It had been posted previously that the White House was pushing that Al Jazerra be permitted on cable channels. Well lo! Up pops information that Comcast may carry the feed –
Al-Jazeera is in discussions with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, about bringing the network’s English-language channel to millions of U.S. homes, the Qatar-based news service said Tuesday.
Al-Jazeera hopes to capitalize on its growing reputation as a serious provider of top-quality journalism from an increasingly tumultuous Middle East.
“We’re very grateful for all the support and appreciation we’ve been receiving,” Al-Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said in a statement. “Clearly the demand is there for Al-Jazeera, and people want to see us on their screens.”
Anstey arrived in New York City on Tuesday to lead the talks, the network said. The Comcast meeting was the first move in a new push by Al-Jazeera to get on U.S. cable systems, which have been reluctant to carry the Qatar-based news network. A Comcast spokesperson declined to comment on the talks.
It’s quite a turn of events for Al-Jazeera, which until its widely praised coverage of the unrest in Egypt was something of a pariah in the United States. During the Iraq War, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld branded the network’s reporting of civilian casualties as “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable.”
Now, the White House is watching Al-Jazeera alongside CNN.
Pretty much seals it for me. The White House is with the terrorists.
But as a political matter why go thru the trouble? Anybody who wants to have AJ can plop down a 4′ K band dish in the back yard and have it direct. Going the route the WH is going may have ramifications. And I am prepared to do our part to make it happen. Call Comcast NOT to carry the channel –
Vice President, Public Relations
Let Dear Beth know how you feel.
[Cross posted to BeJohnGalt.com]
Comcast is attempting to put a stake in the ground in regards to providing video on and off net to the swarm of tablets that are coming to the fore. But there be a problem — They have not asked the providers for permission to do so –
Comcast’s plan to make TV networks available on tablet devices is rapidly turning into a real pain in the app for programming providers.
The nation’s No. 1 cable company, which is on the verge of sealing a deal to acquire NBC Universal, rolled out a new application, Xfinity TV, for Apple’s iPad last week.
The app will offer live streaming of some content and the opportunity to watch thousands of hours of on-demand content.
While that’s a welcome advance for viewers, it’s stirring up a hornet’s nest of legal issues for rights owners.
“I sell these shows in wireless, in download-to-own, and I sell them to Netflix,” one distribution chief told The Post, noting that the company recently had its lawyer send a letter to Comcast as a reminder it needed to negotiate additional rights.
“I’m not ready to just hand it over to Comcast.”
I can understand the desire to maintain revenues that providing streams to iPads and the like might engender. However what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander. Comcast has screamed loud and hard in front of Congress about lost of revenue by people stealing drops. Well Comcast, the same goes the other vis a vis your upstream content partners.
Get with the program.
Well the latest Consumerist award for the Worst Company in America has been rewarded. The Winner? Why Comcast!! The cable company that people seem to love to hate. But you know, there is something worse than being that winner. Being the company that rubs another’s nose in it –
For anyone who thought that mammoth megacorporations behaved anything like adults, they should just check out the Twitter account for Verizon, who saw fit tonight to have a little fun at the expense of Worst Company In America winner Comcast.
Follow the link to the Consumerist site to see the adult attitude from Verizon.
Has Art Brodsky lost his grip? His posting over at Public Knowledge has to be one of the lamest lines of defense ever offered as a basis for over turning the Rule of Law. Kindness of Strangers be damned!
Mr Brodsky starts with using the Ides of March reversal technique –
Of course, the story isn’t all that simple, is it? Because the hidden story of Comcast’s glorious victory is that if Comcast were smart, it wouldn’t in the first place have brought the case, which challenged the FCC’s authority over the company’s high-speed Internet service. Some in the telecommunications industry, perhaps even huge companies with three letters in its name, urged (begged?) Comcast not to take the FCC’s ruling to court, because of the possibility that Comcast could actually win and, potentially, win big —which is what happened.
The reason that the Telcos like the arrangement Art is that it extended their LATA boundary relationships into the non regulated digital environment without so much as a legal skirmish. And what’s this dismissive alluding but not naming? Its AT&T, VZ, Sprint. Don’t be so damn coy.
But where is the standing on damages to the industry that Mr. Brodsky intones? He offers two — Depend on the Kindness of Strangers, and Waiting for Godot. In the former case he charges that depending on the big firms for telecommunications advancement has led us on a downward spiral in terms of global competitiveness. There is some truth to that but not the whole truth. For who is the hand maiden leading the spiraling down the drain but the FCC itself. Then in the latter case we have this –
We can’t depend on unelected bureaucrats to deal with topics as essential as broadband, because the result could be “excessive and burdensome regulation” on those humble, hard-working telephone and cable companies who unfairly change the rules without any reason at all.
And to you I say, NO we cannot trust bureaucrats with damn near anything including telecommunications. If for no other reason that the concept of the Lack of Sufficient Knowledge on a continuing basis.
But thru all of Mr. Brodsky’s missive is this gem –
… Practically speaking (even if there is a very slim legal opening), broadband is free from regulation – a nirvana that the telecoms industry might once upon a time have gratefully accepted as its due, but now looks upon it with some trepidation because now the door has swung wide open to a full-scale discussion of bringing Internet broadband access services back under reasonable regulation.
Two counts here. Brodsky’s ox has been gored by this ruling yet now the door has been swung open for reasonable regulation? By what variant of a pharmaceutical does he come to this conclusion? Its an election year fella. The chances of a Democratic Congress taking this up is slim to none. Plus if the tea leaves are right the Republican Congress next year won’t have the cycle time to touch it either. The second is under proper procedure, the FCC being a creature of Congress should make the necessary request for an expansion of its authority by the proper means, not some gerrymandered legal trick with a wink and a nod. But Mr. Brodsky the FCC DOES NOT possess the authority to overstate its intended alloted powers. Or do I assume you are willing to abrogate the rule of law to achieve your statist aims under the color of consumer protection. How Stalinist.
Its the big item on Drudge right now. Its all abuzz on the Tech Blogs. But if you had been a consistent ThirdPipe reader you would have known the likely outcome of all this back on Jan 10. That is when I posted this piece. And since we knew this already, we can’t add ‘unexpectedly’ to the title of this posting.
And there are no surprises. It went down pretty much as the Court drafted in their memorandum back to the FCC. So what now? Well probably nothing unless the powers that be start edging Congress to expand the FCC’s statutory authority. However I don’t see that happening in a political election year.
So welcome back to the future — 2004 edition!
There’s a mind set in the cable side of the broadband duopoly that refuses to sell us what we want and demands the we buy what they are selling. It’s the conventional wisdom among the management in the world of coax as demonstrated by Comcast COO Steve Burke:
Speaking at the CTAM cable marketing convention in Denver, Colorado on October 25, Burke described his fears if the industry does not move ahead to form new business models. The industry-wide TV Everywhere authentication project is a way to try to “take the cable industry and put it ahead of the internet and try to not let it roll ahead of our industry,” he said. Burke also illustrated some frustration with those in the business who were not lending a hand.
“Some people’s business models are going in the wrong direction,” he said, a likely reference to News Corp, Disney and NBC Universal who are partners in free online video site, Hulu that is considering putting some content behind a pay-wall. “I’ve yet to meet a content provider who doesn’t worry about cord cutting and doesn’t see the wisdom of trying to get ahead of that. Stop talking about how hard it is and start figuring it out,” he said. (Broadcast and Cable)
Let’s see, cable needs to get ahead of the internet with a more limited, restrictive, and expensive product? It’s amazing Comcast’s shareholders tolerate this kind of leadership. Video on demand has become as common as email on the internet. Both free and paid models are succeeding growing and delivering profits. Instead of burning a pile of money building a whole new technology like TV Everywhere that consumers don’t want, why not offer more of what they are actually buying. Netflix, Amazon and iTunes are having no problem finding people who are willing to pay for content. If Comcast would simply discover the big dumb pipe, and deliver content via the internet to anyone with a broadband connection, it really would be ahead of the trend. But that would require some profoundly arrogant folks like the cable industry to start their customers what they really want. Cable isn’t accustomed to doing that.