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Roku Warns Against FCC OVD Redefinition

Add Roku to the list of online video services (OVDs) that don't want the FCC to redefine some OVDs as MVPDs, with the company telling the commission it could actually raise the costs of over-the-top video and inhibit its growth and innovation.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed redefining day-and-date OVDs as MVPDs as one way to spur video competition, but other commissioners did not rush to vote the proposal and he has since signaled it is on the back burner.

That appears to be fine with Roku.

According to a filing at the FCC, Roku execs met with staffers of all the commissioners, including the chairman, to caution against regulatory redefinition.

They talked about the online video marketplace as rapidly innovating, in light of which "the Commission should allow marketplace forces to govern the evolution of online video distribution whenever possible and should take care to avoid implementing regulatory mandates that could inadvertently create obstacles to online video deployment."

It says that OVD redefinition would be one of those things to avoid. They said that if the FCC wants to proceed, it should make the redefinition voluntary and on an "opt in" basis.