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Senator Rockefeller Introduces the Consumer Choice in Online Video Act

On November 12th, Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced S.1680, the Consumer Choice in Online Video Act. In a press release, Chairman Rockefeller said, “My legislation aims to enable the ultimate a la carte – to give consumers the ability to watch the programming they want to watch, when they want to watch it, how they want to watch it, and pay only for what they actually watch.”

This bill is designed to prevent anti-competitive actions against online video services by traditional broadcast, cable, and other media companies. Included in the bill is a provision that prevents broadband providers from taking any steps to degrade service which might impair the streaming of video content. It also limits the provisions that can be included in video programming carriage contracts, in order to make it easier for online video services to carry a wider range of programming. Additionally, the bill creates greater FCC oversight authority over broadband billing to ensure billing is not used in an anti-competitive manner.

Given the enormous role that advertising plays in all forms of media, advertisers are almost certain to be affected by this legislation if it is moved forward by the Congress. ANA is analyzing this legislation to determine what possible effects it may have on advertising interests. Advertisers need to be aware of this bill and take steps to determine how it may potentially affect their business models.

If you have questions, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) in our Washington office at 202-296-1883.

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