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Proposed FCC compromise will be a win for the industry

October 31, 2014 | by Brian Santo | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler may drop attempts at Title II reclassification, but in exchange will approve the Comcast / Time Warner Cable and AT&T / DirecTV mergers only with conditions that will bar them from engaging in paid prioritization. It's a win for MVPDs, but will they accept it?  

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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Distribution contracts and the benefits of a strategic petard

October 22, 2014 6:58 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Programmers are holding up Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable and AT&T's merger with DirecTV because they don’t want 108 people from learning the details of their contracts with their distributors. The argument should be blown up from underneath them with a well-placed metaphoric landmine.

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Ratings whoopsie

October 13, 2014 1:46 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Nielsen took another hit in credibility when it announced an unspecified technical error led to incorrect ratings for broadcast networks. Cable companies have been dissatisfied with Nielsen’s technical capabilities for reporting, specifically its delay in figuring out a way to measure multi-screen viewing.

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Expo musings on the death of the Cable Show

September 29, 2014 1:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s decision to rebrand The Cable Show as INTX, which stands for the Internet and Television Expo, was good fodder for informal conversations at last week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver. The NCTA announced that it was rebranding the show as INTX a week prior to Expo.

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FCC chair makes firmest case yet that broadband competition is lacking

September 4, 2014 2:11 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday stated flatly that in too much of the U.S., there is no meaningful broadband competition, and that competitors are lagging behind public need. If enough people accept his propositions, Wheeler would then be able to justify reclassifying broadband as a communications service.

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Senate video promotes broadcaster a la carte

August 26, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

VIDEO: Senate Republicans are promoting the notion of making local stations a la carte on cable networks with a new YouTube video. The idea has the potential for gaining bipartisan support, even in this bitterly divided Congress, as a consumer-friendly and nearly pure free-market solution.

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Cox not interested in buying T-Mobile

August 21, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Speculators on Wall Street, eager for deals to move the market and frustrated by the collapse of talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, have been toying with the names of other companies who might step in and buy T-Mobile. Who's in a position to do it, though?

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Don't bet the farm on 4K

August 12, 2014 1:30 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

There are a lot of people insisting that 4K is the next big thing. 4K is demonstrably one of the technologies coming up next, and it is inevitable that 4K will eventually be big, but “next” and “big” both at the same time? You might want to adjust your expectations for the longer term.

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4seTV has a proposition for cable

August 11, 2014 12:31 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The startup has developed a box it that will simultaneously split a TV or tablet screen into four functional windows. 4seTV will be going the retail route for its box, but it has an interesting proposition for cable companies: something for nothing.

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House authorizes death of CableCard

July 23, 2014 4:52 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The U.S. House of Representatives has reauthorized STELA. The cable industry had hoped to tack on provisions to reform retransmission consent rules, but the House declined. But the House did include language to end separable security requirements. In other words, the House has agreed to let the loathed CableCard die.

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Aereo loss is a very big deal

June 26, 2014 1:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Another thing the average viewer doesn’t get is that Aereo and its approach was a hedge against rising cable costs. Retrans fees are going to keep going up. Cable fees are going to keep going up. That’s a win for broadcasters, but for no one else. It’s a clear loss for viewers, larger than most realize.

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TV Everywhere apps: “Market the damn things”

June 16, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

MSOs are getting crushed by their over the top rivals when it comes to TV Everywhere – an area where the only thing they have to do to become more competitive is to let their customers know that they are, in fact, competing. The Diffusion Group’s advice to MSOs: “Market the damn things.”

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Oliver's Army

June 6, 2014 6:04 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

John Oliver’s rant about network neutrality early this week was impassioned, entertaining, and, in the end, completely wrong about what network neutrality is and how it works. But that may well end up being irrelevant for a couple of reasons.

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Comcast’s Roberts ranks 10th among nation’s highest-paid CEOs

May 27, 2014 12:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts was among the nation’s highest-paid CEOs last year, according to recent research by the Associated Press and executive pay research firm Equilar. Ranked 10th overall, Roberts pulled down $31.4 million last year, which was up 8 percent from the previous year. 

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TWC: We’ll try harder

May 21, 2014 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

With their $45 billion merger making the regulatory rounds, the last thing Comcast and Time Warner Cable needed was a very public black eye in American Customer Satisfaction Index survey (ACSI), which was released yesterday. To recap, Time Warner Cable finished dead last in customer satisfaction for both its video and data services while Comcast was second to last in the same catagories in the survey.

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Mystery operator deploys Benu Networks for community Wi-Fi

May 20, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Given all of the Wi-Fi related news over the past few months, an interesting press release came over the transom this morning. Benu Networks announced today that a “major North American MSO” had deployed its technology for community Wi-Fi deployments. Benu added more mystery to release by saying that it was in lab trials with two more North American service providers.

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