FCC pushes #unlockthebox marketing campaign to repair cable TV

FCC pushes #unlockthebox campaign to fix cable TV

Cable TV has many points that frustrate its clients — channel bundles, poor customer support, excessive costs and extra — however so lots of them monitor again on to its antiquated and troublesome set-prime packing containers. Because it has for a few years, the FCC is once more pushing for modifications to the normal mannequin, and Chairman Tom Wheeler laid out the factors for his plan (PDF), together with an op-ed on Re/code, earlier immediately. We laid out the problems and what the FCC is making an attempt to do earlier, however what’s clear now’s that after years of pushing AllVid with little to point out for it, the company is making an attempt a brand new tack.

ninety nine% of pay-TV subscribers are chained to their set-prime packing containers as a result of cable and satellite tv for pc operators have locked up the market. #UnlockTheBox

— The FCC (@FCC) January 27, 2016

It has a hashtag “#unlockthebox” and is specializing in the $20 billion per yr shoppers spend to lease cable packing containers that nobody actually likes. Briefly, it is clearly discovered from the John Oliver impact on internet neutrality, and is making an attempt to recreate that on the subject of cable TV. As methods, it is one I can get behind, and the motion might truly profit everybody.

FCC pushes #unlockthebox campaign to fix cable TV

The one actual various to a cable DVR (whereas sustaining cable) is a TiVo, and I do not assume anybody believes that product has developed as shortly as different set-prime packing containers (Roku, Hearth TV, Apple TV) over the previous few years. From the cable aspect I’ve tried Comcast’s X1 platform, which has some good parts however continues to be terribly sluggish, and contains a have to reboot itself each single night time. At this level, any competitors can be welcome, and could be sufficient to maintain clients from ditching pay-TV altogether.

FCC pushes #unlockthebox campaign to fix cable TV

Time Warner Cable already dipped its toe in by providing a Roku field and repair to subscribers, however that is only a begin. Cable TV must be obtainable as an app on the Xbox One and PS4 proper subsequent to PlayStation Vue and Sling TV, however it is not. That might be an awesome choice to have versus Comcast merely pushing easy video games to already overburdened TV bins, and if these modifications are made, it might occur.

The pay-TV enterprise is in a wierd place proper now as twine-cutters and rope-nevers develop in quantity. Wheeler famous that in 2007 the FCC opened up wi-fi networks to non-service-offered units, and issues exploded. Can the identical occur for TV? We deserve to seek out out, and if the FCC can sustain the strain on gatekeeper TV corporations which were sluggish-reacting during the last decade, perhaps we’ll truly discover out. The fee will vote on this discover throughout its assembly on February 18th at 1PM ET — see you then.

[Image credit: Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Comcast]