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Cuban: FCC Net Regs Will Spill Over, ‘TV As You Know It Is Over’


Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban predicted that proposed FCC Internet regulations will end up impacting TV and “your TV as you know it is over” on Thursday’s “Squawk Alley” on CNBC.


Cuban began by predicting “the courts will rule the Internet for the next however many years.” He then explained, “let’s just take it all the way through its logical conclusion. All bits are bits, all bits are equal. If all bits are equal, then let’s look at what a stream bit is an example. So when Henry and I do an interview, and it’s streamed lived on the Internet, there’s a camera, it goes through an encoder, it sends it out via server or some manner to the Internet, you click on Business Insider and you watch the stream, right? Now, let’s look at CNBC on Comcast. There’s cameras right in front of you, they go through a switcher, they go through an encoder, it’s put through a server, it goes to Comcast, and it’s streamed in a managed service environment to television. It’s the exact same thing. And if it’s the exact same thing technologically and all bits are equal, then why shouldn’t CNBC and all TV networks that are delivered on cable, and Telco, and fiber like Verizon, why shouldn’t they be part of the open Internet as well? And if they are and all bits are equal, now, let’s take it one step further. It’s the purview of the FCC now. The FCC, right? So, the FCC now has to apply their same standards to content, don’t they, that they do to television content because that’s where it is and there’s going to be certain citizens who think ‘well now, since all content is delivered over the Internet because all bits are bits, and it’s a fair, and open, and equal Internet — decency standards.’ And remember the FCC is the same agency that fought Nipplegate for eight years over a wardrobe malfunction.”

He added, “your TV as you know it is over.”

Cuban further said that due to court and regulatory battles that will ensue if the proposed regulations are adopted, innovation online will be halted, declaring “if you love the Internet the way you know it today, this is what you’re going to have for a long time. But, if you’re like me, and you think the best is yet to come, then you don’t the FCC involved because of all the uncertainty.”

Cuban also commented on the transparency regarding of the FCC’s regulation process, sarcastically remarking “lots of transparency, right? Yeah, Lots of transparency.” And “that’s the FCC, that’s the Department of Internet that we’re going to get, no transparency.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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