American Cable Association president Matt Polka said that if the FCC's set-top mandate is approved, it could be a death knell for many smaller operators.
The FCC's Democratic majority has voted to approve a proposal requiring MVPDs to make their data and programming streams available to third-party navigation devices and apps.
The ACA said that to upgrade their systems to comply with that mandate would cost smaller systems at least a million dollars, which means that many would either have to go belly up or get out of video.
That is the key takeaway from the association's reply comments to the FCC, according to the association.
“The FCC’s set-top box proposal would have a devastating impact on small pay TV operators," said Polka in a statement. "As a result of burdensome mandates proposed by the FCC, more than 200 small providers would either go out of business or cease offering video service, leaving their customers, especially in rural communities, with fewer competitive options," he said. "For those that do manage to stay afloat, they’ll be faced with having to forgo important investments in innovations and broadband expansion or pass on increased costs to their subscribers.”