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The Future Of How You Watch TV Could Change This Week

Behind an FCC proposal to lower cable equipment fees is a fight for control of television involving Google, pay-TV services, and Hollywood.

Cable and satellite TV companies are not popular, consistently ranking near the bottom of customer satisfaction studies. One of the reasons is that Americans spend nearly $20 billion per year to rent set-top boxes from pay-TV providers, according to a recent Senate report. So when a proposal to open up competition against the oft-reviled set-top boxes was issued by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on January 27, the cable providers didn’t receive many sympathy notes.

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