FCC majority votes to label linear OTT operators as MVPDs, report says

The three Democratic FCC commissioners have voted to approve a proposal that would give OTT-based providers of linear programming the MVPD status they need to license programming.

Citing unnamed sources, Multichannel News says "yes" votes by Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, and Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, give the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) the majority it needs to pass.

The two Republican commissioners still have the opportunity to make edits or vote yes. If they do nothing, the NPRM becomes a rule.

The proposal seeks to define OTT providers that deliver linear program streams as multichannel video providers, and thus entitled to content licensing under the FCC's program access rules. The rule wouldn't apply to on-demand suppliers like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), but would pertain to companies like FilmOn, which are trying to create virtual services based on live broadcast programming.

Speaking to FierceOnlineVideo in November about his company's arduous court fight to obtain MVPD status, FilmOn founder and CEO Alki David noted that FilmOn's case "would be favorable to all courts if the FCC recognizes us."

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
FilmOn CEO: FCC 'extremely positive' toward virtual MVPDs, Aereo's subscriber numbers 'really pitiful'
FCC officially proposes pay-TV status for linear OTT services
Cord maybes: Pay-TV chases millennials with OTT services, but success is hardly guaranteed

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