The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a proposal to make internet TV providers have the same privileges as cable and satellite services. Currently, internet TV services are not held in the same fashion as satellite and cable services, meaning network programmers can simply deny service, and sue those services. This is what happened to Aereo when it declared it would become a cable service, Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC continued to sue until the company filed for bankruptcy.
The new proposal will not change the rules for on-demand services, but other live TV services like Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Dish Network’s internet TV service, both coming soon. Having these new rules in place will stop the bombardment of lawsuits against internet TV services trying to show live TV, and also make cord-cutters have a lot more available channels.
The move comes as HBO, CBS and other network programmers start to make internet only subscription services, to compete with Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. The on-demand services offer stockpiles of all TV shows, and update regularly. It is unclear how many network programmers will work with internet TV services, if the FCC manages to get the new proposal into law. Some of the network programmers have interests in keeping the cable business alive, since it draws in more profit per customer than the internet.
The FCC will vote on the proposal some time in 2015. This year looks to be the most hectic for the commission, with decisions on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV mergers, and the net neutrality ruling.
U.S. citizens can comment on the current proposal for internet TV, alongside organizations. FCC will close the commenting once it starts the vote.