TV-over-Internet company Aereo, shut down this summer by a Supreme Court decision, may still pull victory from the jaws of defeat. As was rumored last month, the FCC may be its savior.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler published a blog post today saying that Aereo, and other “linear channels” of online programming, should be allowed to negotiate for programming just like cable companies. Just like satellite companies needed regulatory change in order to be allowed to compete in 1992, Internet video providers should be able to negotiate on the same terms, he wrote.
While Wheeler writes that “Aereo visited the commission to make exactly this point,” he emphasizes that this isn’t a rule that would be for just one company. Dish, Sony, Verizon, and DirecTV have all showed interest in offering preprogrammed content online, he noted; CBS and HBO, which recently announced it would offer online-only service, may well join in. Wheeler wrote, in part:
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