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Set-Tops: TiVo Says FCC Should Trump Private Contracts

Competitive navigation device maker TiVo told the FCC this week that it thought the chairman's new, app-based, set-top proposal "represents a vital opportunity to unleash robust competition in the market for video navigation devices."

TiVo argued that the FCC had largely adopted the proposal of MVPDs--they don't quite see it that way--and told the FCC it should not delay and "push forward" with the proposal.

The FCC's agenda for the Sept. 29 public meeting shows that a vote is still planned on the Wheeler proposal.

TiVo agrees with Wheeler that claims that the new proposal creates a compulsory copyright license are misguided.

The company is also all for the FCC overseeing app license contracts to insure navigation device competition, which was its direction  from Congress.

"[T]he Commission must retain oversight to ensure a competitive market for navigation devices, and any FCC actions designed to ensure that competitive devices are not discriminated against must trump private agreements between MVPDs and programmers."

Wheeler did put it quite that way, but he has said that the FCC needed to be able to make sure that licensing agreements weren't anticompetitive. 

"Obviously, there cannot be true competition if the rules of the road are determined entirely by the two dominant players in the market—MVPDs and programmers—without any FCC oversight," TiVo said.

The company said it continued to support an exemption for small cable operators.