FCC Commences Inquiry to Examine Video Diversity

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The FCC has commenced an inquiry to examine the obstacles faced by independent video programmers in gaining access to customers and possible actions the Commission could take to enhance video diversity. Specifically, the inquiry focuses on all types of independent programmers, including small programmers and new entrants. The Commission seeks comment on the state of the video marketplace, including how such factors as type of carriage (MVPD or over-the-top), MVPD affiliation; and programmer size impact the ability of independent programmers to gain access to MVPD platforms. The inquiry also seeks to examine the effect of contractual provisions, such as most favored nations clauses and restrictions on alternative distribution methods, as well as MVPD and programmer bundling practices, on the ability of independent programmers to compete effectively with affiliated programming services. The inquiry also seeks recommendations on possible regulatory tools the Commission could employ to address market obstacles faced by independent programmers.

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