on 23 May 2012
Under the FCC’s existing rules for TV distributors, networks are required to sell their programming to any “multichannel video programming distributor” (MVPD) that wants to air it — which include cable and satellite companies with physical transmission lines like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Internet TV providers, which do not posses their own physical transmission infrastructure, provide their services “over the top” of traditional cable networks. Since providers like Hulu and Netflix are not classified as MVPDs, they must negotiate deals with networks to provide content over the internet, and often lag behind cable providers with content offerings. If the FCC expanded its definition of MVPDs to include internet TV providers, networks like NBC and CBS would be required to sell them content.