The FCC has issued a notice of proposed rule-making. The new rules would define some OTT services as MVPDs or multichannel video programming distributors, the same classification enjoy by cable companies, entitling them to nondiscriminatory access to programming, giving them the opportunity to negotiate with broadcasters and retransmit their content via the web.
While OTT players have already eaten into the cable companies’ bottom lines and user bases, these new rules pave the way and level the playing field for companies that want to offer services that are more similar to cable itself, particularly with linear channels. It wouldn’t be too surprising if other major OTT players gave live streaming channels a second look, since doing so might now be more attractive than the shaky legal footing established by Aereo.
Curiously enough, the new rules are essentially what Aereo had been begging up until filing for bankruptcy last month. While it appears that the FCC has taken their suggestion, it comes just a little too late for the controversial company. Now that these new rules threaten to change the game, could we see a second act from Aereo? Only time will tell.
This change by the FCC will result in more and more content finding its way online, and even more competition for the cable companies as the opportunity presents itself to deliver many of the same channels via the web. As new companies and startups find new ways to bring video to the web, FreeCast Inc will be able to bring that content to our subscribers as well.