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Sony Delays Online Video Service Due to Comcast Data Cap

May 1, 2012 Comcast , Competition , Data Caps , MVPD

Data caps prevent online video offerings that compete with – and potentially replace – cable TV.  But don’t take our word for it.  Just ask Sony.

Last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sony was planning an online video service – something like a virtual cable company.  For a fee, Sony would offer you a bunch of channels and deliver them over the internet.  This model is great because it allows new companies to offer TV content and compete with cable companies.  The only problem is that it relies on the fat broadband pipes that the cable companies control.

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Industry Tells Senate: Internet Video Is “Ready Now”

April 24, 2012 Competition , Data Caps , MVPD , Regulatory Reform , Video Innovation

Today’s Senate hearing on online video was interesting for a few reasons. The most important of these, to me, was that no one questioned whether the Internet was the future of video. It’s apparent to most observers by now that it is. Just a few years ago Mark Cuban was saying that online video at scale was economically and technologically impossible. He’s still defending his thesis but in the meantime the explosive growth of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and so forth has put lie to the claim that the Internet can’t support the amount of high-quality video people want to watch.

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Michael Powell Works the Ref On The XBox360 Play

March 29, 2012 MVPD , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Open Internet , Set-Top Box

Michael Powell, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and now the head of the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA), professes confusion and consternation at our raising the alarm about Comcast’s decision to exempt its Xfinity app for the XBox360 from its 250 GB bandwidth cap. Rather than addressing the issue, Powell basically argues that the only reason PK (or anyone else) could possibly see anything here to worry about is because we’re either crazy alarmists or because we are “trying to get another bite at the regulatory apple.” In sports, we refer to this kind of behavior as ‘working the ref.’ 

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Cable Companies Love to Compete, Right?

February 21, 2012 Comcast , Competition , MVPD , Set-Top Box , TV Everywhere

Although Comcast’s announcement that it is preparing to launch a Netflix competitor may be a step forward for online video competition, it also highlights the dirty little secret about cable companies – they do everything they can to avoid competing with one another.

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Let’s Get the Future of TV Right

February 6, 2012 Innovation , MVPD , Plug and Play , Set-Top Box , Video Innovation

One of the benefits of the FCC’s often-laborious process of rulemaking is that it allows new issues to be discovered and resolved. This is what has happened in the Commission’s proceeding on a seemingly-arcane issue: “encryption of the basic tier.”

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