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AT&T dangles prospect of Shop While You Watch app

November 24, 2014 | by Editor | Comments

The idea has been kicking around for years: give viewers the ability to buy whatever they see on their screens being worn, used, eaten, or in any other way displayed. AT&T is considering doing that for U-verse. AT&T is calling the concept Shop While You Watch, and it seems to be floating the idea to see if anyone will bite.

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Broadband Direct

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

Cha-Ching! TWC’s Marcus, DirecTV’s White to score big bucks

November 21, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus and DirecTV CEO Mike White are the envy of Dr. Evil. Marcus, who has been on the job for 11 months, and White are poised to cash in for considerably more than Dr. Evil’s $1 million dollar plan to ransom the world.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick ships, sort of

November 19, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Amazon announced that its Fire TV Stick has started shipping today, and said that the stick was its fastest selling Amazon device ever. But it looks as though you’ll have to wait until after the holidays to get your hands on one. Last month Amazon announced it was taking on Chromecast and Roku, among others, with its Fire TV Stick, which provides instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games. 

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AT&T chair: go Title II and we'll sue

November 12, 2014 1:15 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

If the FCC were to attempt to reclassify broadband as a communications service under Title II, the industry will immediately sue to block the move, AT&T Randall Stephenson vowed. Furthermore, communications companies will stop investing in their networks.

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Proposed FCC compromise will be a win for the industry

October 31, 2014 2:16 pm | 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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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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Who is this Polka guy, and why is he saying such heinous things?

October 21, 2014 12:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

“Why won't you give cable subscribers the same rights you're evidently giving broadband customers under the ‘CBS All Access’ plan?” Maybe because broadcasters will make much less money if viewers get to choose to pay for each of the major networks, because everyone expects that tens and tens of millions of viewers won’t.

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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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