Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Canada May Unbundle Cable TV Subscriptions

September 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

U.S. content providers are warily eyeing efforts by Canadian regulators to unbundle Canada’s cable TV industry, a move that could eat into the profits of companies like Disney and Comcast that service the Canadian market. In Ottawa next week, Disney will be alongside Canada’s largest cable operators to lobby against a proposal by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that would essentially give consumers the ultimate power to decide what they want to view and pay for on cable. Bundling is the heart and soul of the cable TV industry, which is why the CRTC plan is being watched very closely by some big players in Canada and the U.S. If the regulations take hold, Canada would be among the first countries to institute a pick-and-pay cable TV market, which threatens the current cable TV pricing structure. Under the proposed CRTC regulations, subscribers would pay around $20 to $30 for a basic cable service that would include local channels, government feeds and some educational services. Any other additions to the cable TV menu would be customized based on the demands of consumers, not operators. U.S. and Canadian cable TV operators currently package their subscriptions with a suite of channels and a choice of add-ons—for a price. Some Canadian companies like Telus, offer their subscribers an additional 100 channels once they pay for their basic package.

Read More

Netflix Sides With Government-Run Broadband Providers

September 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix filed a startling comment with the FCC today: the company wants the Telecommunications Act amended to allow for "a pro-consumer policy of limitless bandwidth," or to put it plainly, so government-run broadband providers can exceed limits set by the law. The company is echoing FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler's post from June on the FCC blog, in which Wheeler said with surprising candor that phone and cable companies "chose to delay improvements in broadband service to the Chattanooga area market." If Chattanooga seems tangential to debates that are going on in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, it's worth noting that the city does something unusual: it runs the broadband service available in its area. As the city's power authority says on its website, "Only in Chattanooga, Tennessee is 1 Gigabit-per-second Internet speed available to every home and business—over 150,000 of them—throughout the entire community." Why is it doing this? Well, to attract businesses—the city's unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, well above the 6.2 percent national average—and to improve its network infrastructure, which previously had been served by a cobbled-together union of T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T's more interpid broadband arms. Nobody wanted to build the pipe necessary to fix the place up all the way out into rural Tennessee, so the city took on the task. "Federal preemption is appropriate when state laws unduly interfere with municipal broadband," said Netflix, in its comments on the petition to overturn the Tennessee law. It remains to be seen whether the FCC will agree but Wheeler has been dinged more than once as too soft on the cable industry and overturning these local laws would be a major blow to industry stalwarts like AT&T.

Read More

TV Gets Undressed

August 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

To say that this wedding is unconventional doesn’t quite capture the essence of the nuptials of reality show contestants Ashley and Alika. First off, the bride and groom met with the TV cameras rolling and decided to get hitched after just three months. Six other couples who are attending the wedding fell for each other under the same televised circumstances. A shaman presides over the ceremony, with backup from a chanting yogi and drum circle. Nowhere in sight can one find the usual trappings—no flower girl, no ring bearer, no tulle or tuxedos. Boutonnieres are also in short supply—though bug spray could come in handy. Some of the invited guests are more anxious than even the happy couple—who, even if they don’t get cold feet, may well experience sunburn. For you see, everybody here—the bride and groom, wedding party and guests—is butt naked. Even if you haven’t been tuning into VH1’s summer hit Dating Naked —which has attracted more than 1 million viewers per episode and plenty of social buzz to boot—you might want to cue the DVR for television’s first all-nude wedding, airing Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. To be sure, it’ll be a spectacle not to be missed. For the Viacom-owned basic cable channel, it was a no-brainer to film the union and televise it as an hour-long special, extending the series’ 10-episode run with what are likely to be big ratings.

Read More

TV’s Top 5 Naked Moments

August 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

So yes, there’s a trend of nude reality shows all over TV these days. But nudity on TV is nothing new, especially if your parents had a subscription to Skinemax anytime over the last 20 years. And even broadcast TV has gotten in the skin game. Here are our picks of the top 5 nudie moments on TV. Take that, National Geographic!

Read More

A Look Back at the Mythbusters Explosions That Moved Us

August 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara won't be back on Mythbusters next year, their counterparts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage abruptly told viewers by way of a video released on the website today, which included no statement from any of the three performers who won't be returning. The video feels a little weird, honestly, but the show is "going in a different direction" (it sure is!) next year. Byron's Twitter feed is particularly terse: After a decade of the Mythbusters, we are no longer with the show. Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. — Kari Byron (@KariByron) August 22, 2014 A source says that Discovery is still talking to the three about future work (let's face it, Mythbusters is old), but it's important to celebrate the past. So let's pour one out for the M7 team, and in doing so, let's remember some of the most interesting things they've blown up over the years.

Read More

Doctor Who on World Tour With New Star Peter Capaldi

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

British science fiction show Doctor Who is celebrating its 51th anniversary, 34th season, and the arrival of a new doctor with a seven-city world tour spanning five continents. The tour kicked off last week in Cardiff, Wales, the show’s home since its 2005 revival and London before making a stop in Seoul, South Korea on the weekend, and arrives in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday before continuing on to New York (Aug. 14), Mexico City (Aug. 16) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Aug. 18). Peter Capaldi, the new doctor and the 12th incarnation of the Tardis-travelling hero, on-screen companion Jenna Coleman and lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat are taking part in the world tour, attending fan events and talking up the series to press. The tour also features an advance screening of the first episode of the new Doctor Who series, as well as a question-and-answer session with fans. The new Doctor Who series is scheduled to premiere in the U.K. on Aug. 23 and will be available at 8 p.m. ET on the same day on BBC America.

Read More

Where Have All the Upfront Dollars Gone?

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's obvious by now that something has gone wrong in the television advertising world— upfront dollar volume fell by 6.1 percent to $18.125 billion, including a 4.7 percent hit for cable, which dipped for the first time in four years to $9.675 billion. So, where are those dollars going? More than one source has suggested that we're finally seeing the advent of digital advertising: With so much inventory on the market, it just makes sense that some TV dollars are shifting to digital video, where it's easy to buy cheaply and in bulk for an ad to run next week. But even digital video sellers caution against making such a blanket assertion. Jason Krebs, head of sales at Maker Studios, has seen a "noticiable uptick" in marketer spending but isn't entirely sure where the dollars are coming from. "You can never tell where the money is coming from specifically unless the client verbally tells you, 'I have taken this money from my TV spend,'" and of course, nobody says that out loud," Krebs said. Krebs suggested that the shift may not be from a TV budget to a digital budget, but rather toward an overall video spend that includes everything on the market, given that many of the ads are the same on TV as online. "Advertisers say, 'Now we have a general video budget and we address it across screens where we see fit,'" Krebs said. "More and more people are video planners and buyers and from what we see that’s healthy, because as a Disney company we have many different platforms and work across all of them." Scatter prices may not go up What's interesting about the overall spending shift is that it seems to be away not necessarily from TV advertising in general but from upfront buying specifically. The implied threat to buyers who bow out of the upfront bazaar is that scatter prices will be higher once hits are established. During the upfront, buyers purchase inventory on new broadcast shows mostly on the strength of their gut feelings and their faith in the network to promote new material. But if everyone holds back cash from the ufpront at once—as appears to have happened this time around—there's not nearly as much scarcity when time comes to move the inventory in the fall. And with a dismal hit rate among broadcast networks and a rapid turnaround for new, high-end analytics on both television and digital platforms, the opportunity to place your ad dollars where you can know beyond a gut check that you're reaching customers—well, that may be worth taking that step back from the upfront market.

Read More

Missing Mad Men? Here’s Christina Hendricks Trying to Work in a Modern Office

August 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The final half of the seventh and final season of Mad Men won't premiere until next spring (although filming has wrapped—and according to Elizabeth Moss, there was a lot of crying going on as the cast shot the finale). For now, Mad Men fans have to snack on whatever measly morsels they can get—like Jon Hamm goofing around on Fallon, or Christina Hendricks trying to navigate a modern office in the Funny or Die video below. And good old Joan, she's still the sharpest person in the room even when she can't find the phone.

Read More

Lawmakers Ask Comcast to Carry Latino-Owned Channels

August 2, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) and 52 other House lawmakers are asking Comcast to make a commitment to carry Latino-focused channels as the cable giant seeks to acquire Time Warner Cable. In a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, the lawmakers contend that the newly merged company will reach... Read more

Read More

The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

July 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Maybe it was the widespread feeling that Tom Wheeler is too close to the industry he regulates . Maybe it was pressure from Congress. Maybe it was John Oliver calling him a dingo . Whatever the reason, Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that "your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers." In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that's a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator—it's not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers (disclosure: Guggenheim Partners, Adweek's parent company, acquired the Dodgers in 2012). Wheeler has demanded that Marcus supply the FCC all material pertaining to the SportsNetLA contract. Wheeler made it clear that he has a handle on the situation, too: "I understand that TWC's contract with SportsNet LA provides TWC with exclusive rights to the affiliate sales for SportsNet LA," Wheeler writes in a letter to Marcus. "I further understand from press reports that, in its carriage negotiations with other [ multichannel video programming distributors ], TWC has demanded that SportsNet LA be carried on the basic service tier at rates of $4-$5 per subscriber. Other MVPDs in the network's footprint reportedly have refused to agree to these terms, claiming that the price is too high and objecting to terms that could require all subscribers to pay for access to the network." That stalemate has indeed shut 70 percent of the L.A

Read More