A PYMNTS Company

US: Fox, Disney, CBS, Time Warner, Viacom protest FCC set-top box rules

 |  April 24, 2016

The nation’s largest media companies are banding together to protest proposed Federal Communications Commission rules designed to spur competition in the TV set-top box manufacturing market.

Walt Disney CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox, A&E Television Networks, Time Warner, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom Inc. jointly filed comments with the FCC late Friday to lodge their opposition to the proposal.

The FCC, in February, voted three to two along party lines to begin crafting rules intended to open up the set-top-box manufacturing market with new technology standards so that third-party companies could develop devices and apps that could decode pay-TV signals.

The move was intended to loosen the grip of the pay-TV companies — including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and AT&T, which owns DirecTV — on the set-top box market and development of TV navigational guides.

Consumers typically lease the set-top box from their pay-TV provider, and those fees can top $200 a year.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, introduced the rules to try to give consumers more options.

But the media companies contend that the proposed FCC rules would have unintended consequences. Among other things, they say that Wheeler’s proposal, if adopted, could undermine the lucrative contracts the programmers have in place with the pay-TV companies.

Full Content: The Register

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.