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2 min read


Published Date: 12 May 2023

What is MVPD?

A multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) is a type of video service provider that delivers multiple TV channels to subscribers through a single source. MVPDs include cable and satellite TV providers and internet-based streaming services that offer live TV programming.

How MVPD Works?

MVPDs use a combination of satellite, cable, and internet-based technologies to deliver TV programming to subscribers. They typically receive TV programming from various networks, including broadcast, cable, and premium networks, and then distribute them to subscribers through a single source.

MVPDs use a set-top box or streaming device to deliver TV programming to the subscriber's TV. The set-top box or streaming device receives the TV programming signal and decodes it, allowing the subscriber to view the TV programming on their TV.

Elements of MVPD

There are several elements that make up an MVPD, including:

  • Content providers - These companies create and distribute TV programming, including broadcast networks, cable networks, and premium networks.
  • Distribution networks - These are the networks that MVPDs use to distribute TV programming to subscribers. Examples of distribution networks include coaxial cable networks, satellite networks, and internet-based networks.
  • Set-top boxes and streaming devices - These are the devices that MVPDs use to deliver TV programming to subscribers. Set-top boxes are typically used by cable and satellite TV providers, while internet-based streaming services use streaming devices.
  • Subscriber management systems - These are the systems that MVPDs use to manage subscriber accounts, including billing, account information, and preferences.
  • User interfaces - These are the interfaces that MVPDs use to deliver TV programming to subscribers, including menus, program guides, and search functions.
  • Advertising systems - These are the systems that MVPDs use to deliver advertisements to subscribers, including targeted advertising based on subscriber data.
  • Analytics and data systems - These are the systems that MVPDs use to collect and analyze subscriber data, including viewing habits, preferences, and demographics.

Applications of MVPD

MVPDs are used by consumers to access a wide range of TV programming from various sources through a single subscription. This allows subscribers to access both live TV programming and on-demand content from various networks and channels, all in one place.

MVPDs also offer several benefits to networks and content providers. By partnering with MVPDs, networks and content providers can reach a larger audience and generate additional revenue through advertising and subscription fees. MVPDs can also provide valuable data and analytics to content providers, allowing them to understand their audience better and optimize their content offerings.

Examples of MVPD

Some examples of MVPDs include:

  • Cable TV providers like Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, and Cox Communications.
  • Satellite TV providers - such as DirecTV and Dish Network.
  • Internet-based streaming services include Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

These MVPDs offer subscribers access to a wide range of TV programming, including live TV programming, on-demand content, and premium channels. They also offer features such as DVR and multiple simultaneous streams, allowing subscribers to customize their TV viewing experience.

Related Terms


MP4 or MPEG-4 Part 14 is one of the (oldest released in 2001) and most commonly used container formats for delivering video files.


The MKV video file is a royalty-free Matroska multimedia container format launched in December 2002. It can carry a multitude of video, audio, or subtitle files in a single file which facilitates easy storage and playability.

Multi CDN

Multi-CDN, short for Multiple Content Delivery Networks, combines CDNs from multiple providers into a single network.

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