Thursday, October 16, 2014
Presentation on Sports Telecommunications Issues
In the last few days there have been several significant developments in the IPTV and sports/entertainment marketplace. The FCC may treat Over the Top video programmers as multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) if they offer a stream of content rather than on demand access. If the Commission pursues this initiative ventures like Aereo may achieve legitimacy and the opportunity for a true marketplace test.
As an MVPD, Aereo would qualify for a compulsory copyright license, but have to negotiate for the legal right to transmit broadcast television station signals. This is pretty much the same deal that cable television operators secured in 1984. Previously community antenna television systems won court cases affirming their right to receive and retransmit broadcast television. Cable operators agree to pay for the privilege to secure legitimacy, and so will Aereo and ventures like it.
In addition to the HBO initiative to offer its content without requiring an MVPD subscription, the FCC recently eliminate its sports black out rules that prevented MVPD carriage of games that had not sold out 72 hours before broadcast.
You might have interest in a slide presentation on sports telecommunications issues I will present at the Ole Miss Law School; see http://www.personal.psu.edu/rmf5/Ole%20Miss%20Telecom%20and%20Sports%20Oct.%202014.ppt.