#67: Killing the Cable Box

April 25, 2016

The FCC wants to “unlock” the cable box. But shouldn’t the agency be helping to kill the box? The FCC recently proposed rules that would force cable, satellite, and telco video providers to make their programming accessible through third-party apps. Sure, it sounds great in theory, but the proposal poses serious concerns around privacy, piracy, and the way that independent and minority-owned programmers present their content. Moreover, the video industry is already moving away from clunky, costly boxes and offering programming through their own apps on devices like Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast. Just last week, Comcast announced that its entire X1 interface would be available through an app. In the Golden Age of Television, what exactly is the FCC trying to solve? Is having too many apps and remotes really a national emergency? For more, see our press release and comments, which explains why the FCC’s proposal is doomed to fail in court.

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