FCC 'fixes' CableCARD to cable, electronics' satisfaction-and TiVo too

While a cynic might take a wait-and-see attitude, initial reaction to the FCC's CableCARDs ruling seems to indicate that the Commission done good by both cable and consumer electronics. The FCC press release said its new rules remedied "the CableCARD regime's shortcomings" by ensuring that devices have access to all prescheduled video programming; are transparently priced; have streamlined installations that encourage self-installation; and are streamlined for manufacturers that build the devices.

"We agree with the Commission that implementing these changes ... will assist customers who use retail devices that rely on CableCARDs," NCTA President-CEO Kyle McSlarrow said in a statement while Matt Polka, president-CEO of the American Cable Association called the action "laudable" and said it "puts the country on the right path and deserves broad support from industry and consumers."

The Consumer Electronics Association was similarly happy. "We have felt like Lucy holding the football with every cable industry failure to support competition in the set-top box marketplace," said CEA President-CEO Gary Shapiro. "With today's FCC action consumers may finally come to realize the benefits of competition in the marketplace for devices that attach to pay TV provider networks."

Even TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) swallowed some of its angst to chime in with support for the ruling while pledging to work to "create in the video navigation device market the same environment for innovation and service that characterizes the market for computers and smartphones," according to SVP-General Counsel Matthew Zinn.

For more:
- see this statement
- and this news release
- and this news release
- and this news release

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