An appeals court has struck down a rule issued by the US telecommunications regulator to allow customers to watch cable and satellite TV on “plug and play” televisions, replacing set top boxes.
Dish Network Corp objected to the rule because it included prescriptions on encrypting programming that prevented Dish and others from, for example, making deals with studios to play new movies on a pay-per-view basis. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the rule issued by the Federal Communications Commission in 2003 that had been drafted by the cable companies.
The FCC rule – called the “plug and play” order – set standards that allowed people to buy televisions that could plug into cable and satellite networks without using a set-top box. Dish argued that the FCC lacked authority to impose the standards on satellite providers. The court agreed.