Press Release

FCC Moves to Promote Diverse Programming in Video Marketplace

January 28, 2016 , , ,

Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced another item that could benefit TV viewers by giving them increased access to diverse and independent programming. Public Knowledge applauds the Commission for its video diversity Notice of Inquiry, which when combined with the recent video device Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, could prove another significant step toward freeing consumers and programmers from the anti-competitive grip of pay TV giants.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“In its video diversity Inquiry, the Commission is taking a long-needed look at the economics of the video programming marketplace. This proceeding is a critical starting point to addressing the obstacles so many programmers and content creators face in their efforts to reach consumers, both on cable and over-the-top. It should be a catalyst to eliminate restrictive contracts and similar tools that prevent creators from reaching more viewers. Commissioner Clyburn deserves special credit for championing this inquiry which can be very important for independent and minority programmers as they compete in a limited marketplace.

“Among other things, we've heard from many small and independent programmers that strong-arm tactics by dominant pay TV distributors can reduce the availability of content online, and prevent diverse and independent content from reaching an audience. As the video marketplace continues to evolve and consumers expect more video to be available online and through competitive devices, the time is right for the Commission to take a hard look at practices that could disadvantage smaller players and deny consumers the competitive benefits that new platforms and technologies allows.”

Please view our video marketplace issue page for more information.