First the hard news: Federal Confusion Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler punted -- for now -- on STBs (that’s set-top boxes, not some new disease). In my last column before I "disappeared" I wondered, predicted and hoped he would. Since then, the demand that he modify a little non-transparency rule and share just what the proposal might contain or might have contained has turned into a gaggle of ever-escalating shout-outs. And, under pressure, Wheeler capitulated early Friday, relaxing the Sunshine Rules … a little bit. As Multichannel News’ John Eggerton first reported, quoting a statement from the Future of TV Coalition, “Lifting the ‘sunshine’ prohibitions is meaningless if the public isn’t even allowed to know the details of the plan. This isn’t just some ‘inside the beltway’ fight -- it’s a question of whether the real-world risks to consumers and creators are going to be addressed or just swept under the rug." No kidding.
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