Items tagged "MVPD"

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Retransmission Consent: Yep, Still Broken

March 27, 2013 Future of Video , MVPD

Our country’s absolutely ridiculous “retransmission consent” system continues to distort the video marketplace. This is the set of arcane rules that give local broadcasters (and not copyright holders) the right to decide whether cable systems (and IPTV and satellite providers) can carry their programming. A system that should be about connecting creators to viewers instead empowers middlemen who collect money from both sides. It’s not that distributors and other kinds of middlemen have no place–far from it. But they should add value, and be compensated accordingly.

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Congress Considers Updating 20-year-old Rules, Witnesses Squabble

July 25, 2012 MVPD , Video Innovation

Congressional Committee hearings have the tendency to come across as a bit dry at times [read, a lot of the time].  Members of Congress attempt humor that falls flat, drop references to their local sports team, and respectfully disagree with their colleagues about legislation or Constitutional interpretation.   The witnesses provide testimony from the perspective of their organizations/industries, take subtle jabs at the opposing position, and answer Members’ questions, or listen to Members use the majority of their question time to make drawn out positions statements.

However, yesterday’s Senate Commerce hearing on “The Cable Act at 20” was different.  It became so feisty at one point that I expected popcorn and soft drinks to go along with the entertainment. 

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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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PK In the Know Podcast

September 30, 2011 Music , Music Licensing , MVPD

On today’s podcast, we discuss disruptions – or nondisruptions – in the music (here, here, here, and here) and pay-TV industries (here and here).  We also chat with Zak Homuth of Upverter about creating tools to design open source hardware, just what open source hardware means, and the Sleep-n-Tweet.

You can download the audio directly by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed.

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NCTA to FCC: AllVid Might Actually Work, and That’s a Problem

February 11, 2011 MVPD , Set-Top Box

Usually, routine letters to the FCC from industry players, asking it to take some action or pleading with it not to, don’t get much coverage. But the tech press has picked up on an amazingly overheated letter (PDF link) from the NCTA (cable’s trade association), where it claims that AllVid (which we’ve written about on the blog many times) would turn cable systems into nothing but “wholesalers,” and that allowing users a choice of user interfaces with which to view their content would throw their businesses into disarray.

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PK In the Know Podcast

October 29, 2010 Innovation , Mobile Communication , MVPD , TV Everywhere

On today’s podcast, we talk the Fox/Cablevision retransmission battle, Comcast’s announcement that you don’t need to be on a Comcast Internet connection to get Xfinity video, Apple’s universal SIM card that will never be useful in the United States, the copyright protections that were the secret to Netflix’s success, and Amazon’s small step towards allowing book sharing on the Kindle.

You can download the audio directly by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed and here for the mixed audio/video feed.

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