Amazon to FCC: Most OTTs Don't Want Program Access Rights

Amazon does not want the Federal Communications Commission to classify some over-the-top providers (OTTs) as Multichannel Video Programming Distributors covered by program-access protections, saying there is no pressing need to do so.

"As the Commission noted in its NPRM, MVPD status is attended by a large number of regulatory privileges and obligations, including the right to seek relief under the program access rules and obligations relating to program carriage and good faith negotiation with broadcasters for retransmission consent," Amazon said. "However, many OTT providers have no desire to avail themselves of these rights and obligations." It then upped the estimate, saying "most providers" don't want to be more like MVPDs.

In reply comments on the FCC's tentative proposal to do just that, Amazon said that the online video marketplace is working fine without FCC intervention. "In light of the excellent results achieved over the last several years, Amazon does not see why the Commission would risk interfering with the OTT marketplace, which is still growing and changing, at this stage in its development," the company said.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.