MPAA is being backed up by HBO and Showtime in its request to have the FCC revise its plug & play ruling so that consumers can never copy SVOD programming. The rules call SVOD an "undefined business model," thus allowing an operator to determine whether SVOD programming should be copied never, copied once or copied without limits. Starz has lobbied hard for consumers to have the right to copy its SVOD programming once, while the other 2 premium nets want to protect their SVOD content from any recording. "Starz seeks nothing more than a govt-granted skewing of the competitive playing field to prevent its competitors from offering consumers SVOD features that Starz has chosen to forego," HBO said in an FCC filing, referring to Starz’s lack of original programming. Starz’s argument: "The Commission’s approach allows the flexibility for different levels of copy protection for different SVOD business models, rather than the overly restrictive, ‘one size fits all’ approach urged by MPAA."

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HBO Max and HBO took a dip in the U.S. in 3Q21, falling by 1.8 million to 45.2 million subscribers.

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