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FCC intervenes to open up US set-top box market

TV Connect (26th - 28th April 2016 ExCeL, London)

TV Connect (26th – 28th April 2016 ExCeL, London)

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a proposal that paves the way for software, devices, and other innovative solutions to compete with the set-top boxes currently leased by pay-TV providers.  

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will create a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers, and app developers the information they need to develop new technologies, reflecting the many ways consumers access their subscription video programming today.

99% of pay-TV subscribers have limited choices today and lease set-top boxes from their cable and satellite operators.  Lack of competition has meant few choices and high prices for consumers – on average, $231 in rental fees annually for the average American household.

Altogether, US consumers spend $20 billion a year to lease these devices.  Since 1994, according to a recent analysis, the cost of cable set-top boxes has risen 185 percent while the cost of computers, televisions, and mobile phones has dropped by 90 percent.

Bob Greene (Managing Director, Liberty Global) will be discussing ’TV as an App, what does it mean for the industry?’ at this year’s TV Connect (26th – 28th April 2016 ExCeL, London)

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