The Future of TV Coalition About The Issue

About The Issue

1. What is the Future of TV Coalition?

We are a diverse coalition of programmers, content creators, television providers, and non-profit organizations advocating for policies that will support innovation and diversity in the video marketplace. We embrace the apps-driven innovation that is giving viewers unprecedented choices for high-quality, diverse programming available on an expanding universe of devices and services.  We oppose the destructive set-top box mandate being considered at the FCC that would slow down this torrent of innovation, weaken viewers’ privacy protections, and drive up consumer bills.

2. What is AllVid?

AllVid is a technology mandate that would allow companies to poach programming from TV providers and repackage it into their own products and services without negotiating or paying for the rights – driving up consumer bills, threatening diverse and independent networks, and eroding viewer privacy protections.  AllVid was first considered and rejected by President Obama’s first FCC Chairman in 2010, but now a coalition led by Google is once again pressuring the FCC to pass a “competitive navigation” rule that is fundamentally the same as AllVid.

3. Will this set-top box mandate create more competition and choice for TV?

No.  The proposed mandate wouldn’t give you access to any programming that is not already available in your home. And a federal mandate clearly is not needed to bring choice to a market that is brimming with unprecedented innovation and consumer choice. The video marketplace is evolving rapidly and now offers digital apps that allow viewers to access their entire television package without a set-top box; app-based services like Amazon and Netflix that compete with traditional providers; dedicated streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV; and standalone apps from networks such as CBS and HBO and major sports leagues that do not require a traditional pay-TV subscription at all.

4. Why do TV networks and programmers oppose the set-top box mandate?

This mandate would let tech companies poach TV programming without negotiating or paying for the rights, and without having to abide by the terms of the carriage agreements that set vital terms like advertising, channel placement, on-demand rights, and anti-piracy protections. Without enforceable agreements on these points, programmers would have difficulty reaching viewers or funding production of new shows, and quality programming would be reduced.

5. Why do minority programmers, lawmakers, and advocates oppose this mandate?

Small, independent, and diverse networks are particularly vulnerable to this proposed mandate because they lack the scale and resources to absorb the revenue losses, channel dislocation, and other harms that it would cause. As Alfred Liggins, the CEO of TV One, recently explained, this proposed mandate will allow the tech giants to engage in “digital ‘redlining’ that could bury diversity programming in the farthest reaches of the program guide.”

6. Will this mandate let me watch TV without an in-home box?

No.  Industry technical experts have pointed out that customers would need to lease and install additional hardware from their TV providers in order to take advantage of the new retail devices this mandate would enable – resulting in more in-home boxes, not fewer. Even Public Knowledge, a Google-backed advocacy group leading the fight for this mandate, has admitted the proposal will require new hardware in customers’ homes. Instead of encouraging and accelerating the transition to apps-based video delivery, this mandate would turn back the clock and put a government-approved adapter box back in every customer’s house.

7. What can I do to help stop this federal TV mandate?

Sign the petition to tell the FCC you support innovation and diversity on television, and oppose any destructive federal technology mandates that will raise costs, erode privacy protections, and threaten the future of television.


What People Are Saying About the FCC’s Set-Top Box Mandate

The Future of TV Coalition

What the FCC’s Mandate Means for Consumers

A Threat to Our Privacy

Silencing Diverse Voices on TV

Myths vs. Realities: Correcting the Record in the Set-Top Box Debate 

Voices Challenging the FCC’s Proposed Set-Top Box Mandate 

Letters from Members of Congress to the FCC

Sen. Heller, sent September 28, 2016 

Rep. H. Johnson, sent September 27, 2016 

Rep. Cardenas et al (63 signers), sent September 22, 2016 

Sen. Feinstein, sent September 21, 2016 

Sen. Cornyn, sent September 20, 2016 

Rep. Scalise, sent July 26, 2016 

Rep. Hoyer, sent July 14, 2016 

Sen. Stabenow, sent July 8, 2016 

Rep. DelBene et al (11 signers), sent June 15, 2016 

Sen. Reid, sent June 14, 2016 

Sen. McConnell, sent June 10, 2016 

Rep. Kilmer, sent May 27, 2016 

Sen. Daines, Sen. Tester et al (10 signers), sent May 26, 2016 

Sen. Leahy, sent May 26, 2016 

Sen. Feinstein, sent May 25, 2016 

Sen. Shaheen & Sen. Portman, sent May 23, 2016 

Senate and House Homeland Security Committees, sent May 23, 2016 

Sen. Grassley, sent May 23, 2016 

Rep. Degette & Rep. Barton, sent May 11, 2016 

Rep. H. Johnson, sent May 6, 2016 

Rep. Cramer, Rep. Schrader et al (60 signers), sent May 5, 2016 

House Judiciary Committee, sent April 29, 2016 

Sen, Thune, sent April 22, 2016 

Rep. Vargas & Rep. Delaney, sent April 22, 2016 

Rep. Clarke, Rep. Green et al (55 signers), sent April 22, 2016 

Rep. Collins, Rep. Deutch et al (23 signers), sent April 22, 2016 

Rep. Issa, sent April 22, 2016 

Rep. Kind, sent April 21, 2016 

Rep. Cardenas et al (25 signers), sent February 16, 2016 

Rep. Collins, Rep. Chu et al (5 signers), sent February 16, 2016 

Rep. Marino & Rep. Deutch, sent February 12, 2016 

Sen. Nelson, sent February 12, 2016 

Congressional Black Caucus (30 signers), sent December 1, 2015