US Senator plans online video boost

Democratic Senator Jay D Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Commerce Committee, is introducing a bill designed to boost the prospects of OTT video services that are trying to compete against established pay-television distributors.

The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act seeks to replicate for OTT players what the 1992 Cable Act did for the satellite television industry by making sure it has access to programming.

“Evidence is growing that some traditional media and broadband companies are attempting to discourage the growth of online video platforms through various anti-competitive practices,” noted an announcement setting out Rockefeller’s bill.

My legislation aims to enable the ultimate à la carte – to give consumers the ability to watch the programming they want to watch, when they want to watch it, how they want to watch it, and pay only for what they actually watch,” he said.

The bill specifically seeks to prohibit big media companies from refusing to sell content to OTT services bys of putting “reasonable limits on the use of contractual provisions in video programming carriage contracts that harm the growth of online video competition,” according to its provisions.

I strongly believe that my legislation will help foster a consumer-centric revolution in the video marketplace,” declared Rockefeller.

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