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Future of TV Coalition Offers Up Set-Top Myths and Realities

The Future of TV Coalition, which includes ISPs and others critical of the FCC's set-top box proposal, fired back Wednesday after Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) called on her congressional colleagues to back the FCC against cable ops she said were trying to protect their set-top monopoly.

The coalition circulated a link to its own myths and realities list about the issue, countering Eshoo's "facts and fictions" list backing her side, which she included in a dear colleague letter.

“This debate isn’t about whether consumers should have alternatives to leased set-top boxes," said the coalition in a statement on that letter. "All sides agree they should, and this is already happening in the market today.  This debate is really about the best way to advance that innovation even further while respecting the copyright, licensing, diversity, and privacy characteristics of the TV ecosystem." 

"A vast and diverse coalition of music, film, and TV creators, networks and programmers, TV distributors, the labor and business communities, dozens of civil rights groups, a host of economists and policy experts, and more than 150 Members of Congress have raised concerns about the scope and impact of the Chairman’s proposed mandate," said the coalition.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell has been making that point this week at the INTX convention in Boston and before that in an interview with Multichannel News.

"This vibrant and healthy market is giving consumers unprecedented options and choice, and we should not freeze this innovation in place with a backwards looking technology mandate that will do far more harm than good," said the coalition.

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.