Ever since its beginning, the idea of IPTV has generated confusion. I recall vividly from the early days of iptv uk, the struggle of instructing programmers that IPTV wasn’t delivering video on the Internet. The expression continues to create confusion. Many people liken OTT suppliers such as Netflix and Hulu to IPTV suppliers, but some have a more strict definition which includes providing multichannel video services within a closed IP network. I have a tendency to specify it as the latter, however…
… the lines are getting very fuzzy and truth be told, there’s absolutely no official definition of IPTV supplier. This brings us to an intriguing proceeding happening in the FCC. They simply issued a notice requesting comments on the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD). MVPD is the FCC’s official definition of exactly what most people have come to see as a cable MSO. The development of iptv uk and its own inability to fit neatly within this respect is creating a few problems.
This FCC action stems from a criticism by Sky Angel, which delivers a package of ‘family friendly’ programming at a traditional OTT fashion. Customers receive this programming onto a set-top-box that’s linked to the Internet. Distribution of Sky Angel’s programming is delivered through the open Internet. Sky Angel is pushing the envelope of OTT, since they flow conventional linear stations such as the NFL Network, the Hallmark Channel, and the Weather Channel, amongst others.
Sky Angel also staged several Discovery Stations over the Internet, and Discovery took place with this, notifying Sky Angel that they were going to finish their affiliation agreement. That led Sky Angel to file a complaint with the FCC, stating Discovery was improperly targeting them, mentioning, in their opinion, their standing within an MVPD, subject to specific FCC rules. To put it differently, Sky Angel asserts Discovery doesn’t have right to complete their affiliation agreement.