cable set-top box reform forward to public comment through a notice of proposed rulemaking and to move forward with a notice of inquiry designed to take a close look at the barriers to distribution that independent and diverse video programming producers face on cable systems and online.
Said Alex Nogales, president & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition:
“At the heart of each item considered by the FCC today is a simple proposition: pay-TV companies must be responsive to their customers, particularly those who have been historically underserved. Consumers typically want choice, innovation, lower prices, and content that meets their needs. By moving to open up the set-top box market to competition and take the first step towards exploring barriers faced by diverse content creators, the FCC is examining two critical pain points faced by consumers and video programmers alike.
“We hope that the two proceedings launched by the FCC today will ultimately result in better representation in the media for people of color and that representation matters—for recognition of hard work and talent, for combating negative stereotypes in our public discourse, and for the next generation of our future leaders. We also hope that the set-top box item will help make communications and video services more affordable for consumers.
“Communities of color have long experienced barriers to both producing and consuming diverse, culturally relevant content. We thank Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Clyburn, and Commissioner Rosenworcel for their favorable votes and strong statements of support today.”
The National Hispanic Media Coalition, along with several other public interest groups, wrote a letter to the FCC supporting cable box reform.
Currently, it is incredibly difficult for consumers to purchase a cable box or access the cable programming that they pay for on another device. As a result, 99 percent of consumers rent a box from their cable company–with these needless and never-ending rental fees costing consumers nearly $20 billion dollars per year. Moreover, the content that consumers may wish to access is often difficult to find and locked into the cable company’s often antiquated user interface.
For interviews, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or Christina@balestramedia.com