According to the Hollywood Reporter, on Tuesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a blog post indicating that the FCC is considering a rule making proceeding to revise the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) to include online video providers. Wheeler mentioned that he hopes to update the definition to be technology neutral. Extending the definition to online video providers would force broadcasters to enter into retransmission agreements with these entities. Currently, MVPDs distribute programming either because the broadcaster has invoked its must-carry rights, or the broadcaster and the MVPD have negotiated a retransmission agreement. While, the announcement is not a complete surprise, as the FCC has been considering this change for several years (since the family oriented Sky Angel service moved online), its release quickly follows the grant of a preliminary injunction against Aereo. Ultimately, this proposed revision could have radical implications, and may give companies like Aereo, new life.
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