TiVo, Public Knowledge Recognize Smaller MVPDs Warrant Relief From FCC’s Proposed Set-Top Box Regs

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement in response to filings by TiVo and Public Knowledge in the Federal Communications Commission’s set-top box proceeding, where each of these proponents for the proposed set-top box requirements recognizes that smaller MVPDs would face unique compliance challenges and therefore warrant relief from imposition of the rules:

“The FCC’s set-top box proposal would have a devastating impact on smaller multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), driving many out of the traditional video business and causing others to raise customer rates significantly. ACA accordingly urged the FCC to terminate its rulemaking without adopting new rules. If the FCC nevertheless moves forward, ACA urged the agency not to apply its proposed regulations to smaller providers.

“Other groups representing smaller MVPDs also supported such relief in submitted comments, including NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and WTA-Advocates for Rural Broadband.

“ACA is heartened that TiVo and Public Knowledge — both outspoken proponents of the FCC’s proposal — also recognize that smaller MVPDs could be disproportionately burdened. In its comments, TiVo supported exempting MVPDs with one million or fewer subscribers from the proposed requirements. Public Knowledge, in its comments, expressly stated no objection to giving smaller operators extra time to determine how best to comply or greater flexibility with respect to compliance. Other key proponents also raised no objections.

“ACA believes TiVo and Public Knowledge’s stance sends a strong signal to the FCC that, if it moves forward with its proposal, relief for smaller MVPDs is justified.”