Will commercial customers ever get the ability to share programs between receivers?

If you have DIRECTV at work, you might think it would be great if you could do some of the things you could do at home, like record a program on one DVR and share it to every other receiver in your building. No doubt, you could come up with tons of reasons to use something like that.

Except, DIRECTV won’t let you. And they’re not likely to start.

If you have a commercial account designated “public viewing” then you cannot use a DVR at all, and even if you have an account for your office or breakroom designated “private viewing,” there’s not likely to be any opportunity to share programming between rooms any time soon. Why?

Because the content providers would go bananas, that’s why.

You’re allowed to use the TVs in your public area because the content providers, the ESPNs and such, grant you a license to do that. You probably know that you pay an awful lot more for TVs in public areas, and that money flows right back into the hands of those channel operators. It may seem to you that it shouldn’t matter whether that stuff is live or recorded, but every time you play it back that constitutes a “performance” in the eyes of those media companies and so you would have to pay for every one. In addition, if you shared that programming with multiple TVs, each one could be called a unique performance. Each one of those cases would entitle them to collect more money from you.

Yes, it’s possible that DIRECTV could work through all of that and give you the ability to record and play back to multiple rooms, but they’re much more apt to take the conservative route and simply not allow you to do it. Even though it seems like there would be some reasons you’d want to, it’s not a really common request so it’s probably not worth the effort to work through.