New FCC Rule Could Benefit Cord Cutters

Posted May 23, 2012

The FCC is considering changes that would benefit cord-cutters, people that decided that connecting their laptops and using services like Netflix and Hulu makes satisfies them enough to not have a cable TV account with Comcast, AT&T, etc. The FCC is considering changing the definition of ?multichannel video programming distributor? (MVPD) to include websites like Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. MVPDs have always been clearly defined as content providers like satellite and cable companies. Networks are required to sell their content to any MVPD that wants it. If the FCC includes YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix as an MVPD, these websites could purchase content from networks like CBS and the network would be forced to sell. CBS is one out of a few networks that has refused to put their content on Hulu.

The question about who is considered an MVPD came up when Christian online-based media company Sky Angel approached the Discovery Channel to have some of their content offered to Sky Angel customers. Discovery Channel refused to sell so Sky Angel appealed to the FCC. Initially the FCC ruled that Sky Angel is not considered an MVPD so Discovery was not obligated to sell. Sky Angel appealed so the FCC started to consider what an MVPD is today’s digital world is.