Entries Matching: Future Of Video

Supreme Court Decides to Hear Aereo Case

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Today, the Supreme Court decided it will hear a case that could determine the future of many online computing services, with additional implications for the video marketplace.


Today, the Supreme Court decided it would review the Second Circuit's decision that online service Aereo was not infringing copyrights in television programming. In April of last year, the appeals court in New York held that Aereo was not violating the copyright holders' public performance right when it transmits over-the-air broadcasts to individual users on the Internet.

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Let’s get the Ball Rolling on Video Reform

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The TWC and CBS blackout debacle is showing once again that we need to reform our video market. For this to happen, the people have to be vocal and call for reform. The McCain/Blumenthal Cable Bill – S.912 is the first step on that path and it needs more co-sponsors.


Even the most ardent free market mavens will tell you, the current system where broadcasters can withdraw their free broadcast signal and demand payment for retransmitting it has nothing to do with a free market.

It all started with the market distorting gift of free broadcast licenses to use the public airwaves to broadcasters like CBS by the government. In exchange for this and other regulatory goodies, they have one responsibility – provide free programming to the public in their local market. For reasons I won’t get into (but you can read about at length here), Congress in 1992 gave broadcasters the right to demand cable operators pay to retransmit this free broadcasting signal, thus spawning the current consumer-abuse machine known as “retransmission consent.”

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Escaping The Black Hole Of Television Blackouts

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CBS crossed a line from permissible hardball tactics to unfair consumer abuse when it blocked TWC broadband subscribers from accessing content on CBS.com. The FCC needs to enforce rules on consumer protection, and Congress needs to fix the broken system of retransmission consent.


Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers find themselves suffering through no fault of their own in what has become an all too familiar scenario for cable and satellite TV subscribers. After months of negotiation, CBS and Time Warner Cable could not come to terms for carriage of CBS’ broadcast programming or its Showtime premium cable network. As a result, Time Warner Cable video subscribers can no longer watch CBS or Showtime in several major markets.

But then CBS went further. To put more pressure on TWC, CBS blocked all subscribers to TWC broadband from accessing certain content on its CBS.com website. This punishes not just the Time Warner Cable video subscribers in the markets impacted by the blackout, but also TWC broadband subscribers who live outside the blacked out markets, and those that rely on free over-the-air TV or use a pay TV provider other than TWC (e.g., DIRECTV).

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More Reports of Technology Giants Interested in Internet TV Show That the Problem Isn’t Technology

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Technology isn't holding back Internet TV—the structure of the media industry is.


Rumors of Intel's and Apple's interest in launching some kind of online cable service have been circulating for months. Years, even. It's clear that major tech companies have the technology ready, and they've been making phone calls and taking meetings. People talk, reports get written. Now, we can add Google to the mix. As the Wall Street Journal first reported, it's interested in launching some kind of online TV service, too—one that is intended to actually substitute for a traditional pay TV subscription by having current, popular shows from both cable and broadcast channels, and not just supplement it with on-demand access to a back catalog or user-generated content.

So with all these rumors, and all these giant tech companies involved, why haven't we actually seen a service get launched? The technology's ready. Other countries already have online cable TV--Sweden's Magine, a company that outright says "We’re meaning to replace your cable network," is expanding internationally. Why doesn't the US?

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Online Video Moves Out of the Bedroom

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Permits for online video production are up, which means the industry is coming into its own.


Last week, Los Angeles announced that “Web-Based TV” on-location film permits were up 63% compared to last year.  While that is an impressive percentage increase, the absolute number was even more striking.  In the second quarter there were 499 permit requests – compared to 381 for TV Sitcoms and 384 for TV pilots.

For an industry that is often thought of as people making videos and posting them from their bedroom, this is a number worth considering for a moment.  It means that online video production is moving into the streets – and getting bigger in the process.

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