AT&T to FCC: AllVid would destroy carefully orchestrated channel placement agreements

AT&T (NYSE: T) told the FCC that backers of the controversial AllVid video technology standard have no intention of maintaining carefully orchestrated agreements worked out between pay-TV operators and programmers as to which channels go where on user interface grids.

"Such agreements," AT&T said in an ex parte filing that followed a face-to-face meeting with FCC officials earlier this week, "can include terms that require MPVDs to put the programmer's news channel in the same neighborhood with other news channels, or keep all the programmer's branded channels together."

"These are not standardized terms," AT&T added. "Each programming agreement is negotiated business-to-business and is often updated and expanded every few years to address new products, new usages, new content security threats, and new devices."

AllVid's advocates, the U-verse and DirecTV operator noted, "have proclaimed that they have no intention to be bound by the foregoing programming agreements. As a result, if the commission were to adopt some form of AllVid and AllVid advocates then followed through on their proclamations, the extraordinary vitality of today's video ecosystem would be threatened."

AllVid is one of several proposals put forth by the FCC's Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC), which was set up amid Congressional mandate last year to find a new technology that would enable retail set-top devices to work in the pay-TV ecosystem.

Led by the NCTA, the cable industry is lobbying hard against the adoption of AllVid, which would place some sort of yet-to-be-developed, government-mandated device in between the cable headend and a retail set-top. The device would essentially decode the encrypted cable signal for the retail device.

For more:
- read this AT&T ex parte filing

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