Channeling Netflix

Unless Congress and/or the FCC does something to change the rules of the retransmission game, pay-TV providers will need to do something to re-balance their negotiating leverage with the networks.

Shotgun wedding on the set-top

As viewers rely on a growing number of screens and devices for consuming video, the source of the programming becomes ever-less relevant to the experience of watching it, particularly as OTT services like Netflix become a more important source of original programming.

Carriers, policy groups join up to (sort of) stop Verizon-cable deal

T-Mobile, Sprint, rural operatorsPublic Knowledge have teamed up to create a mobile version of the Super Friends, their sole mission to battle the Verizon-cable Legion of Doom, but they can’t seem to agree on exactly how they would plan to oppose their new sworn enemies.

TV disruption: It’s not about the cord

The power of network owners to bundle channels together — to force pay-TV operators as well as subscribers to buy programming as a package — is at the heart of the current TV ecosystem. If it’s being lost today, it’s not because people are cutting the cord but because viewers are shifting their habits, and because new entrants are competing more effectively both for viewers and for advertising dollars.

Mobile video’s future threatened by bad reception

While the demand for video on mobile devices may be there, monetizing that demand depends on being able to deliver video over wireless networks efficiently and economically enough to allow scalable business models to emerge. For now, though, and even for the medium-term future, bandwidth constraints impose limits not just on data consumption but on monetization strategies for premium video.

The latest to target the smart energy home: Time Warner Cable

The 2012 CES show hasn’t even officially kicked off and already the smart energy home has emerged as a key target for a variety of sectors, including telcos, big box retailers, startups, chip companies and now cable operators like Time Warner Cable.

Today in Connected Consumer

Nomura Equity Research analyst Michael Nathanson, a one-time bull on big media stocks, turned sharply bearish in a research note yesterday, citing slowed growth in local and national TV advertising after the 2012 presidential campaign, declining cable subscriptions and the TV industry’s evolution into a “zero-sum game,” in which a show can only build an audience by taking viewers from somewhere else. But another zero-sum game in the TV business is about to get even hotter: that tug of war between broadcasters and cable and satellite providers over retransmsission fees. Yesterday, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and a group of small cable operators, along with the Newspaper Guild and consumer groups, jointly sent a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski asking the agency to crack down on local broadcast stations’ growing reliance on joint operating agreements that the groups claim diminish competition. While the groups behind the letter don’t all share the same agenda, the cable and satellite operators in the bunch are clearly concerned that the joint agreements are driving up retransmission fees by reducing MVPDs’ negotiating leverage with broadcasters. By going to the FCC, they’re now making a federal case out what had been an intra-industry dispute.