Sling TV Might Raise Prices Because of a Fight with Local TV Stations

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Streaming services, including Sling TV and YouTube TV, are in a battle with local TV station owners over potential reclassification by the FCC.

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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.

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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.

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20 lawmakers expressed concerns to the FCC, supporting the Coalition for Local News and urging regulation to prevent streaming services from undermining local news.

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If local TV stations succeed, FCC regulations for streaming services would mirror those for cable TV, requiring individual deals with each local station owner.

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Companies like Nexstar and Gray Television could gain negotiating influence, challenging streaming services to negotiate directly with individual local TV station owners.

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Streaming services might no longer negotiate with networks but instead with each local TV station owner individually, resembling the current cable TV model.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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