Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Univision and Telemundo Are Battling It Out on a Digital Front

July 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Alicia Menendez is a digital and mobile junkie. The 30-year-old host of Alicia Menendez Tonight, a weeknight talk program about sex, money and power on Univision and ABC’s joint-venture news network Fusion , is practically fused to her mobile device, even when she’s watching TV. “I just want them in tandem. One augments the other,” she says one evening after filming a segment at the Univision/Fusion Newsport headquarters in Doral, Fla., just outside of Miami. A few miles away in Hialeah, Telemundo novelas Web producer Veronica de la Fuente trawls telenovela content to find fresh social media fodder. With hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans following the more popular soaps, it’s safe to say these aren’t your grandmother’s programs. “Things that never fail: the actresses’ dresses and the handsome guys of the novela,” says de la Fuente. The jobs of these women illustrate the contrasting ways in which Univision and Telemundo are reaching into the digital space. (Both companies have fought for decades to secure Hispanic TV audiences—a fight Univision has dominated.) Where Univision is looking to grow new digital businesses like Fusion and online destination Flama, Telemundo chooses to mine its existing strong suit—telenovelas—for digital iterations. They want the same thing—to attract young and active Hispanic millennials—but are going about it in much different ways. Growing Up Hispanic There’s a good reason the companies are aggressively building out digitally

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Community Is Getting Its Six Seasons (No Movie Yet)

June 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Well, that was close. Sony's offbeat sitcom Community, canceled at the very last minute by NBC, has been renewed at the very last minute (a few hours before contracts with Sony were set to expire, in fact) by Yahoo Screen . Thirteen episodes of the sitcom will air on Yahoo starting in the fall. At the Digital Content NewFronts this year, companies like Yahoo, YouTube and Crackle were voluble about a commitment to premium content; now Yahoo, at least, will be able to say that, like Netflix, it has a sitcom with huge cult appeal (albeit some very low live viewership ) and, unlike Netflix, it's selling ad inventory against that show. Community essentially lived on goodwill and fandom for five years on NBC; after two consecutive half-season orders (during which time the network inexplicably pitted the geeky comedy against the Death Star of geeky comedies, CBS's unbeatable nerdfest The Big Bang Theory), NBC president Bob Greenblatt finally pulled the plug. Showrunner and creator Dan Harmon was initially blas

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ESPN Breaks Record as Fans Watch Instead of Working

June 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN metered market numbers for yesterday's 12 p.m. match between the U.S. and Germany got a 6.3 rating, including an hour of pregame starting at 11 a.m. That's great, considering the game kicked off in the middle of a day and much of the viewership would have been in workplaces. Indeed, the sports network's digital platform, WatchESPN, got so many concurrent viewers—a peak of 1.7 million, which breaks the platform's record—that the digital edition of the game sputtered and died for quite a few folks who wanted to contribute to that number. Still, that's more peak concurrents than the Super Bowl. Viewership on Univision's digital platform peaked around 750,000. Fast nationals for ESPN and overnights for Univision are not yet available, but the digital explosion suggests that networks and digital video providers can ill afford to buy data that doesn't include advertisements delivered in the workplace. Whether people are watching on their lunch breaks or surreptitiously in a tiny window when the boss isn't looking, it's become clear that if you're sitting in front of a computer all day with what is probably a faster Internet connection than you've got at home, you're going to watch TV.

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Consumer Reports Poll: Majority Oppose Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

June 20, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is opposed by 56% of the public, with large percentages believing that it will lead to higher prices for cable and Internet service, according to a poll conducted by Consumer Reports. The online survey, conducted in April, showed that just 11% support the transaction, and 32%... Read more

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Netflix Will Stop Telling Customers Verizon Is Making Their Movies Load Slower

June 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix said Monday it would comply with Verizon's cease-and-desist letter, sent to both the general public and Netflix general counsel David Hyman from Verizon general counsel Randal S. Milch. The letter's complaints against Netflix were that the streaming service was misrepresenting the "many different factors that affect traffic on the Internet," including the controversy over whether or not Verizon is obliged to provide free access to its network based on user preference. In response, Netflix said that as part of a "transparency campaign" to tell users when the network they were using was choking Netflix content, "we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network. "We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion," the company said in a blog post bylined to communications vp Joris Evers. "This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly." While this is sort of a non-denial-denial—we don't admit that what we're doing is wrong but coincidentally, we're going to stop doing it—on the heels of the Verizon C&D letter, it comes with yet another dig at Verizon: a post from the company's ISP speed ranker, a fascinating tool you can check out yourself here . With the new site, which appears to dynamically measure average bandwidth—that's actual bandwidth, not advertised bandwidth—you can see that Netflix's data streams a lot slower from Verizon's DSL service (which is definitely incredibly slow), but you can also see, among other things, that the U.S. has some of the slowest streaming speeds in the developed world, below every European country except Ireland and lagging behind much poorer countries elsewhere in the Americas like Mexico and Brazil.

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Netflix Creates the Best Worst Website for Its New Cartoon, BoJack Horseman

June 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix has done quite a bit of clever marketing in its recent past, from the minimalist teasers for House of Cards to its fake listings for shows featured in Arrested Development. The streaming service's newest oddity is part of the promotion for BoJack Horseman, an upcoming Adult Swim-ish show about a talking horse who's fallen on hard times after the demise of his 1990s sitcom.

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ScreenHits to Launch Free Internet Site to Let Consumers Watch ‘Broken’ TV Pilots (Exclusive)

May 22, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

ScreenHits, a startup that runs an online marketplace for global buyers of TV shows and films, is gearing up to launch a service that will let consumers watch television pilots that haven’t been picked up — promising a new revenue stream for producers and studios. The direct-to-consumer Pilot Showcase is slated to go live July 1, 2014,... Read more

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Why AMC Wants You to Watch the Whole First Episode of Halt & Catch Fire Early on Tumblr

May 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If AMC's corporate strategy has embraced a single ethos over the last few years, it's that more people watching is better, period. So it's probably not a surprise that the network elected to release the premiere episode of its new drama Halt & Catch Fire, a period show about the competitive 1980's personal computing scene, on Tumblr

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TV Creators Warn FCC: Don’t Let Internet Become ‘Like Cable Television’

May 13, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

As the FCC prepares new rules of the road for the Internet, more than 240 TV showrunners and creators have signed on to a Writers Guild of America West letter urging the commission to avoid regulations that would allow content companies to pay for speedier delivery to users. The letter, sent on Tuesday, was the... Read more

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AT&T in Talks to Acquire DirecTV

May 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

DirecTV and AT&T are in talks to merge, with AT&T taking a stake in the smaller company in a deal composed of both cash and shares, according to multiple reports. Stock at both companies took a serious jump on the news; it's the most recent example of consolidation in the cable and telco industries and it's unlikely to be the last, especially if everything goes smoothly between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and the regulating bodies who have to sign off on that merger transaction. Indeed, things got a little simpler in the latter transaction today, as the TWC's divestiture of several cable systems—to competitor Charter, which is a condition of the merger—was combined with the docket to merge the two larger companies. Both DirecTV and AT&T declined to comment this evening, but reports, most prominently at The Wall Street Journal , say the deal could close within the next two weeks. AT&T would pay $50 billion in cash and stock for a majority stake in DirecTV. It's a proposition that would give AT&T a much larger stake in the cable industry, but its long-term implications are far-reaching and interesting: With a satellite cable provider as part of its suite of services, an Internet and telephone service provider like AT&T would have a major reason to start backing traditional TV against Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and the other streaming video services that make AT&T's service valuable but erode the marketability of a service like DirecTV. (It's true the the company has its U-Verse cable outfit, but that's available in fewer than 5 million homes across 22 states). If AT&T and DirecTV file with the regulators before Comcast, Time Warner and Charter complete the complicated docket that will be needed to finish that deal, it's possible that the agencies involved will want to look at both deals simultaneously, gumming up the works for all parties involved. It's also worth noting that AT&T's bid to take over T-Mobile was stifled by regulators in 2011. Mind you, though the specific parties are unexpected, consolidation in the cable industry is not. The U.S. pay-TV market has matured enough that its low end is occupied not by basic cable packages, but by streaming services including Netflix and the others listed above—and anyone offering traditional cable and satellite service is competing mostly for customers belonging to his competition. So rather than build out AT&T's fledgling U-Verse network or enter a bidding war for another geographically limited part of the market like TWC or Cox, AT&T is going for a satellite partner that will allow it to market over a much broader region. And it strengthens DirecTV's position as the rest of the industry huddles together.

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