This recent story (paywalled) about the financial challenges YouTube TV and other “virtual cable” providers face is a good illustration of some points we’ve been making at Public Knowledge for a while. As the story notes, “these streaming services have yet to figure out how to make money. In fact, the more people they sign up, the more money they lose. That’s because the services are paying more for programming than what they’re charging consumers.”
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modify or eliminate the 39 percent national audience reach cap that prevents broadcast stations from owning too much of the market. The NPRM will also seek comment on the UHF discount used by broadcast television station groups to calculate compliance with the audience reach cap.
Amazon and Google are putting consumers in the middle of a corporate battle between the two technology giants. According to the reports, Google has blocked YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show, and will be removing its YouTube app from Amazon’s Fire TV. This is in response to Amazon refusing to carry certain Google hardware products in its store. Public Knowledge contends that this behavior by major platforms jeopardizes consumer choice.