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AMC warns of increased programming costs if FCC enacts MVPD reform

AMC Networks warned the Federal Communications Commission that reclassifying certain over the top services as cable services, would raise programming costs and do little to help online video distributors.

The cable network company, which offers pay TV services channels that include The Walking Dead and Humans in the programming lineup, is the latest company to weigh in on a proposal FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has promised to move this fall.

Since the proposed rule would require AMC to make The Walking Dead available to over the top Internet services the same way it makes it available to Comcast, DirecTV, AMC would have to acquire the digital distribution rights from the studio, AMC argued in an ex parte released Tuesday.

Those rights may not even be available, and if they were, the rights could get expensive, AMC explained.

“Requiring programmers to purchase online distribution rights in all cases may lead to increased programming costs, especially due to the increased leverage content holders will have in negotiations with affected programmers,” AMC wrote.

Comments are picking up on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal, stoking the debate on Wheeler’s proposal to apply cable regulations to over the top services that provide linear programming. Recently, the nation’s largest OVDs made a visit to the FCC describing a growing sector that isn’t in need of new FCC-imposed regulations while it experiments with new programming options to offer consumers.