October 30th, 2015
Cable and TV neworks have seen the writing on the wall with on-demand explosions with HULU and NETFLIX — companies that eschew live programming for the ability to watch just about any show or movie whenever the user would like. Read more
October 29th, 2015
Google has announced an ad-free subscription to YouTube, which includes Google Play Music and the ability to download YouTube videos for offline use. While not packed with features, the product is certainly turning heads in light of the fact that such a large company is jumping into both the OTT (Over The Top) business, but also because of the potential for another Netflix or Hulu-sized organization that can produce and fund A+ content.
Categories: DISH & TV news
October 22nd, 2015
ESPN laid off over 4% of its workforce this week, nearly 300 employees from writers to producers to on-air talent right down to the grounds crew. Layoffs are nothing new for a corporation of ESPN’s size, but the current landscape of network and cable TV casts a different tone on the decision, especially when its well-known that ESPN is still massively profitable. Read more
October 19th, 2015
October 16th, 2015
From TVNewser, though CNN has seen a higher spike in ratings than any other network in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year, Fox still dominates.
The Turner-owned network was up from last year in viewers for both primetime and total day. The largest jump was in total day viewership, with a 22 percent increase (to 466,000) and a 20 percent increase in the key 25-54 age demo (to 147,000). No other cable news network saw an overall jump from the previous year.
However, Fox News topped the cable news rankings for the 9th consecutive year, bringing in 1.72 million primetime viewers, an increase of 10 percent, and an average of 1.07 million total day viewers. The network came in 4th place among all basic cable channels on most satellite and cable providers. Read more
October 6th, 2015
With AMC fully becoming the HBO of cable TV (or the Netflix if that’s your thing), many within the TV programming industry have been wondering what other studios would step up to the plate to challenge the likes of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ from the channel that brought you ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’. No doubt, no one is going to top all of those shows anytime soon (or ever), but FX certainly has the pedigree to make a move. Read more
October 1st, 2015
4K TV (or UHD, also known as Ultra-HD) is the new hot tech in both video photography and television of HDTV Technology (or will they be called UHDTVs?). Not only is it almost nearly already the standard in smartphone and video camcorder recording, but most over-the-top providers and the like are promising 4k programming in the immediate future to satisfy demand for folks who want to use their fancy new screens.
However, the leader in most new tech, Apple, hasn’t jumped on board as quickly as most would like, throwing a wrench into the growing plans of the burgeoning new standard.
We now know that the new 4th generation Apple TV announced for this fall won’t ship with 4K UHD capability. But we don’t know why Apple declined to include this feature and opened itself up to opportunistic competition, such as Amazon’s Fire TV.
When Apple first announced its 4th gen Apple TV, it seemed most, including me, were at a loss to explain why Apple wouldn’t include support for 4K UHD. After all, the new iPhone 6s family will shoot 4K video and the latest iMacs will display 4K video.
We at CannonSatelliteTV have been doing some research on the TV industry side of 4K UHD, looking for answers, and found increasing support for the theory that 4K as a resolution standard (3840 x 2160p) isn’t the only issue here. Rather it’s the splintering of the industry around the emerging High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. And Apple, is waiting for the dust to settle.
4K UHD HDR is a complicated subject. To explain the situation requires an appeal to several articles. Here are four that will bring us all up to speed, in increasing order of complexity and depth. We’ll be tackling this development in subsequent pieces in the near future, so stay tuned.
After you read all four articles, you’ll have a pretty good idea what’s going on in the 4KTV industry today. However, for the impatient, we’ll do our best to explain what’s going on and the impact on Apple.
September 24th, 2015
You might have seen a few pictures disappear and reappear in the last month if you’re a Dish owner. What happened?
Following a megablackout of 129 stations this week, Sinclair Broadcasters significantly downplayed the role of the FCC intervention to resolve the problem, but its tough-talking rhetoric may not do much to curb growing scrutiny of retransmission fees and their role in channel blackouts.
The fight between Sinclair and Dish got the attention of the chairman of the FCC at the time, Tom Wheeler, who on Wednesday directed the agency’s Media Bureau to convene an emergency meeting after Sinclair-owned stations went dark in almost 80 U.S. markets and Dish requested injunctive relief.
Following the meeting, Sinclair & Dish reached a temporary extension to restore the signals, and Wheeler issued a statement saying he was happy with the prompt resolution. He added that the FCC will remain involved while the negotiations continue.
Jeff Blum, Dish Network’s senior VP and deputy general counsel, issued a carefully worded communique thanking the FCC for its help.
“We are grateful for the FCC’s work on behalf of consumers to actively broker a productive path forward.”
Not so fast, says Sinclair however. In a strongly-worded statement this week, the broadcaster came out against the agency’s butting in. As the D.C. media reporter Katy Bachman reported, Sinclair said the FCC was more of a hindrance than a help:
“We understand the temptation for the FCC to take credit for resolving this impasse, but their intervention had nothing to do with it. We were very close to a resolution well before Chairman Wheeler got involved. In fact, the government process actually delayed the resolution, because it added more issues to fix, which lengthened the service interruption, not shortened it.
Sinclair’s attempt to downplay the FCC’s intervention is relatable. The agency is already investigating the fees that broadcasters charge pay-TV operators, and each high-profile blackout brings that much more attention to the process. Some pay-TV providers are calling for big reforms, while analysts speculate about whether the retransmission boom is reaching a tipping point.
Although broadcast signals are available over the airwaves for free, the 1992 Cable Act gave broadcasters the right to negotiate with providers for “retransmission consent.” Retrans fees were uncommon a decade ago, but they have mushroomed in recent years as media consolidation has given station owners greater bargaining leverage. Sinclair, for instance, owns ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates throughout much of the South and Midwest, and it controls two major broadcast stations in about a dozen markets, which makes for a powerful arsenal at the negotiating table.
Richard Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG, said Sinclair was downright greedy in a blog post this week, saying its appetite for higher fees could “run the retrans party for the entire broadcast industry.” For two years, he wrote, BTIG has been warning that the government will get involved if broadcasters push too hard, too fast.
In a statement later that week, TVFreedom.org, a coalition of broadcasters, blamed Dish for the blackout. Robert Kenny, a spokesman for the group, said the satellite TV provider has been involved in four of 13 retransmission consent disputes this year, and that the timing is no coincidence.“The TV blackout strategy executed by Dish is deliberately timed to create hysteria and persuade the FCC to alter rules to give them a regulatory advantage,” he said.
Categories: DISH & TV news
September 14th, 2015
Jimmy Fallon’s late night show got the “Donald Trump bump up” as the Republican presidential hopeful’s appearance took “The Tonight Show” to its biggest ratings for a Friday broadcast in over eighteen months. Read more
Categories: DISH & TV news
September 8th, 2015
With its big-brother “Walking Dead” already owning most (if not all) of the cable TV ratings records, the new spin-off “Fear The Walking Dead” has broken most cable records for a debut show. Read more
Categories: DISH & TV news