Set-tops, broadband privacy and retransmission consent rules were some of the topics discussed on a panel at The Independent Show moderated by ACA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Ross Lieberman. In the above interview, Lieberman provides highlights of the panel:
- He reiterates ACA’s estimate that the costs of implementing the order could mean the closure or elimination of video services for over 200 systems, while larger operators would need to raise prices. Additional concerns about the proposal include integration of the Emergency Alert System, copyright and security. Lieberman points out that the “apps” proposal [PDF] by the larger operators addresses many of the issues, but that smaller operators need time to amortize the costs. He points out that ACA members have been encouraging the deployment of third-party set-tops and development of third-party apps, many of which were on display at the TIS 16 exhibit floor, to make it easier for their customers to view over-the-top content. Not surprisingly, the ACA, in conjunction with NCTA, filed filed a petition [PDF] for en banc review, asking the full D.C. Circuit to review the June 2016 panel decision.
- He discusses the implications of the FCC’s proposed broadband privacy rules under the aforementioned FCC set-top proposed rulemaking and how the privacy rules could potentially open up a loophole for set-top manufacturers, and others that market set-tops directly to consumers.
- He echos what was heard from many operators at TIS when he says that the retransmission consent market is broken. High prices, bundling and tiering requirements are forcing up prices that ultimately get passed onto the consumer. He suggest the FCC’s recent decision to not update retransmission consent good faith bargaining will result in continued struggles in 2017. This week’s FCC’s imposition of a $9.5M fine against Sinclair Broadcast Group reinforces his prediction about next year.
TIS16 coverage brought to you by the The Independent Show and ViodiTV.