By: Mike Montgomery
By any standard, it’s never been easier to watch what you want, when you want it, how you want it. Things like AppleTV, Roku and Amazon’s Firestick bring Internet streaming to your television while apps like FXNow, HBOGo and WatchESPN bring television viewing to tablets and phones. The viewing worlds are converging and all of us who love TV are much better off because of it.
Yet for some reason, the FCC is trying to scramble the delicate balance that has enabled this Golden Age of content by forcing cable and satellite companies to undo the intricate deals they have put together with content creators in Hollywood and around the world to distribute the content consumers enjoy access to today and open those streams up to anyone who wants to repackage them.
The FCC claims that the proposal is meant to spur innovation. But that seems to be a ridiculous statement on two fronts.
First, we already have plenty of competition and innovation coming from new streaming boxes. Look at Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, etc.
Second, the proposal actually undermines the cable and satellite companies’ incentive to innovate. Under the FCC’s proposal, the companies would have to disclose any technological innovation before introducing it. This would give any competitors plenty of time to copy those innovations and implement them on their own.
Would the companies that are clamoring for this deal want that same standard to apply in the tech industry? From my view running a tech advocacy coalition, the answer is a resounding “NO!”