Future of TV to Spotlight Current Navigation Device Market

The Future of TV Coalition, which includes cable and other ISPs pushing back on the FCC's set-top box unlocking proposal, will host a demonstration of just how many choices cable and satellite subs already have to access content.

That demonstration -- April 13 at NCTA headquarters -- follows FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's appearance as a witness before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, where he said that 99% of cable and satellite subs don't have choices," the coalition pointed out in announcing the event.

NCTA president and former FCC chairman Michael Powell has not been shy about criticizing current FCC chairman and former NCTA president Wheeler's proposal to make set-top data and programming streams available to third-party box and app developers as a way to promote his mantra of "competition, competition, competition."

The coalition's argument is that that competition is "already there, already there, already there."

Powell has said the proposal is, at its base, government assistance to one set of big tech interests to get access to the intellectual property of others and monetize it without the obligation to negotiate terms, share in data collection or generate revenue from the content created by others.

Wheeler's response to such arguments was, literally, "balderdash" (also to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee).

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.