AT&T is on the verge of buying DirecTV, according to reports. The deal could be worth $50 billion, but no one thinks this is about synergy, or subscribers, or scale. Most think it's about AT&T's dividend. Whoo. Hoo. AT&T can buy DirecTV, but it won’t be able to buy an exclamation point.
Verizon's FiOS TV penetration strategy seems to be running out of steam at the 35 percent mark, but subscriber adds were down in Q1 mostly because people don't want installers in their homes when it's snowing. Meanwhile, FiOS broadband is growing okay. The FiOS footprint is what it is, but what about Verizon over the top?
The Tablo is a nifty little item that lets you play over-the-air signals on your tablet. You can watch live, or record in advance and watch later. You can choose to record specific episodes, new episodes of a series, or an entire series. You can take your device anywhere, connect to the Internet, and you have access to your Tablo, including everything you’ve got stored on your disk drive.
Ultra high definition TV. Workflow management. End-to-end multi-screen (or “over the top”) delivery. For anyone even remotely involved in content preparation and distribution, those were the three big themes at the NAB Show that concludes today. And there’s a glut of vendors aiming to provide each of those technologies.
The fact that OTA broadcast stations are also carried on cable systems is thoroughly and absolutely irrelevant to Aereo – Cablevision is absolutely irrelevant to Aereo, and even if five Supreme Court Justices disagree I still won’t buy the argument.
This ends up being less than The WSJ makes it out to be… at first. After paragraphs and paragraphs of speculation, the paper reports that Apple is asking for an arrangement Comcast has no doubt already laughed off, assuming the report has all the details.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on Comcast’s $45 billion takeover attempt of Time Warner Cable. While it’s going to take some time to let the proverbial dust settle, and for the various regulatory bodies to make their decisions, here are a few more points to consider.
Malone is a tremendously astute executive, who knows full well that Wall Street loves a deal. Furthermore, TWC had been turning in some disappointing quarterly results, and Wall Streeters fervently despise disappointment. All that combined with the retirement of Glenn Britt, and TWC looked like a pretty good opportunity.
The FCC is encouraging experiments in moving from POTS to VoIP. As a practical matter, the FCC is talking to phone companies, but the results might have some ramifications for cable operators that got into the voice market with VoIP, as well as those cable operators who also operate POTS networks.
The likelihood that Comcast will participate in the takeover of Time Warner Cable seems to be increasing, with word leaking out that if Charter Communications were to buy TWC, Comcast would be interested in buying TWC’s New York City, North Carolina, and New England systems from Charter.
If there’s anybody who knows how to get screwed in a merger, it’s Time Warner Cable. TWC was a pawn in AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner, among the most disastrous mergers in history. Time Warner subsequently used TWC as a piggy bank it could bust open, emptying TWC of cash when it spun off the MSO.
Optical local area networking has some clear advantages. It is roughly comparable in price, and can last for 50 years or more. Fiber requires vastly less infrastructure to support, and significantly less maintenance. It is far more difficult to tap, and is impervious to EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) disruption.
Two bills were introduced to fix the video market, one from Rep. Steve Scalise, one from Rep. Anna Eshoo. You have to wonder if Scalise was even trying. Just look at that acronym: NGTMA. What are we supposed to do with that? Pronouncing it is a nightmare: N-n-ngitma? Ingateema? Nagtama?
The landscape for the sell-off of Time Warner Cable continues to shift with Cox Communications reportedly joining Comcast and Charter/Liberty Media as a potential suitor. Citing un-named sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that privately held Cox was considering whether it wanted to join in on the bidding for Time Warner Cable.
Late Friday, those agitating for consolidation in the cable industry floated the notion of Charter Communications and Comcast bidding on Time Warner Cable together, then breaking it up into pieces, with each claiming chunks. The news was well received by Wall Street merger-and-acquisition (M&A) experts and investors, who bid up the values of the stock of any MSO rumored to be party to any such deal.