Fox has come to terms with satcaster Dish Network on a mammoth carriage deal covering FX, National Geographic Channel, 19 regional sports networks and retransmission consent for Fox’s 27 broadcast TV stations.
The deal averts the prospect of Fox facing another station blackout as of today, when its previous retrans pact with Dish was set to expire. FX and the regional sports cablers went dark on Dish as of Oct. 1 when the sides could not agree on a renewal. Fox’s O&O stations are distribbed to about 4 million of the 14.3 million subscribers Dish has across the country.
On Saturday, Fox resolved its retrans standoff with cable giant Cablevision that had kept its Gotham and Philadelphia stations dark for 3 million New York, New Jersey and Connecticut-area subscribers since Oct. 16.
Mike Hopkins, prexy of affiliate sales and marketing, noted that Fox and Dish execs “worked tirelessly to help us reach a successful conclusion” during the lengthy talks.
The whole Fox-Direct TV-Cablevision fiasco is a clear indicator that at a minimum channel mastering has its flaws and at its worst probably ought to be under investigate by various State AG’s for consumer fraud. Keep in mind reader that all three players had PAYING customers for the services. The jerk around was on payouts by the middle layer. Which I would recommend that at a minimum providers should be required to provide a service regardless of the payouts if you or your assigns have the first paying customer sitting in front of the screen. Once the commitment is made you the provider are FORCED to honor it. You don’t, you pay 10x the cost of the service to each paying customer signed up and there are no terminating fees, charge backs, etc. As much as I hate this type of meddling, the end customer should not be used as the pawn in the boardroom.
Which brings us to our age old song — the first provider that sells their service ala-carte per show will be the winner. It will force all the rest to follow suit. Then at long last jerk arounds like the above will be a thing of the past without having to resort to laws and darconian fines to accomplish what the marketplace can do instead.
In business there are several ways you can win. You can be head and shoulders above everyone else. Your competition can be total screw ups. You can gain a defacto monopoly by political legerdemain. Or some mix of all of them. Case in point –
In just over two weeks, Emmy-winning AMC drama Mad Men is slated to begin its fourth season on the basic cable channel. But with negotiations between its parent company and AT&T U-Verse over carriage fees, the cable and internet provider might force subscribers to relocate their premiere parties to the apartment of someone with Comcast.
It’s not just AMC that faces being dropped by U-Verse. Female-oriented channel WE tv and the Independent Film Channel could also face the firing squad if AT&T can’t reach an agreement with parent company Rainbow Media before July 25.
This is similar to the situation faced by Cablevision last March when its pricing squabble with ABC resulted in customers missing a bit of the live Oscars telecast.
It is crazy that a channel customer should be losing any access to the entertainment over some internal provider-carrier squabble. That is fighting over who washes the dishes kind of silliness. And the customer be damned thank you very much.
The better model is the carrier is paid by the subscription of the consumer not by the channel provider. No squabbles occur. In fact under that scheme the two parties work in concert to maximize subscription rates. The whole effort become customer focused rather than channel focused as it is now on cable.
And that is why the likes of Netflix and Hulu will be winners in the space.
The Associated Press shows its technical incompetence — again. If you saw this piece — 25% of analog TV signals cut off
Many homes not prepared for digital switch — read it but don’t follow their technical suggestion. —
In addition, many households will find that they need new antennas. Digital signals generally come in better than analog ones, but they are not received well by some older antennas.
You are wasting your money. As the author of this Popular Science piece observes –
This makes a blank screen appear to be the antenna’s fault. Not so. And it could scare some people into wasting money on new “digital” antennas. A radio wave is a radio wave — whether it carries an analog or digital TV signal. So the old antenna picks up the new signal just as well — in fact identically — as it picks up the new signal.
The problem is in the signal and the receiver. Analog receivers are more tolerant of weak, distorted signals. After all, it’s analog’s nature to degrade, which is why almost no one gets a pristine analog TV signal (unless they live right next to a tower). Digital doesn’t tolerate ambiguity. The receiver is looking for either a 1 or a 0. It won’t tolerate 0.5, for example. So if a digital signal deteriorates too badly, the receiver just throws its hands up in disgust, which we see as a blank screen.
An antenna is an antenna. There are many different designs based on the frequencies that are to be captured. But that is based on frequency requirements of the carrier wave, NOT whether the underlying signal is analog or digital. Fact is at the carrier wave, all signals are analog. That is the nature of radio frequency transmissions.
If you think you need or want a new antenna why not follow our advise, get out the wrenches and build your own.
LiveStream has in the past been a closed model for acessing live content via the web. Well the have changed the model and updated some aspects of the software –
The world’s leading TV channels
There are two types of channels you can watch on the Livestation player, our partner channels and those added by other Livestation viewers.
Partner channels: available in high quality, our partner channels currently include Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, Bloomberg Television, Deutsche Welle, euronews (English, French, Italian and Spanish), France 24 in French and English, Russia Today, BBC World Service radio and Deutsche Welle radio in German and English.
Add your own channels: Livestation also enables viewers to add any web streams to their own personal Livestation player. A Livestation viewer, Bernard Maltais, created this excellent tutorial. These channels may not have the same picture quality as the Livestation partner channels, and, because they are not being streamed by us, they won’t benefit from the features listed above, but they do offer added personal choice.
User-generated rating & alert system: What’s Hot & Chat
What’s Hot enables you to let others know about the content that interests you, with the click of the mouse, as you watch live TV. When you see or hear something interesting being broadcast on the player, you can hit the What’s Hot button and add your comments. If others are buzzing about the same content, the item will rise to the top of the What’s Hot buzz rankings, enabling everyone to see what is popular and, if they like it, to tune in.
Big deal? Well for LiveStation, its a move in the right direction. But this is just another indication of the shift to TVoIP. When TVoIP reaches critical mass then what? –
Please note that though LiveStation is provided free its is not open source product.
Brave new world coming for the entertainment industry.
Cablevision‘s Long Island customers now have access to 1.5MBPS symmetric WiFi. It’s a nice bonus from one of the usually villainous Cable Guys. At a cost of a paltry $100 per subscriber, it may be one of the most creatively inexpensive customer retention ideas ever in the MSO business. I wonder if there will be a run up in the sales of VoIP WiFi handsets on LI?
The move helps Cablevision differentiate themselves from FiOS across their footprint. You might recall that Verizon once offered free Wi-Fi in Manhattan, but scrapped the project back in 2005 because they feared it cannibalized the sale of their (then) $80 EVDO service. Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge has stated that Wi-Fi and Cablevision’s planned DOCSIS 3.0 deployment combined will cost roughly about $315 million.
“This is the first update on our deployment and we’re announcing that we’ve activated service in the commercial and high-traffic areas of Nassau County, parts of Suffolk and on the LIRR commuter rail platforms and station parking lots across Long Island,” Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella tells me. “This is already the largest consumer WiFi deployment in the country, with many more progress reports and updates to come over the next two years.” (DSL Reports)
Touting a $315 million investment in DOCSIS 3 sounds huge, except it works out to a measly $100 per subscriber. With the anticipated high cost of the Cablevision’s 30MBPS uncapped tier, that investment should be recouped in the first quarter or two. Very few businesses enjoy such handsome ROI’s. Having said that, I wish I could get it here at whatever price.
Today, Cablevision’s fastest tier runs at 30Mbps over DOCSIS 2.0, and is truly uncapped — allowing users to get as much speed as the network will allow. Rutledge says the company spent nearly $20 million on both DOCSIS 3.0 deployment and their plan to offer Cablevision customers free Wi-Fi during the second quarter. “The total capital for that [combined project] over a three-year budget cycle is about $100 per customer or in the range of $315 million,” says the COO. (DSL Reports)