To create the AutoHop functionality, Dish technicians in Cheyenne, Wyoming manually view Fox’s primetime programming each night and technologically mark the beginning and end of each commercial. The program content is not altered in any way. The electronically marked files are then uplinked in Wyo., and eventually transmitted to subscribers.
If the U.S. cable industry was looking for the largest MSO to help push for reform of retransmission consent, it can forget it. Comcast’s programming arm is far behind its direct competitors when it comes to collecting retrans fees, but it is about to get aggressive on that front.
Rep. Greg Walden is trying to revive legislation to reform the FCC that he’s failed to get passed before and is a good bet to fail again. He describes it as a bill that would make the FCC more transparent, though what it will mostly do is make the FCC even less effective than it is now.
The FCC regulates the 5725-5850 MHz “WiFi” band under Section 15.247 of the FCC Rules. But much of the current interest deals with the bands known as U-NII. An important part of the FCC proceeding deals with two bands in the 5 GHz range that are not currently allocated for either WiFi or U-NII use. The big dispute is over interference.
Comcast has named Mary Stutts to the to the newly-created position of regional vice president of external affairs for Comcast California. In her new job, Stutts will report to Hank Fore, regional senior vice president for Comcast California. She will oversee all aspects of Comcast’s communications, government affairs, community investment and telecommunications policy matters throughout the state.
The companies were in dispute over how much Time Warner Cable Inc. would pay for CBS Corp. programming. Terms of the deal haven't been disclosed. The agreement includes retransmission fees the cable operator pays to CBS per subscriber, which had been a sticking point.
Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday. The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same.
The FCC has decided to apply to IPTV companies some of the same regulatory fees that have long applied to cable operators. The Commission made no determination, however, on whether direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers should be similarly subject to the same regulatory fees.
CableLabs has taken over Euro Cable Labs, with nine European cable operators becoming members of the consortium; a smaller handful of companies from both Asia and Latin America have also become members. All members have agreed to standardize on a common version of the still-developing DOCSIS 3.1.
AMC Networks saw net income more than triple during the second quarter thanks to a $132.9 million payment from a dispute with Dish Network. Removing one-time items like that, however, the company fell short of Wall Street profit and revenue expectations and its stock slid 5 percent Thursday.
CBS chief executive Les Moonves rejected an offer from Time Warner Cable to end a blackout over fees that lingered into its fifth day Tuesday, calling it a clever public relations ploy. In a letter released Tuesday, Moonves rebuffed Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt's offer to allow CBS to sell its programming to consumers "a la carte" instead of bundled with other channels.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen says pay TV distributors may have to merge to even the playing field if the government doesn't curb the power of TV networks in fee disputes. His comments came amid the backdrop of a fee dispute that has cut off CBS programming to some 3 million Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network subscribers for more than five days.
Mediacom, a company whose executives are not known for mincing words, threw its support behind Time Warner Cable, which is fighting CBS over the programmer’s demands for higher retransmission fees. Mediacom said, “...millions of consumers in over 50 markets stretching from New York City to Honolulu have been blacked out by broadcast station owners attempting to pilfer billions of dollars from the pockets of hardworking American families."
Three million Time Warner Cable customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities remained without access to CBS for a fourth day, after the MSO dropped the network in an argument over the escalation of fees CBS is demanding for TWC to retransmit its signals. Bright House Networks, long allied with TWC, has also dropped CBS stations in central Florida markets.
President Obama last week nominated congressional aide Mike O’Rielly for the FCC commissioner spot left vacant by the departing Republican Robert McDowell. O’Rielly currently serves as a policy adviser to the Senate Republican Whip, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. Obama already nominated wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as the next FCC Chairman, taking over for Julius Genachowski.
CED caught up with American Cable Association president Matt Polka at the recent Cable Show, who in a free-wheeling conversation talked about what to expect at the Independent Show including; how broadband and over-the-top might be the future for smaller operators, and whether Congress and the FCC are ever going to provide smaller ops with some relief from the pressures they’re experiencing.
Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly. AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. Verizon charges the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that.
The Lifeline program, administered by the FCC, grants eligible individuals per household a monthly credit on their residential home phone bill. Eligible customers can now apply for the home phone discount. TWC’s Lifeline program for Home Phone customers is now available as a pilot program throughout its footprint in New York State.
The FCC has given its blessing to SoftBank’s $21.6 billion merger bid for Sprint and Sprint’s $5 per share buyout bid for Clearwire. In the order, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction will likely result in public interest benefits.
For most people, the phone line's demise will have little impact. But there are pockets of the country where copper lines are still critical for residents. As a result, state regulators and consumer advocates are increasingly concerned about how the transition will unfold.
NCTA VP of industry affairs Mark Bell expounds on how cable is telling an effective story about how it has always been a technology disruptor, and that it continues to be so, with a tradition of innovation that shows every sign of accelerating.
A package of tax changes added to the state budget would increase the state sales tax and apply it to digital products, such as MP3s, e-books and videos bought on the Internet. The sales tax wouldn't apply to any video programming that's included in a cable service package, but viewers could expect their Netflix and Hulu Plus subscriptions to be taxed.
Charter Communications has hired former Cablevision lobbyist and Federal Communications Commissions aide Catherine Bohigian as its new executive vice president, governmental affairs. Bohigian, who starts her new job on July 8, replaces Robert Quicksilver, who is leaving the company.
Executives from Vox Media, Jawbone, Twitter, and Roku were all quite enthusiastic about being complements to the cable industry, but they all wished that cable would innovate a little faster. Tom Rutledge meanwhile essentially admonished programmers to give it up already.
We're in Washington D.C., for the 2013 NCTA Cable Show. Eight of 10 buildings surrounding the convention center are being constructed, reconstructed, or deconstructed -- even the Washington monument is wreathed in scaffolding. There's a metaphor in there somewhere...