Posts Tagged ‘internet’

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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Dems and GOP Reach Compromise on Reauthorization of Satellite Bill

May 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A bill to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, which ensures that 1.5 million rural cable subscribers will be able to receive programming from all the TV networks, has a good chance of getting voted favorably out of the House commerce committee on Thursday. The bill, which would reauthorize what is known as STELA for five years, now has bipartisan support, according to communications and technology subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who has been working with ranking member Anna Eshoo (R-Calif.) to resolve differences over the bill. Reauthorization of STELA (it expires at the end of the year), is critical to DirecTV, which relies on the bill to deliver out of market network affiliated TV stations to 1.5 million subscribers. With an election bearing down on lawmakers, the number of days left in Congress to get anything done is limited, putting extra urgency to move the bill forward before it expires. The House judiciary committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on the copyright portion of the bill. "It's imperative that we get this legislation to the president's desk before the end of the year, and I thank ranking member Anna Eshoo and other members of the committee for their hard work and collaboration to help make this happen," said Walden. "I look forward to advancing this 'must pass' legislation this week and its speedy approval by the full House." The bill had a few goodies tacked on, like prohibiting TV stations from jointly negotiating retransmission-consent negotiations and lifting the cable box integration ban, but it was a provision that would delay the Federal Communications Commission from going ahead with its new rule to limit TV joint sales agreements that put the two sides of the aisle at odds.

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AOL Relaunches Moviefone with New Look, Expands Into TV Content

May 5, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

AOL’s Moviefone has a brand-new look and an expanded mission that now encompasses TV. The Internet media company teamed on the Moviefone relaunch with Whalerock Industries, which changed changed its name from BermanBraun after the exit of Gail Berman earlier this year. The new Moviefone website and apps are designed to span all entertainment content,... Read more

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‘Star Wars” Next Challenge: Making Its Cast Matter

April 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Star Wars” announced its new cast this week, which of course lit up the Internet like someone had just blown up the Death Star. Which is kind of strange, since at least in the last “Star Wars” trilogy, George Lucas’ clumsy scripting and emphasis on digital filmmaking managed to make actors almost irrelevant to the... Read more

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FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Still Fuzzy

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Federal Communications Commission did damage control today to try to convince critics that the chairman's net neutrality proposal would not create a "payola Internet,” would not end the end the Internet as we know it, and would not lead to a host of Internet price increases for consumers. "This notice decides nothing," an FCC official explained during a call with reporters that followed a tsunami of negative press . Even after the commission votes May 15 to proceed with the notice of proposed rulemaking, there will still be plenty of unanswered questions, including what would constitute a net neutrality violation. The public will have plenty of time to comment before the FCC finalizes the rules by the end of the year. Let's take the easy part of chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal first. The FCC proposes to reinstate the 2010 "no blocking" rule for legal content and enhance the 2010 rule that requires ISPs to disclose their network policies and practices. The biggest question, and what remains unclear in Wheeler's proposal, is how the FCC will determine what fast lane agreements between ISPs and content providers is "commercially reasonable." "We don't know, the rulemaking will decide it," said an FCC official. "We want a broad public debate before we make those kinds of decisions. We'll ask first and answer later," he said. So depending on a bunch of details that haven't been written yet, that could mean the FCC might allow deals that give some Internet content priority over another. But no one at the FCC seems to know how that will work, except that each deal will be reviewed on a "case-by-case basis." In his blog post , Wheeler said the FCC "will propose rules that establish a high bar for what is 'commercially reasonable.'" "The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the 'commercially reasonable' test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity," Wheeler wrote. When asked if that means a deal between Netflix and Comcast that raises prices for consumers would be a violation, the FCC official responded that: "if it limits competition, that's a problem." OK, are we clear now?

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Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On April 22, attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast TV networks will face off before the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo . The closely watched case could change the course of broadcast television and determine the future of the emerging over-the-top video marketplace. With so much on the line, Aereo—fighting to stay in business—and the broadcasters that want to shut it down have enlisted the services of a couple of big-name Washington attorneys with deep ties to the high court. The Supreme Court decision , which could come in late summer, will end two years of legal battles that began just prior to Aereo’s launch in New York. What Aereo calls a technology that gets it around the copyright law to deliver over-the-air TV stations on the Internet broadcasters call a legal gimmick and a clear violation of copyright. As Aereo rolled out in other cities, broadcasters sued. Aereo won in New York and Boston but lost in Utah. When broadcasters petioned the Supreme Court last October to hear the case, the response of Aereo, knowing it faced an endless series of expensive lawsuits, was: Bring it on. The question before the court Whether a company “publicly performs a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” What’s at stake for Aereo? If it loses, Barry Diller, Aereo’s financial backer, has said the startup is toast

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Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On April 22, attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast TV networks will face off before the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo . The closely watched case could change the course of broadcast television and determine the future of the emerging over-the-top video marketplace. With so much on the line, Aereo—fighting to stay in business—and the broadcasters that want to shut it down have enlisted the services of a couple of big-name Washington attorneys with deep ties to the high court. The Supreme Court decision , which could come in late summer, will end two years of legal battles that began just prior to Aereo’s launch in New York. What Aereo calls a technology that gets it around the copyright law to deliver over-the-air TV stations on the Internet broadcasters call a legal gimmick and a clear violation of copyright. As Aereo rolled out in other cities, broadcasters sued. Aereo won in New York and Boston but lost in Utah. When broadcasters petioned the Supreme Court last October to hear the case, the response of Aereo, knowing it faced an endless series of expensive lawsuits, was: Bring it on. The question before the court Whether a company “publicly performs a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” What’s at stake for Aereo? If it loses, Barry Diller, Aereo’s financial backer, has said the startup is toast

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Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On April 22, attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast TV networks will face off before the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo . The closely watched case could change the course of broadcast television and determine the future of the emerging over-the-top video marketplace. With so much on the line, Aereo—fighting to stay in business—and the broadcasters that want to shut it down have enlisted the services of a couple of big-name Washington attorneys with deep ties to the high court. The Supreme Court decision , which could come in late summer, will end two years of legal battles that began just prior to Aereo’s launch in New York. What Aereo calls a technology that gets it around the copyright law to deliver over-the-air TV stations on the Internet broadcasters call a legal gimmick and a clear violation of copyright. As Aereo rolled out in other cities, broadcasters sued. Aereo won in New York and Boston but lost in Utah. When broadcasters petioned the Supreme Court last October to hear the case, the response of Aereo, knowing it faced an endless series of expensive lawsuits, was: Bring it on. The question before the court Whether a company “publicly performs a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” What’s at stake for Aereo? If it loses, Barry Diller, Aereo’s financial backer, has said the startup is toast .

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