After 41 years in the cable industry, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt took part in his last quarterly earnings conference call this morning. Britt spent about the first 20 minutes of the call with analysts speaking about the state of the cable industry in general while providing his own views and experiences.
There is no shortage of speculation about whether Comcast doing a deal with Netflix makes business sense – some say yes, some say no – but there are few evaluations of whether a Comcast-Netflix deal makes technological sense, which is key to why a Comcast-Netflix agreement is far more likely than not.
The margins on the low-cost, IP-based TV package might have been half what they were on Cox's comparable standard video package, but was that why the MSO pulled the plug on the service after only three months? Even after announcing FlareWatch was only an experiment?
That service providers will have to deliver TV everywhere is a foregone conclusion, but a couple of recent announcements – one from Sling and another from TiVo – provided an interesting juxtaposition of alternatives of how to accomplish the feat.
With today marking the one-week anniversary of CBS and Time Warner Cable ending their month-long stare down over retransmission fees, and with another dustup looming between Disney/ESPN and Dish Network, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt has some advice for pundits covering programming fee dustups: Go read the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.
Transparent caching is essentially edge caching, ultimately on behalf of OTT providers. Several companies have solutions in which they cut deals with either the MVPDs or with the CDNs to do transparent caching. The amount of equipment that needs to be added can be minimized, and the improvement in quality of service (QoS) ultimately benefits everyone all up and down the value chain.
The cloud is being sold as the greatest innovation since the food industry started building zip-lock technology into the packages of everything from hot dogs to shredded cheese, but there have been concerns: can cloud computing scale to cover hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and aren’t you just courting trouble by automatically building in too much delay? But the world is safe for the cloud, according to ActiveVideo.
With the formation of RDK Management, Comcast and Time Warner Cable not only reaffirmed their own commitment in regards to developing new boxes on the Comcast RDK, but also signaled to the rest of the cable industry that the RDK was truly an open community.
Incognito Software just released data that pretty much settles the “over-the-top: friend or foe?” debate, at least in North America. OTT is has widely come to be seen as an opportunity, and MVPDs are actively preparing for it. Part of that preparation is learning how to deliberately collect, store, and analyze IPDR data.
While Comcast announced last month that it would open up a separate, public Wi-Fi network on customers’ home gateways, Liberty Global’s UPC Netherlands also has second SSIDs enabled. Since most of UPC’s cable plant is underground, it needed to find another way to turn on more Wi-Fi hotspots.
The merger & acquisition boys are bored and frustrated, and that can spell trouble. The way these guys work is that stuff has to happen and it doesn’t much matter what it is. So now the rumor mill is churning that Charter Communications, prompted by new investor Liberty Media, might buy Time Warner Cable. Or Cablevision. Or both!
While Wi-Fi has cemented itself as the go-to strategy for enabling mobile broadband, there’s bigger and better technology on the horizon. Tom Nagel, Comcast’s senior vice president of business development, would like to add a couple of things to his Wi-Fi playlist.
It was a busy week for Aereo, including comments that emerged from broadcasters at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. Aereo’s business model is a direct threat to broadcasters, but if it emerges victorious in court it could be beneficial to some cable operators. One cable operator executive said that Aereo’s use case was “more of an opportunity than a threat for the MSOs.”
More than two decades after the Cable Act of 1992, and almost that long since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it appears that the sentiment that it’s time for wide-ranging, substantive telecom reform is beginning to coalesce among legislators.
Cablevision’s antitrust suit against Viacom is long overdue, but it might also be too late. Trends are leading the industry is heading toward an a la carte model, which promises to undermine programmers’ ability to bundle. The question is: how long will the suit drag out?