said. The industry is riddled with middlemen, geographic restrictions for some industry sectors, serving the layers of distributors more than the content creators or viewers, the paper found.
To allow for more direct relationships between creators and viewers, the white paper suggests some regulatory changes, which could be removed at a later date:
- The FCC should issue a declaratory ruling that multichannel video programming distributors (cable and satellite TV providers, or MVPDs) may not engage in “unfair methods of competition or deceptive acts and practices” with regard to online video distributors (OVDs).
- The FCC should begin a proceeding to determine which regulations ought to apply to OVDs that choose to operate as MVPDs themselves.
- Congress and the FCC should reform the law to allow MVPDs more flexibility in carrying broadcast signals.
- The FCC should open up device competition.
The white paper is located here.