Frederick A. Taylor, Jr., former National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Chairman of the nonprofit organization, MOPS Networks, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for their organizations ‘Freedom Stream’ initiative
TAMPA, Fl. – December 2, 2014 – When a service member deploys overseas, they not only leave behind their friends and family members, they also leave behind their favorite prime time broadcast and cable television shows. Most broadcast consent agreements with major U.S. networks prohibit the distribution of their content outside of the United States as part of the intellectual property copyright restrictions. For those in the military, this means going online to watch Netflix, Hulu, or streaming their favorite programs like Comedy Centrals ‘The Daily Show’, and their Sunday Morning political news shows like NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’, is met with disappointment.
After being approached by MOPS Networks co-founder, Patrick Bergy, and told what their organization was trying to do, Mr. Taylor jumped at the chance to be a part of something that would provide so much to the morale and welfare for so many of our troops overseas. “Back when I was in Vietnam, it would sometimes take weeks to receive a letter from back home. Now, with today’s technology, soldiers update their Facebook from their foxholes. Why shouldn’t our brave men and women in uniform be able to watch the same programs when their deployed overseas, that they watched when they were home? The technology has been there, now it is just a matter of getting the content owners to give us consent agreements to broadcast that ‘touch of home’ to those serving overseas” said Fred Taylor, Chairman of nonprofit organization, MOPS Networks.
Mr. Taylor has been actively involved with nonprofits for more than 25 years, and is on the board of several large organizations that support combat wounded veterans. He recently did an interview for the national magazine publication, ‘Vietnam’, in which he tells the story of how he was wounded in combat three times, one of which was at a place that just one year later was nicknamed Hamburger Hill. The other 2 he received just days apart from each other at a place called Quang Tri Province. His story will be published in February, 2015. Mr. Taylor also has the distinction of having a song dedicated to him that tells his heroic story entitled ‘The Ballad of Fred Taylor’, has met with several U.S. presidents on veterans issues, and selected 3 times to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery, just to name a few.
The initial responses to our content requests have been well received. We have meetings scheduled with the NFL in March to allow retransmission consent of the 2015 season, and Super bowl 50 in 2016 – complete with commercials. The Armed Forces Network, or AFN, broadcasts the Super Bowl by satellite each year to troops stationed overseas, but they remove the commercials, which are a favorite to many that watch the game. AFN replaced these now iconic advertisements with public service announcements, in adherence to the Governments policy prohibiting endorsements of commercial products. Executives from MOPS Networks will also be attending the NATPE conference in Miami this coming January in hopes of securing retransmission consent of many prime time programs.
“We have built the Video on Demand site for our Freedom Stream initiative to provide live feeds and VOD to our overseas military members. That said we are only as good as the content we provide, which is why we have reached out to the crowdfunding community at Indiegogo to help us raise money for the best programming available” said Patrick Bergy, Executive Director for MOPS Networks. The nonprofit has also reached out George Smith, Chief Affiliate Relations for Defense Media Activities; the department that manages AFN, and offered to provide all 12 of their current satellite feeds online for free. “We feel that as a nonprofit organization, we are a perfect solution to the DMA’s recent VOD viability surveys. We have simply requested retransmission consent agreements, that would authorize us provide AFN’s current satellite broadcasts online, both as live streaming feeds and video on demand – strictly to verified men and women serving overseas, and at no cost to U.S. taxpayers,” said Mr. Bergy. In an email response to Mr. Bergy from Mr. Smith, he stated that he was researching MOPS Networks request, and that someone would be contacting him soon.
The DMA has recently been looking into providing their satellite broadcasts online, but funding concerns and the CR (Continuing Resolution) has made funding new programs such as this with taxpayer dollars difficult, according to reports.
For more information on the nonprofit organization, MOPS Networks and the Freedom Stream initiative, please visit their website at: