About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide lost The Weather Channel because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service. The two companies pointed fingers at each other late Monday as a midnight EST deadline for renegotiation of carriage fees paid by DirecTV to The Weather Channel passed without an agreement.
The gloves are off in Charter Communications’ attempt to takeover Time Warner Cable. Charter has offered to buy the nation’s second largest cable operator for $132.50 a share, which was slightly higher than where Time Warner Cable’s shares closed on Monday. Monday night Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, who took over as CEO of the nation’s second-largest cable operator on Jan. 1, formally rejected Charter’s third offer.
The Weather Channel asked its viewers Saturday to urge Congress to intervene in its business dispute with DirecTV, arguing that it can harm public safety if the satellite system pulls the network off the air for nearly 20 million viewers. The network's contract with DirecTV expires at the end of Monday. If an agreement on how much DirecTV pays The Weather Channel is not reached by then, TWC will likely stop airing on the system.
The United States Supreme Court will decide whether a startup company can offer live television broadcasts over the Internet without paying fees to broadcasters. The high court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal from television broadcast networks in their attempt to shut down a startup company, Aereo Inc., which takes free signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers.
Cisco has created a hardware-independent, software-only version of its Videoscape video delivery platform. The company will also begin offering Videoscape as a cloud-based service. At the same time, Cisco said the NBC operating unit providing coverage of the upcoming Olympics in Sochi will use Cisco equipment.
The eight-show system involves Dish's Hopper DVR and a new Super Joey add-on box for separate rooms. The catch is that four of those shows have to be from the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Dish also unveiled partnerships with LG Corp. and Sony Corp. so that Hopper users can watch recorded shows in a second room without needing a Joey.
Shaw Communications has launched A&E’s app to give its Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct authenticated subscribers TV Everywhere access to shows such as “Duck Dynasty,” “Storage Wars,” and “Rodeo Girls.” The A&E app, which launched Thursday, works on iOS, Android and Kindle devices, and is available online.
Cablevision has hired Robert Comstock to the newly created position of executive vice president, operations. Effective immediately, Cablevision said Comstock is responsible for all aspects of infrastructure that support the delivery of Cablevision’s customer experience, including network management, field operations, outside plant, Wi-Fi execution, and telecommunications network management.
Netflix says video streaming of its programming in ultra-high definition will work for buyers of new UHD sets from Sony, LG, Samsung, Vizio and others upon purchase. That's because Ultra HD models from those makers will include the Netflix app and chips that decode signals in the so-called High Efficiency Video Coding standard, or HEVC.
Viggle Inc., which operates an app that tracks TV and music habits in exchange for rewards, on Friday filed for an initial public offering of common stock. The company didn't say how many shares it plans to sell. It said the IPO would take place "as soon as practicable."
A study by Parks Associates projected that there will be more than 103 million pay-TV households in the United States by the end of this year. The report, which was announced at CES this morning, said that two-thirds of the pay-TV households expressed interest in features that they currently don’t have, namely remote access to DVR content.
Time Warner Cable announced this morning that Alan Lui was promoted to senior vice president of human resources. Effective today, Lui now leads all aspects of the cable operator’s human resources department. He continues to report to Peter Stern, Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief strategy, people and corporate development officer.
Amazon will have exclusive ad-free streaming rights in the U.S. to a CBS thriller this summer starring Halle Berry. Episodes will be available for free on CBS.com and CBS' app with ads the day after they air on CBS. Members of Amazon's $79-a-year Prime service will be able to watch "Extant" ad-free four days after broadcast.
The chiefs of Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will meet to discuss settling a bitter two year legal battle over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets. A filing with the U.S. District court in San Jose showed Thursday that senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this week that the CEOs will meet by or before Feb. 19.
Among the many things Sony announced at CES, two could be momentous for established MVPDs: the company plans to introduce a competitive web-based video service, and it plans to switch delivery of Playstation games from selling physical disks to a streaming model.
Rovi announced that it would be heading to market in the first half of this year with a new HD and SD DTA guide for North American cable operators. The Rovi DTA Guide, which was first announced at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in 2011, will provide more digital-like features in viewers’ living rooms.
Barry Diller-backed Aereo, which provides a service that delivers broadcast television stations over the Internet, announced it had secured $34 million in additional funding. Aereo said it would use the third-round of funding to support the nationwide expansion of its service as well as for increased investments in hiring and technology.
Comcast Corp. added video customers in its fourth quarter, its first gain in that business in six-and-a-half years. Comcast has been investing in new products and customer service to morph from a cable company to a technology company, Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts told investors Tuesday at the Citi Internet Media & Telecommunications Conference.
After attempts to hawk 3-D and OLED TVs fizzled in recent years, television manufacturers are taking small steps toward making a new technology, Ultra HD, more viable for mainstream consumers. It's the first TV format to be driven by the Internet video-streaming phenomenon, and at the International CES gadget show this week, major streaming players Netflix and Amazon said they'll offer movies and TV shows in the format.
The company flooded CES with a spate of new products, including a series of chips for satellite set-top boxes; an Android-based IP STB with partner TVStorm; and another IP “set-top” in the form of an HDMI stick, developed with Novabase. Entropic also announced a MoCA 2.0 USB bus-powered adapter reference design.
Comcast-owned Fandango will launch a new service in the first quarter of this year that will allow viewers to watch movie trailers and then purchase tickets on Samsung TVs. Fandango’s service is built into Samsung’s Smart Hub, which is a video recommendation and discovery service offered on Samsung Smart TVs.
Thriller and horror network Fearnet has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Buckeye CableSystem. Starting yesterday, Fearnet became available to Buckeye’s subscribers on its digital basic package in both SD and HD. Buckeye also locked up TV Everywhere rights from Fearnet.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, Samsung TVs would get UHD content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast's set-top boxes.
Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once and can be controlled by voice. In a stunt worthy of the annual gadget show, International CES, Dish executive Vivek Khemka also showed off how its Hopper digital video recorder can be set to record shows using Google's high-tech eyewear, Google Glass.
NetGear is launching a line of HD cameras designed for some of the peculiar requirements of service providers who have home automation offerings. Simultaneously, the company is introducing an Android-based HDMI dongle that service providers can use in lieu of a set-top box.