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A Perry Mason twist in the FCC's favor

November 25, 2014 | by Brian Santo | Comments

In Washington, D.C., a set of programmers are holding up two major corporate takeovers because they don’t want a few extra lawyers to become privy to the trade secrets in their retrans consent contracts. Meanwhile, in Washington State, a Court of Appeals just ruled there no grounds for claiming that the terms of retrans agreements are trade secrets.

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Broadband Direct

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

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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Media: Apple, Google hook up Disney on cross platform deal

November 4, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

It’s not exactly “cats living with dogs,” but the needle for enabling TV Everywhere services may have budged a fraction with the news that Google and Apple will allow purchased Disney movies to be viewed on each other’s platforms. 

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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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Comcast’s Roberts: ‘Customer service should be our best product’

October 24, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast has suffered several customer service related black eyes this year, including the overly zealous customer service rep that refused to cancel a former subscriber’s service and the allegation that the nation’s top cable operator got another disgruntled customer fired for complaining about his customer service. Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts took to the customer service stump during Thursday’s third quarter earnings call.

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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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The sound and the fury: Gigabit services

October 17, 2014 12:57 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

“Gigabit” has a long way to go in terms of replacing the ubiquitous “cloud services” as the most used tech term, but there’s no doubt that, thanks to Google, Gigabit is now firmly entrenched in at least some consumers’ minds. AT&T, Grande Communications, Google Fiber, TDS Telecom, CenturyLink, Bright House Networks, Atlantic Broadband, and Cox Communications have, or plan to have 1-Gigabit services available.

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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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