Posts Tagged ‘internet’

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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And That’s a Hat Trick for HBO Go Meltdowns

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Turns out if you just shrug when faced with rampant password sharing, your bandwidth takes a major hit during big-ticket episodes: HBO's wildly popular streaming service HBO Go coughed blood and keeled over (oh, come on, if that happened on the show it'd be the least violent thing on the screen) during the much-anticipated premiere of fantasy series Game of Thrones on Sunday night, leading to reactions like this: Noooooooo!! @HBOGO is down for #GOT #hbogo #gameofthrones pic.twitter.com/hpx9hWGepV — Hughie Stone Fish (@Hughiestonefish) April 7, 2014 Alas, Hughie Stone Fish was not alone. I think this sums up #GoT fans’ fears about @HBOGO tonight #GoTSeason4 pic.twitter.com/SP7ndhzEnu — Omar Kasrawi (@kasrawiNYC) April 7, 2014 The Internet, of course, is the first place anyone with an opinion goes to express his or her displeasure, but this is the third time the app has crashed under viewer strain in less than a year—most recently during the True Detective finale, and before that during the finale of last season's Game of Thrones.

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Amazon Aiming to Fire on All Video Cylinders, But It’s Playing Catch-Up

April 4, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Amazon laid the final cornerstone in its blueprint to dominate home entertainment this week with the debut of Fire TV: a small, $99 box the e-commerce titan promises is the easiest way to bring Internet video, games and other digital media to HDTVs. The set-top’s launch was the climax of a crescendo of deals Amazon... Read more

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Aereo Says We’re a Technological Step Not a Rube Goldberg Device

March 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a legal brief, Aereo has asked the Supreme Court to reject broadcasters' arguments that its antenna-based Internet streaming service is "a sort of Rube Goldberg device" and just "a clever way to take advantage of existing laws." The 100-page brief, filed just a few hours before the court's midnight deadline, will form the foundation for Aereo's defense of its system before the Supreme Court on April 22 . Responding to broadcasters' arguments that Aereo is trying to circumvent the copyright law, Aereo responded by positioning its service as the next "technological step" like color TV, Betamax, and the DVR. Its recordings of broadcasters' free, over-the-air signals do not violate copyright law because they

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