[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 79 (Monday, April 27, 2009)]
[Pages 19085-19091]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-9550]



[MB Docket 07-269; FCC 09-32]

Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for 
the Delivery of Video Programming

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Commission is required to report annually to Congress on 
the status of competition in markets for the delivery of video 
programming. On January 16, 2009, the Commission released a Notice of 
Inquiry requesting data as of June 30, 2007. This document is a 
Supplemental Notice of Inquiry that solicits additional information 
from the public to ensure that the next report to Congress includes 
information as of June 30, 2008, and June 30, 2009. The Commission 
intends to bring its reporting up to date and submit a single report to 
Congress covering 2007, 2008, and 2009. We will use comments and data 
submitted by parties in conjunction with publicly available information 
and filings submitted in relevant Commission proceedings.

DATES: Interested parties may file comments for data through June 30, 
2008, on or before May 20, 2009, and reply comments on or before June 
20, 2009. Comments for data through June 30, 2009 information are due 
on or before July 29, 2009, and reply comments are due on or before 
August 28, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MB 07-269, by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional

[[Page 19086]]

information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dana Scherer, Media Bureau, (202) 418-
2127, or by e-mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a synopsis of the Commission's 
Supplemental Notice of Inquiry (``Supplemental Notice'') in MB Docket 
No. 07-269, FCC 09-32, adopted on April 8, 2009, and released on April 
9, 2009. The complete text of this Supplemental Notice is available for 
inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC's 
Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, Portals II, 445 Twelfth 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text is also available 
on the Commission's Internet Site at http://www.fcc.gov. Alternative 
formats are available to persons with disabilities by contacting Brian 
Millin at (202) 418-7426 or TTY (202) 418-7365. The complete text of 
the Supplemental Notice may also be purchased from the Commission's 
duplicating contractor, Best Company and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 
445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 
(202) 863-2893, facsimile (202) 863-2898, or by e-mail [email protected], 
or via its Web site http://www.bcpiweb.com.

Synopsis of Supplemental Notice of Inquiry

    1. Section 628(g) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 
directs the Commission to report to Congress annually on the status of 
competition in the market for the delivery of video programming. See 
Public Law 102-385, 106 Stat 1460 (1992). The Supplemental Notice of 
Inquiry (``Supplemental Notice'') solicits additional data, comment, 
and analysis for the Commission's 14th annual report to Congress. On 
January 16, 2009, the Commission released a Notice of Inquiry 
(``Notice'') seeking information, comments, and analyses that will 
allow us to evaluate the status of competition in the video 
marketplace, changes in the marketplace, prospects for new entrants, 
factors that have facilitated or impeded competition, and the effect 
these factors are having on consumers' access to video programming. See 
Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the 
Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 07-269, Notice of Inquiry, 
24 FCC Rcd 750 (2009), 74 FR 6875 (Feb. 11, 2009) (``Notice''). The 
Notice requested data as of June 30, 2007. By this Supplemental Notice, 
we request additional information to ensure that the 14th Annual Report 
includes information as of June 30, 2008, and June 30, 2009.
    2. We seek updated information and comment on the questions and 
issues raised in the Notice. Where possible, we request data as of June 
30, 2008, and June 30, 2009. Commenters should provide all of the 
information called for by the Notice, as well as the additional 
information described in the Supplemental Notice. As detailed in the 
Notice, we ask commenters to provide data on video programming 
distributors, including: (1) Cable systems; (2) direct-to-home 
satellite services, including direct broadcast satellite (``DBS'') 
services and large home satellite dish (``C-Band'') providers; (3) 
other wireline providers, including local exchange carriers (``LECs''), 
broadband service providers (``BSPs''), open video systems (``OVS''), 
and utility-operated systems; (4) over-the-air broadcast television 
stations; (5) other wireless service providers, including commercial 
mobile radio services (``CMRS'') as well as wireless cable systems 
using frequencies in the broadband radio and educational broadband 
services; (6) private cable operators (``PCO'' systems), also known as 
satellite master antenna television (``SMATV'') systems; and (7) the 
Internet and Internet Protocol (``IP'') networks.

Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming

Head to Head Competition

    3. We seek data and comment regarding consumers' choices for access 
to video programming and how these choices have changed since June 30, 
2007. Consumers generally have access to over-the-air broadcast 
television, a cable system, and at least two DBS providers. In some 
areas, consumers have access to video services provided by a second 
cable system, often operated by a company considered a LEC or BSP. In 
addition, some consumers have access to multichannel video programming 
through an emerging technology, such as digital broadcast spectrum and 
video over the Internet. What changes have occurred since June 30, 
2007, with respect to the number and types of video delivery services 
available to consumers? To continue to report on market trends, we seek 
data on the number of subscribers and market share for each 
multichannel video programming distributor (``MVPD''), as of June 30, 
2008, and June 30, 2009.
    4. Since 2007, there have been a number of changes in the market 
for the delivery of video programming to consumers, including the 
expansion of the areas where Verizon and AT&T compete with incumbent 
cable operators and an increase in the amount of video programming 
distributed over the Internet. Thus, we seek data and comment that will 
enable us to evaluate changes in competition in the video distribution 
marketplace on an annual basis since June 30, 2007. In particular, we 
request comment on incumbent MVPDs' responses to the entry of 
competitive alternatives for the delivery of video programming. Are 
incumbent MVPDs modifying their programming services or pricing 
policies in response to the entry of competing video providers? What 
changes have occurred with respect to program offerings and the pricing 
of contracts, including introductory discounts and cancellation 
penalties, as a result of competition among MVPDs? How does customer 
service impact the competitive dynamics among MVPDs? Is customer 
service a factor in subscribers' choices among MVPDs? What other 
factors affect consumers' decisions to subscribe to one MVPD rather 
than another?

Impact of Regulatory Environment and Barriers to Entry

    5. We seek comment on the effect of recent Commission regulatory 
actions and their effect on competition. We also seek comment on 
Commission actions that have taken place since the Notice was adopted. 
To what extent have these actions affected competitive entry into the 
video marketplace? We note that a number of states have continued to 
enact franchising reform laws since the adoption of the Notice. How 
have these state laws facilitated or otherwise changed the prospects 
for new entrants into the field? We request information regarding the 
impact of new franchising requirements.

Impact of Economic Environment on Video Programming Services

    6. Access to Capital and Investment: We seek comment on the impact 
of the current economic environment and its effect on access to capital 
on the market for the delivery of video programming. How have the 
economy, lending environment, and debt structures of media companies 
affected broadcasters' and MVPDs' ability to invest in new technologies 
and programming services? What effect does the current economic climate 
have on broadcasters' operations, especially their ability to provide 
local programming? Has the nationwide lack of access to financial 
resources slowed down MVPDs' capital investment and deployment of 
programming and/or services, including local programming? What impact 

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financial difficulties have on MVPDs', broadcasters', and programmers' 
short-term and long-term economic and strategic decisions?
    7. In previous reports, we have observed that cable operators, in 
particular, have invested significant capital upgrading their systems 
and adding new video and non-video services. Are cable operators and 
other MVPDs continuing to invest in system upgrades and service 
improvements? What effect has the recent economic climate had on cable 
operators' and other MVPDs' investments or plans to provide additional 
video and non-video services to their customers?
    8. Access to Revenues and Investment: Broadcast stations and 
networks, non-broadcast networks, MVPDs, and Internet sites all derive 
revenue by selling time or space to advertisers, but some are more 
dependent on advertising revenue than others. We seek comment on 
whether shifts in advertising shares among media represent permanent, 
structural changes within the video distribution industries or 
temporary changes due to the cyclical nature of advertising and 
challenging economic conditions. How do the shifts impact program 
distributors' ability to invest in programming and new technology?

Digital Television

    9. Since June 30, 2007, broadcasters have been transitioning from 
analog to digital broadcasting formats. In addition, MVPDs have 
increased the number of broadcast stations they carry in standard 
definition (``SD'') and high-definition (``HD'') formats as well as the 
number of non-broadcast networks they carry in HD. The DTV Delay Act, 
enacted on February 11, 2009, extended the date for the nationwide 
digital television (``DTV'') transition from February 17, 2009, to June 
12, 2009. See DTV Delay Act, Pub. L. 111-4, 123 Stat. 112 (2009) (to be 
codified at 47 U.S.C. 309 (j)(14) and 337(e)). We seek comment on the 
impact of the digital television transition on consumers, broadcast 
stations, and MVPDs. What has been the competitive impact on stations 
that have already ceased analog broadcasting? To what extent has the 
digital transition affected the number of households that subscribe to 
    10. How has the availability of national and local programming in 
HD formats affected the competitive dynamics between DBS, cable 
operators, LECs, and other MVPDs? How do MVPDs package and price HDTV 
programming? How many HDTV sets are sold each year and what percentage 
of TV set sales do they represent? What percentage of set sales has 
built-in ATSC tuners and what percentage is pure monitors? Does the 
availability of HDTV programming drive sales of sets, or vice-versa?
    11. How many television stations broadcast in HD, and what 
percentage of the programming day is offered in HD? Of those, how many 
are carried by MVPDs? Are network affiliates more likely to be carried 
in HD than unaffiliated stations? With respect to DBS operators, what 
percent of the broadcast stations carried in HD in a given market are 
carried pursuant to satellite ``must carry'' (carry-one, carry-all)? In 
what markets do MVPDs carry all stations in HD and not just those with 
major network affiliations? Does the availability of HDTV programming 
affect retransmission consent negotiations? We seek data and 
information on the non-broadcast networks and broadcast stations that 
cable operators offer in high-definition. What effect does the carriage 
of HD programming have on the bandwidth capacity of MVPDs? Are there 
differences among MVPDs in the quality of HD programming delivered to 
consumers? If so, have these differences had an effect on competition? 
Is the quality of HD programming an important competitive factor? How 
much capacity do MPVDs devote to HDTV programming, either as video-on-
demand (``VOD'') or as linear channels? We seek information about the 
extent to which broadcast stations offer multicast streams of digital 
programming, the programming broadcasters carry on the multicast 
channels, and whether MVPDs carry these channels.

Programming Issues

    12. We seek updated data and information about the programming 
issues discussed in the Notice, including additional information about 
regional sports networks (``RSNs''). To continue to report on trends in 
vertical integration, we request information on the number and 
ownership of non-broadcast networks by cable operators, other MVPDs, 
and broadcasters as of June 2008 and June 2009. How does consolidation 
in the MVPD and broadcast markets impact the delivery of video 
programming? We also solicit comment on the ability of MVPDs to acquire 
specific programming services and the extent to which programming 
networks are able to obtain carriage by MVPDs. Has the entry of LECs, 
such as Verizon and AT&T, and other overbuilders in certain geographic 
markets affected the ability of programming networks to gain and/or 
retain carriage on other MVPDs?

Advanced Services: Bundling, HSD, Voice, Telephony, VOD, DVRs, and IPGs

    13. In the Notice, we sought information on advanced service 
offerings by MVPDs. We seek updated information on the impact of the 
bundling of video services with voice and high-speed data services on 
competition in the market for the delivery of video programming 
services to consumers. In addition, we seek comment on developments 
since June 30, 2007, regarding video-on-demand (``VOD'') services, 
digital video recorders (``DVRs'') and services, and the role of 
interactive program guides (``IPGs'').
    14. Bundling, High-Speed Data, and Voice Services: We seek comment 
on the extent to which MVPDs are bundling voice and data services with 
video services in double, triple, or quadruple play packages and on the 
impact of such offerings on competition. We seek information about the 
types of services that MVPDs intend to offer using the 700 Megahertz 
frequency band.
    15. Impact of Video Services on Broadband Deployment: We seek 
information on the extent to which the availability of video over the 
Internet--through services that require high bandwidth, such as 
YouTube, ITunes, and Amazon.com--has stimulated consumer demand for 
MVPDs' deployment of ultra-high-speed broadband service, and vice-
versa. Do MVPDs expect to offer tiered high-speed data services (e.g., 
low-priced, slower speed versus higher-priced, faster speed service)? 
If so, how would such tiering impact consumers' access to video 
    16. Video-on-Demand: We seek updated information on the use of VOD 
for video programming distribution. Are programmers using VOD in lieu 
of multiplexing their programming networks? If so, has VOD freed up 
capacity for new networks, or do MPVDs need higher capacity for VOD? 
How much VOD programming is locally originated or concerns local 
subject matter? Has the shift in movie release windows affected the 
viability of VOD programming?
    17. Digital Video Recorders: What percentage of and types of 
programming do viewers watch live versus on a time-shifted basis via a 
DVR? How has time shifting affected the ability of programmers to 
generate advertising revenue? How have new audience measurement metrics 
impacted the ability of programming networks to serve niche audiences? 
How do trends

[[Page 19088]]

in DVR capabilities impact competition among MVPDs? Have services 
unaffiliated with MVPDs such as TiVo experienced difficulty with 
obtaining licensing agreements?
    18. Interactive Program Guides: As interactive television has 
developed, the functionality of electronic programming guides 
(``EPGs'') has evolved and they are now more commonly known as 
interactive program guides (``IPGs''). What role do IPGs play in 
consumers' viewing choices? How does the demise of TV program listings 
in newspapers impact the role of IPGs? Are IPGs now the primary source 
for viewers to obtain program listings? If so, how does this impact the 
market for the delivery of video programming?

Technical Issues

    19. In the Notice, we sought information on developments as of June 
30, 2007, covering technologies and technical standards developed by 
CableLabs, including middleware such as the Open Cable Application 
Platform (``OCAP''), CableCARDS, and PacketCable. We also sought 
comment on the status of navigation devices and the impact of the 
Commission integration ban separating security from non-security 
functions in system access devices. In addition, we requested 
information about advances in digital broadcasting, home networking, 
and content mobility developments as well as the impact of digital 
rights management on the deployment of new technologies. We seek 
similar information on the status of these technical issues as of June 
2008 and June 2009, including analysis of the following developments.

Set-Top Boxes and Technology

    20. Technical Standards for MVPDs' Set-Top Boxes: In 2004, 
CableLabs initiated Enhanced Television (``ETV'') and the Enhanced 
Television Binary Interchange Format (``EBIF'') to allow set-top boxes 
already installed in subscribers' households (i.e., ``legacy boxes'') 
to receive interactive software and programming. In 2001, CableLabs 
introduced OCAP to make it easier to introduce new devices and to speed 
the availability of interactive applications to MVPDs' systems. In 
January 2008, the cable industry adopted the name ``tru2way'' to brand 
and market OCAP products. EBIF and tru2way are complementary middleware 
standards to promote interactive television on cable set-top boxes. We 
seek updated information on the availability of tru2way-compliant and 
EBIF-compliant devices, the merits and drawbacks of each standard, the 
number of such devices in use by subscribers, and the types of services 
enabled by each middleware standard.
    21. We also seek comment on the strategic implications of the 
availability of these enhanced services on the state of competition in 
the market for delivery of video programming. How will the ability to 
offer enhanced advertising and other interactive services impact MVPDs' 
ability to compete with each other and with broadcast television 
stations for audiences and advertising revenue? How does the 
availability of highly-targeted advertising affect MVPDs' and 
programmers' ability to offer local and niche programming for 
traditionally unserved and underserved audiences?
    22. CableCARDs: In 2003, the Commission adopted rules that allow 
television sets to be built with ``plug-and-play'' functionality for 
one-way digital services. The adopted interface for the separation of 
the security elements is commonly referred to as a ``CableCARD.'' Since 
our last report, cable operators have developed a multi-stream 
CableCARD (i.e., CableCARDs that deliver more than one channel to 
subscribers at a time) and are in the process of testing retail two-way 
devices equipped with CableCARDs in certain trial markets. We request 
information on the status of these trials and the merits of multi-
stream versus single-stream CableCARDs.

Competition Among Navigational Devices

    23. Technical Standards for Consumer Electronics: CableLabs has 
established a private negotiation process by which individual consumer 
electronics manufacturers may develop two-way plug-and-play electronic 
devices, including HDTV sets, digital video recorders, mobile phones, 
and personal computers that are compatible with cable operators' 
technology through tru2way. We request updated information regarding 
applications using tru2way.
    24. Since June 2007, several consumer electronics manufacturers 
have signed memorandums of understanding with CableLabs to implement 
OCAP. Has CableLabs's certification process for consumer electronic 
devices affected the deployment of two-way, multi-stream CableCARD 
devices? How do applications in electronic devices, including 
television sets, personal computers, digital video recorders, and 
mobile phones, compare with those leased by MVPDs to subscribers? How 
many electronic devices currently have multi-stream CableCARDs and 
tru2way middleware?
    25. Non-CableCARD Separated Security: To promote a competitive 
market for set-top boxes, the Commission in 1998 required MVPDs to 
separate security in their leased devices and rely on the same 
conditional access mechanism that consumer electronics manufacturers 
use (frequently referred to as ``common reliance''). In January 2007, 
the Commission reiterated that alternatives to CableCARDs that rely 
upon a commonly-used interface comply with the rule requiring 
separation of security elements from other elements of a set-top box. 
The Alliance for Telecommunications and Industry Solutions, CableLabs, 
Beyond Broadband Technology, and Widevine Technologies are working to 
develop downloadable solutions for separable security. We seek comment 
on these and any other downloadable security solutions. Are entities 
that are developing these downloadable solutions working with device 
manufacturers to ensure compatibility with retail devices? Are they 
working with one another to ensure that retail devices will allow for 
national portability as well as MVPD-to-MVPD portability?

Other Technical Issues

    26. Home Networking and Content Mobility: Home networking allows 
consumers to connect multiple devices in the home (e.g., set-top boxes, 
television sets, personal computers, and video game consoles). We seek 
updated information on the extent to which MVPDs are utilizing or 
supporting home networking technologies, such as those proposed by the 
High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (``HANA'') or the Digital 
Living Network Alliance (``DLNA'').
    27. Content Protection and Digital Rights Management: Digital 
content protection technology seeks to prevent the unauthorized copying 
and redistribution of digital media. We request an update on what 
content protection technologies are available or being developed to 
protect digital media. How have copyright and digital rights laws, 
regulations, or the lack thereof impacted the competitiveness of MVPDs 
and their access to programming?

Cable Systems

    28. Migration from Analog to Digital Tiers: We request updated 
information on MVPDs, including changes in the manner in which video 
and non-video services are being packaged and priced. One recent trend 
is the migration of cable programming from analog tiers to digital 
tiers, or the elimination of analog

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service in favor of all-digital systems. What percentage of cable 
subscribers subscribe to analog versus digital packages? What types of 
programming have been moved from analog tiers to digital tiers? How 
many cable operators have converted their systems to all-digital, and 
what percentage of each operator's systems do they represent? Does one 
system's decision to go all-digital drive competing systems in the same 
market to follow suit? What are the costs and benefits of digital 
migration to subscribers? When a system goes all digital, are basic 
tier subscribers required to lease or purchase set-top boxes? How does 
migration to an all-digital system affect the price of basic cable 
service? What effect does the offering of advanced services, such as 
DVR, IPG, and VOD, have on cable operators' decisions regarding 
increasing the movement of programming from analog to digital tiers or 
going all-digital?
    29. Switched Digital Video: Traditionally, cable operators have 
delivered all programming feeds at the same time to all subscribers. 
Switched digital video is a method of delivering programming to 
subscribers only when those subscribers actively request that 
programming. What is the role of switched digital video in cable 
operators' operating strategies? How has the deployment of switched 
digital video impacted MVPDs' capacity and offering of programming 
services? To what extent has the deployment of switched digital video 
been successful? What efficiencies have cable operators realized 
through the deployment of switched digital and what challenges do they 
face? How does the deployment of switched digital video affect cable 
operators' distribution of programming networks? What are the costs and 
benefits of switched digital video to consumers?
    30. Carriage of Broadcast Stations in Standard and High Definition 
Digital Formats: In September 2007, the Commission adopted a Third 
Report and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
requiring cable operators to either (1) deliver must-carry stations' 
broadcast digital signals in digital format to all digital cable 
subscribers and convert the signals to analog format at their headends 
for all subscribers or (2) for all-digital systems, deliver the must-
carry stations' broadcast signals in digital format to all subscribers 
in the systems. See Carriage of Digital Broadcast Signals: Amendment to 
Part 76 of the Commission Rules, CS Docket No. 98-120, Third Report and 
Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC Rcd 21064 
(2007). Small cable systems with 552 MHz or less bandwidth that lack 
the capacity to carry the additional digital must-carry stations may 
request a waiver of the carriage requirement. We seek comment on the 
extent to which systems down-convert DTV signals to analog to make them 
available to subscribers without the need for a set-top box. In 
September 2008, the Commission released a Fourth Report and Order, 
which, in part, exempts certain cable systems from the material 
degradation requirement to carry broadcast signals in HD format. See 
Carriage of Digital Broadcast Signals: Amendment to Part 76 of the 
Commission Rules, CS Docket No. 98-120, Fourth Report and Order, 23 FCC 
Rcd 13618 (2008). The systems must either 1) have 2,500 or fewer 
subscribers and be unaffiliated with a large cable operator, or 2) have 
an activated channel capacity of 552 MHz or less. How many systems with 
552 MHz or less carry HDTV networks or stations? Is the lack of HD 
programming a competitive disadvantage?

Direct-To-Home Satellite Services

    31. Direct-to-home satellite services include DBS and C-band. In 
addition to information requested in the Notice, we are interested in 
how the digital transition has affected competition between DBS and 
cable operators in markets where DBS does not offer local-into-local 
broadcast television service. How has the availability or lack of 
local-into-local service impacted consumers' readiness for the digital 
television transition? Do households drop DBS subscriptions in order to 
receive DTV programming from another MVPD? We also request information 
regarding how broadcast stations deliver their signals to DBS 
operators, e.g., over-the-air reception or alternative feeds, and we 
seek comment on the extent to which multiple DBS operators share local 
reception facilities. The number of subscribers to C-band video service 
has been declining in recent years. Does this trend continue? If so, is 
C-band still a viable option for multichannel video programming 

Other Wireline Service Providers

    32. The Notice solicited comments regarding other wireline video 
programming distributors, including local exchange carriers, broadband 
service providers, open video system operators, and electric and gas 
utilities. We seek information on these MVPD services for 2008 and 2009 
as well as the following additional information.
    33. Local Exchange Carriers: In the 13th Annual Report, we observed 
that LECs, most notably Verizon and AT&T, have expanded the areas where 
they provide facilities-based video services. What factors determine 
whether these companies or other LECs enter the video marketplace? Have 
the Commission's revised franchising rules or state franchising laws 
had an impact on LEC video services? In addition, several LECs offer 
video services through marketing agreements with DBS operators. We 
request updated information regarding these agreements as well as the 
bundles of services that LECs offer in competition with cable 
operators. Do LECs compete on price? If not, why not? Do they offer 
differentiated tiers? How does the amount of HD, VOD, and other 
programming offered by LECs compare with similar offerings from other 
MVPDs? Do LECs provide local programming? Do they offer any programming 
comparable to public, educational, and government access (``PEG'') 
programming? How does the quality of LECs' customer service compare 
with that of other MVPDs? What percentage of new LEC customers come 
from other MVPDs versus households relying exclusively on over-the-air 
reception? We seek comments on what, if any, unique competitive 
advantages LECs have in comparison with other MVPDs.

Broadcast Television Service

    34. Over-the-Air-Only Households: Consumers who do not subscribe to 
an MVPD service typically rely on over-the-air (``OTA'') reception of 
local broadcast television signals. MVPD subscribers may rely on OTA 
reception on some of their television sets. How many television 
households rely exclusively on OTA reception, and how many MVPD 
subscribers rely on OTA reception for at least one television set? Of 
those television sets, how many are analog, digital-ready, or connected 
to a digital converter box? Some MVPDs are offering introductory 
discounts to attract new subscribers from OTA-only households. Is the 
digital transition driving such households to subscribe to MVPDs? On 
the other hand, is the digital transition causing MVPD subscribers to 
drop their service and rely on free, OTA television? Are broadcast-only 
households replacing analog sets with digital sets or HDTV sets? Does 
the need for consumers to upgrade broadcast antennas to receive DTV 
over-the-air in some situations affect consumers' decision to switch 
from OTA reception to MVPD subscribership?
    35. Multicasting: Multicasting is the process by which multiple 
streams of

[[Page 19090]]

digital television programming are transmitted at the same time over a 
single 6 MHz broadcast channel. We seek information on the types of 
services and content that broadcasters are transmitting using 
multicasting. In addition, we seek information on whether multicasting 
is limited to large markets, or if stations in small and medium-sized 
markets are also using their multicasting capabilities. What types of 
multicast programming are available? How much multicast programming is 
locally produced or locally focused? To what extent is the provision of 
multicast service dependent upon its carriage by cable and other MVPD 
operators? In how many markets are cable operators and other MVPDs 
carrying broadcasters' multicast programming, and which markets are 
they doing so? How has the financial climate and postponement of the 
digital television transition impacted broadcasters' roll-out of 
multicast networks?
    36. Must-Carry and Retransmission Consent: Every three years, 
broadcast stations elect whether they want to be carried on cable 
systems under must carry or retransmission consent. Similarly, 
broadcast stations may elect whether to be carried under must carry or 
retransmission consent in markets where DBS operators offer local-into-
local service. The most recent election was on October 1, 2008, for 
carriage agreements beginning on January 1, 2009. What types of local 
stations receive compensation pursuant to retransmission consent versus 
carriage pursuant to must carry? What types of compensation do 
broadcasters receive from MVPDs in return for carriage? Are 
broadcasters compensated in cash or through in-kind arrangements? To 
what extent do broadcast station owners tie carriage of affiliated non-
broadcast networks to carriage of their broadcast signals?

Other Wireless Service Providers

    37. Commercial Mobile Radio Service Providers: As discussed in the 
Notice, major commercial mobile radio service (``CMRS'') providers have 
begun offering video services to users of cell phones and other mobile 
services. We request updated information on the availability and 
deployment of mobile video services offered by CMRS providers as of 
June 30, 2008, and June 30, 2009. Specifically, how many mobile 
telephone users have access to, and subscribe to, such services? Has 
the availability of such services increased and how have subscription 
rates changed over time? To what extent are CMRS providers offering 
mobile video services over their own spectrum licenses and networks, 
and to what extent are they partnering with third parties? We request 
information regarding programming agreements between video content 
providers and CMRS providers. Do current trends in mobile video suggest 
that we should classify CMRS providers that offer video programming as 
    38. We also request updated information on video distribution to 
wireless devices--including iPods, personal digital assistants, and 
portable media players--that are not connected to CMRS networks. To 
what extent do consumers use wireless connections, personal computer 
sideloading, and other methods to receive video content on wireless 
devices? How have the distribution methods and technologies changed 
since June 30, 2007? We seek updated information on how video 
programmers are re-purposing traditional broadcast and non-broadcast 
programming for viewing on these devices, and the extent to which 
programmers are creating content specifically for these new devices.
    39. What types of programming do broadcasters intend to provide via 
mobile digital television? Do they plan to include local news and 
emergency broadcasting? What are the advantages of mobile video 
provided by broadcasters versus other providers? We also request 
information on whether and how video programmers will use new, IP-based 
wireless network technologies--such as Worldwide Interoperability for 
Microwave Access (``WiMAX'') and Long Term Evolution (``LTE'')--to 
deliver mobile video programming. We seek comment on the extent to 
which video services offered using these technologies will compete with 
those offered by traditional video providers.
    40. Wireless Cable Systems: We seek updated information on existing 
wireless cable systems and the video and non-video services they offer. 
How many wireless cable systems remain, and how many customers do they 
serve? Do licensees in these services remain viable competitors in the 
market for the delivery of video programming?
    41. Private Cable Operators: Private cable operator (``PCO'') 
systems, also known as satellite master antenna (``SMATV'') systems, 
are video distribution facilities that do not use any public rights-of-
way. In the 13th Annual Report, we reported that PCOs serve a 
decreasing number of subscribers, representing less than one percent of 
all MVPD subscribers as of June 2006. Has this trend continued into 
2008 and 2009? Do PCOs remain viable competitors in the market for the 
delivery of video programming?

Web-Based Internet Video

    42. Programming Network Delivery via Web Sites: Programmers and 
content creators are offering an increasing amount of video programming 
over the Internet. How is the availability of traditional broadcast 
programming on other outlets affecting the role of broadcast stations 
and MVPDs as distributors? How do licensing and copyright issues impact 
competition for the distribution of video programming over the 
Internet? Has the availability of programming online led to consumers 
``cord cutting'' (i.e., cancelling MVPD service subscriptions) or no 
longer viewing OTA broadcast television?
    43. Direct Streaming of Programming Networks to Consumer 
Electronics: In early 2009, consumer electronics manufacturers 
announced that they plan to increase the number of television sets and 
DVD players that incorporate streaming technology to enable viewers to 
watch IP-delivered video. How does the ability to stream video 
programming over computers and television sets impact the demand for 
MVPD service? We seek information about developments relating to the 
distribution of Web-based Internet video.

A. Foreign Markets

    44. In previous reports, we have examined foreign markets because 
developments in other countries can lend insight into the nature of 
competition in the United States and the relative efficiency of market 
structures and regulations within our nation. We again seek information 
and case studies on video delivery in foreign markets, including the 
transition to digital television, the emergence of IPTV as a competitor 
in the MVPD market, and the implications of both these trends for 
market structure and consumer choices. We also seek information 
regarding recent developments in pricing and packaging of programming, 
including a la carte offerings and the degree to which consumers can 
choose channels in bundles or singly; technological developments; 
developments in VoIP; and broadcast, cable, and satellite competition. 
We also ask commenters to provide comparisons of the video programming 
choices available to consumers between the United States and other 
countries. In addition, we seek comment about the impact of global 
technical standards on the development of video programming services 
and technology within the United States.

[[Page 19091]]

II. Procedural Matters

    45. Authority. This Supplemental Notice is issued pursuant to 
authority contained in Sections 4(i), 4(j), 403, and 628(g) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 403, 
and 548(g).
    46. Ex Parte Rules. There are no ex parte or disclosure 
requirements applicable to this proceeding pursuant to 47 CFR 1.1204(b) 
    47. Comment Information. Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of 
the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may 
file comments on the Supplemental Notice of Inquiry, MB Docket No. 07-
269, for 2008 information, on or before May 20, 2009, and reply 
comments on or before June 20, 2009. For 2009 information, interested 
parties may file comments on or before July 29, 2009, and reply 
comments on or before August 28, 2009. Comments may be filed using: (1) 
The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (``ECFS''), (2) the 
Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. 
See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 
24121 (1998).
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ 
or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Filers 
should follow the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting 
    [cir] For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers 
appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one 
electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number 
referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers 
should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, 
and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit 
an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, 
filers should send an e-mail to [email protected], and include the following 
words in the body of the message, ``get form.'' A sample form and 
directions will be sent in response.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one 
docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, 
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
     Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by 
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in 
receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to 
the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal 
Communications Commission.
    [cir] The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or 
messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 
Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing 
hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be 
held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be 
disposed of before entering the building.
    [cir] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [cir] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.
     In addition, parties must serve the following with either 
an electronic copy via e-mail or a paper copy of each pleading: (1) The 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 
Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, 
telephone 1-800-378-3160, or via e-mail at http://www.bcpiweb.com; (2) 
Marcia Glauberman, Media Bureau, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 2-C264, 
[email protected]; and (3) Dana Scherer, Media Bureau, 445 12th 
Street, SW., Room 2-C222, [email protected].

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
[FR Doc. E9-9550 Filed 4-24-09; 8:45 am]