Extension of Time for Comments on Whether an Internet Delivered Video Service Is an MVPD Under the Communications Act

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

As we wrote last month, the Commission has asked for public comment on whether an Internet delivered video programming service can qualify under the FCC rules and the Communications Act to be treated as a multichannel video programming distributor (an "MVPD").  While the FCC has in the past determined that an MVPD needs to have facilities associated with its programming service (like a cable or satellite delivered system), it asks if that is indeed required under the definitions in the Act.  If the FCC were to determine that Internet video services were to qualify, all sorts of issues would arise - including whether these video services can get access to cable network programming and even whether they have to observe must carry and retransmission consent obligations of broadcasters.  The potential importance of this issue was the talk of the NAB Convention (see this article in TV NewsCheck) and, because of its potential importance to broadcasters, the NAB requested more time to respond to the request for comments.  The FCC partially granted that request - extending the comment deadline to May 14.  Replies are now due on June 13.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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