FCC Republican commissioners fuming over agency's latest 'Video Competition Report'

The Republican wing of the FCC released a terse statement, lashing out at a decision to not include their input in the agency's latest "Video Competition Report."

"Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by this move to sneak out the door on a Friday afternoon 117 pages of rationalizations for the Commission's various ill-advised attempts to micromanage a market that is objectively more vibrant and competitive than at any time in history," said a statement released by Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly.

"After all, the last two Wireless Competition Reports met the same fate," the commissioners added. "It's bad enough that our input on circulated and meeting items is typically ignored, but this disturbing trend of skipping the Eighth Floor entirely must be reversed, and is worthy of Congressional attention."

In 16 previous Video Competition Reports, the FCC's Media Bureau has sent the document to the agency's five-member Commission for review. That apparently didn't happen this time, as the report was released late on a Friday, amid FCC plans to revamp regulation on pay-TV set-tops and other issues affecting MVPDs.

"Who's afraid of a commission vote?" the commissioners said in statement late Friday. "Charged by Congress in 1992 with the duty to provide an annual report on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming, the commission today, for the first time, punts this responsibility to the Media Bureau instead of bringing the proposed report to the commissioners for a vote, as has occurred 16 times in the past," the statement added. 

As for the report itself, if found that from 2013 to 2014, pay-TV households dropped from 101.7 million to 101.6 million. Cable video customers specifically dropped from 55.1 million to 53.7 million. 

For more:
- read the FCC's 17th Annual Video Competition Report
- read this Inside Sources post

Related articles:
MVPD business shrinks as OTA usage increases, FCC report finds
Charter-TWC merger reportedly passes FCC vote; Pai votes no

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