Earlier this year, Local TV station started to ask the FCC to turn streaming services into cable TV companies. Local TV stations owners formed a new Coalition for Local News to push the FCC to force cord cutting services to be treated like cable TV companies. If the FCC agrees to change the rules, it would force YouTube TV, Hulu, Fubo, and more to strike deals directly with the owners of local TV station owners instead of the big networks.
Now, Fubo CEO David Gandler will speak in front of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee’s “Lights, Camera, Subscriptions: State of Video Marketplace” hearing. Fubo will push back against demands that it and other streaming services be turned into cable TV companies and be more regulated by the FCC.
This comes as the Coalition, made up of 600 local TV stations owned by groups like Nexstar, last week put out a new statement to demand change to how the FCC regulates live TV streaming services. To fight this effort, YouTube TV, Fubo, Vidgo, Roku, Paramount, Disney, NBCUniversal, and more have come together to create a coalition called Preserve Viewer Choice to stop this move.
Streaming services and others are hoping congress will join them in pushing back against the demand of local owners to turn them into cable TV companies.
This fight is putting local TV station owners like Nexstar at odds with network owners like Disney’s ABC and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. Right now ABC and NBC can make contracts covering all of their local TV stations even the ones they don’t own for streaming services like YouTube TV. If local TV stations win, it would dramatically change how the FCC regulates live TV streaming services. It would also force them to negotiate directly with the owners of local TV stations like Nexstar. If that change happens, Fubo, Hulu, and others wouldn’t be able to strike deals directly with Paramount for all CBS stations, for example. Instead, they will need to go to each individual owner of each local TV station. This is what cable TV companies have to do, and it is what live TV streaming services may have to do soon.
For now, it looks like local station owners are ready for a long fight to get what they believe will be a better deal for them when it comes to negotiations with streaming services.