Hulu CEO Predicts the End of Most Linear Cable TV Channels

At Business Insider‘s IGNITION conference in New York City, Hulu chief executive Randy Freer predicted that, 10 years from now, out of 300+ current cable channels, the only ones that will survive are those that have built a brand with a strong viewer base. He added that, with the exception of live news and sports, everything else on TV will be distributed on-demand. Hulu, which offers live streaming TV with 55+ channels and several Discovery linear channels, is considering less expensive skinny bundles without linear channels. Continue reading Hulu CEO Predicts the End of Most Linear Cable TV Channels

Sports Streamer DAZN to Introduce Less Annoying Ad Model

DAZN, thus far an ad-free sports-streaming service, plans to introduce advertising, but in a format that will prevent the annoyance of frequently repeating ads. This format — called “ad frequency” — can replay the same ad six times within a three-hour game, said DAZN Group executive chairman John Skipper, a former ESPN president. His new model, which will debut in the next six to eight months, will focus on sponsored content and product placement. DAZN targets sports deals to be the “exclusive over-the-top provider.” Continue reading Sports Streamer DAZN to Introduce Less Annoying Ad Model

Facebook Ramps Up its Live Sports Streaming With Boxing

Facebook plans to stream live boxing and related programming through a new deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Content “will be available to fans in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and globally via the Golden Boy Promotions page on Facebook,” reports Variety. Broadcasts will leverage social features such as “real-time fan interaction and engagement.” However, the bouts will not feature ads. Facebook, which has been experimenting with streaming live MLB games, recently secured deals “with action-sports company Nitro Circus and Fox Sports for Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league.” Continue reading Facebook Ramps Up its Live Sports Streaming With Boxing

MoviePass Ventures Plans to Acquire Films With Distributors

During the Sundance Film Festival, theater subscription service MoviePass announced the launch of MoviePass Ventures, part of a new strategy to co-acquire films with distributors. Data firm Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY), now the majority owner of MoviePass, claims its new service is already boosting domestic box office. HMNY plans to invest in movies so that it can share in downstream revenues, including streaming, pay TV, Blu-ray, DVD, EST, PPV, and ancillary and foreign markets. HMNY could also eventually sell subscriber data to Hollywood studios for targeted marketing. Continue reading MoviePass Ventures Plans to Acquire Films With Distributors

Comcast Rolls Out ‘Skinny Bundle’ for Its Internet Customers

Comcast is introducing an $18-per-month “skinny bundle,” a new service the pay-TV provider has been testing and is now ready to roll out across different regions over the next few weeks. Xfinity Instant TV, which is available for Comcast’s 25.3 million broadband customers, is designed for cord cutters (and cord nevers), and will compete with OTT services such as Hulu Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Comcast’s service can be streamed at home or anywhere with a broadband connection. The company is specifically marketing to its customers that pay for Internet but not TV, hoping they will one day switch to a larger bundle. Continue reading Comcast Rolls Out ‘Skinny Bundle’ for Its Internet Customers

CBS Bets on Digital, Expanding All Access Streaming Service

CBS is assertively growing its digital operations, with an expansion of its CBS All Access streaming service to global territories and the planned launch of a digital sports network in the U.S. later this year. By doing so, the company is following the money: Q2 results this year showed unexpectedly high sales and earnings, boosted by streaming subscription services and college sports. CBS All Access, available in the U.S. for $5.99 per month, is scheduled to launch in Canada in early 2018 and other international markets soon after. Continue reading CBS Bets on Digital, Expanding All Access Streaming Service

Comcast Signs Deals with Four Studios to Offer Movie Extras

Comcast inked deals with Universal Pictures (which it owns), Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment for “movie extras” to accompany those studios’ film titles. The cable company, which will offer a free sample of the enhanced extras during the 10 days leading up to Christmas, says it is working on adding more studios and movies in the coming year. With the extra content, Comcast hopes to better compete with other digital movie providers, including Apple, which added extra content two years ago. Continue reading Comcast Signs Deals with Four Studios to Offer Movie Extras

Cisco’s SPP System Shuts Down Pirate Streams in Real Time

Cisco rolled out its Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP) platform that uses third-party forensic watermarking to take down pirate streams in real-time. The company says the platform can shut down the streams — which have become a favored method of distribution for pirates — without sending takedown notices or requiring third-party cooperation. Pirates capture feeds from sources such as subscriber accounts, and then re-stream them to thousands of sites, posing a threat to PPV TV and subscription content providers. Continue reading Cisco’s SPP System Shuts Down Pirate Streams in Real Time

With ABC and AMPAS, Comcast Brings Oscars Content to VOD

In a deal with ABC and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Comcast is delivering a package of 72 “Best of Oscars” moments from previous Academy Awards broadcasts via its VOD platform to X1 subscribers. The goal, for Comcast, is to drive up VOD rentals and purchases of Oscar-nominated features. For ABC, which is offering content gratis, the hope is that Comcast’s Oscars content will boost awareness and viewership of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28. Continue reading With ABC and AMPAS, Comcast Brings Oscars Content to VOD

Execs Discuss the Future of SVOD in Netflix Q3 Earnings Call

North American pay TV providers recently experienced their worst quarter ever, losing nearly a half million subscribers. But where are these subs going for video services? Recent figures point to Internet TV. Juniper Research, for example, projects that subscriber numbers to over-the-top TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will increase from 92.1 million in 2014, to 332.2 million globally by 2019. Netflix alone will generate $31.6 billion by 2019, up from just under $8 billion in 2014. The recent Netflix Earnings Call provides a revealing portrait that points out challenges and opportunities that reflect the state of the industry. Continue reading Execs Discuss the Future of SVOD in Netflix Q3 Earnings Call

NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass. Continue reading NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

With New Funding, AltspaceVR Plans More Virtual Gatherings

AltspaceVR, a virtual reality chat room and communication platform, just raised $10.3 million, which it will use to work towards a business plan that could include paid virtual gatherings with celebrities. Founded in 2013, Altspace launched its VR chat room in June. Its global user base spends time on the site chatting, browsing, playing games or watching videos; the software runs on Oculus, Mac and PC desktops and 3D TVs. Users can add a Leap Motion or Kinect motion sensor to add gestures to their robot avatars. Continue reading With New Funding, AltspaceVR Plans More Virtual Gatherings

Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

Saturday’s championship bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is generating controversy regarding the number of people who watched the fight for free using Twitter’s new video streaming app, Periscope. The app allows users to stream video recordings in real time and post to Twitter. Many on social media reported watching the fight via Periscope as opposed to paying the $100 pay-per-view fee to HBO and Showtime, which has since sparked a discussion about piracy. Continue reading Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Digital piracy tracking firm Irdeto reports that global downloads of pirated Oscar-nominated films jumped 385 percent in the 30 days following the nomination announcements on January 15. Irdeto suggests the pirated downloads represent about $41 million in lost revenue. While Hollywood studios and motion picture companies continue to struggle with the problem of piracy, some have recommended embracing the Internet for initial releases, making films available theatrically and online at the same time. Continue reading Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

RelayTV Targets Millennials with Integrated Social TV Platform

While 73 percent of millennials still watch television content on a traditional TV set, many are turning to alternative platforms for guidance regarding what to watch. A recent Omnibus survey learned that 74 percent also watch content online via computer, smartphone or tablet, and 76 percent say they discover new shows from friends, family and social media. Service providers such as RelayTV are responding by offering platforms that effectively blend social networking with traditional television. Continue reading RelayTV Targets Millennials with Integrated Social TV Platform

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