Streaming services, including Sling TV and YouTube TV, are in a battle with local TV station owners over potential reclassification by the FCC.
Local TV station owners want streaming services to be treated as cable TV companies, which could impact their business model and force them to negotiate directly with local stations.
In July, local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations created the Coalition for Local News, advocating FCC regulations similar to cable TV for streaming services like Sling TV and YouTube TV.
20 lawmakers expressed concerns to the FCC, supporting the Coalition for Local News and urging regulation to prevent streaming services from undermining local news.
If local TV stations succeed, FCC regulations for streaming services would mirror those for cable TV, requiring individual deals with each local station owner.
Companies like Nexstar and Gray Television could gain negotiating influence, challenging streaming services to negotiate directly with individual local TV station owners.
Streaming services might no longer negotiate with networks but instead with each local TV station owner individually, resembling the current cable TV model.
If FCC applies 1992 cable TV laws to streaming, services like Sling TV may need to include all major local channels, potentially leading to an increase in subscription prices.
As of now, the FCC has not decided whether to investigate reclassifying streaming services, despite increasing pressure from local broadcasters and the National Association of Broadcasters.
The outcome of this dispute could reshape how live TV streaming services operate and potentially impact their pricing structures, with broader implications for the industry.