Disney Joins Alliance to Fight Government Streaming Regulations

Disney streaming trade alliance
Credit: Disney/Pluto/Paramount/Max/Canva

For years, when people thought about streaming platforms and the concept of streaming movies and television shows, many mainly thought of Netflix. However, in the past five to ten years, streaming has exploded. It seems like every studio has its own streaming platform — Paramount+, Max, Discovery+, Disney+, and more.

The recent sharp rise in streaming has left the studios and the government in a gray area. The recent Writers’ and Actors’ strikes have shown just how much the law needs to catch up to streaming.

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And that is now coming to the forefront with the US government as well.

The FCC — Federal Communications Commission — the government body that oversees things like cable television and radio broadcasting. Those two things have been around for years, and there are a number of regulations in place. However, the same cannot be said for streaming. The streaming industry has only dealt with regulatory threats, but not too many actual regulations in place.

Disney Plus password sharing

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With streaming now being more popular and in-demand than cable, the FCC might be feeling that it needs to step in with some new rules. And the streamers are already gearing up for a fight.

On Tuesday, September 26, it was announced that a number of streaming services have teamed up and created their own trade alliance (AKA lobbying group). The group’s goal? To encourage and work with the government to pass laws that will favor streaming services.


Credit: Disney

Per The Hollywood Reporter:

Several major streaming services, including Netflix, Max and The Walt Disney Co., have formed a trade alliance to advocate for federal and state policies that benefit the streaming industry. 

At launch, other members of the Streaming Innovation Alliance include AfroLandTV, America Nu Network, BET+, discovery+, For Us by Us Network, MPA, MotorTrend+, Paramount+, Peacock, PlutoTV, Telemundo, Televisa Univision, Vault TV and Vix. 

Former Republican Rep. Fred Upton and former Democratic acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn are the senior advisers for the coalition. Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association, helped bring the parties together.”

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In a statement about the new alliance, Mr. Rivkin said that it was important to create this group because streaming is most likely only going to become more popular. And it’s important that there are laws and rules in place to benefit both the streaming services and the subscribers who use them.

“Streaming provides great value, vast programming choices and unprecedented options for consumers. The MPA looks forward to working with the SIA and its members to ensure federal and state policy propels this incredible innovation forward — and doesn’t undermine the value and diversity consumers are enjoying today.”

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Rivkin also pointed out that the rise in streaming has also given rise to a number of minority groups finding more representation behind and in front of the camera.

“Streaming services have opened up a new era of progress for program diversity that is bringing relevant stories and options to historically underserved communities at a record pace while opening doors for production jobs to people of color that have been shut for decades,” Clyburn said. “Any policy that drags down streaming would turn back the clock on this vital progress as well.”

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The main concern of the Streaming Trade Alliance is that the Federal Communications Commission will try to apply obsolete rules used for cable to the new streaming platforms. The lobbyists for the Trade Alliance are aiming to work with government regulators to build on existing laws and create new laws that will work appropriately and be realistic for streaming services.

It is interesting to note that Apple (Apple TV+) and Amazon (Prime Video) are not a part of the alliance. Yet.

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The formation of the Streaming Trade Alliance comes after another new alliance was formed earlier this year — the Coalition for Local News. As with writers and actors, local news stations have found it difficult to navigate new contracts with streaming platforms. As many who have only streaming and not cable, services like Hulu + Live TV offer live, local news.

World News Tonight ABC

Credit: ABC

The Coalition for Local News is lobbying for the government to change the way streaming contracts can be negotiated for local networks. Right now, the law allows for streaming services to negotiate with the network owner instead of the local news station. This can become a conflict of interest when a company like Disney — which owns Disney+ and ABC — basically gets to negotiate with itself for deals with local ABC stations.

The FCC has not commented on the new Streaming Trade Alliance or said what new regulations it is considering for streaming services.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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