Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

According to a recent study, the number of consumers in North America who are cutting the pay TV cord in favor of OTT streaming video services is growing. TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths reports that 8.2 percent of survey respondents were no longer paying TV subscriptions as of 2014, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, an impressive 45.2 percent indicated that they downsized their cable or satellite TV bundles during the same period in the wake of paying for services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video (a trend referred to as “cord shaving”). Continue reading Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Hulu announced yesterday that its subscribers will have the ability to add Showtime for $8.99 per month starting in time for the July premieres of “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.” The deal represents the first time that the streaming VOD service has partnered with a premium cable channel to drive subscriptions. Hulu customers will still need to pay $7.99 per month to stream the other available content. Hulu, which originally launched as a free, ad-supported service, recently rebranded itself by removing the word “Plus” from the name of its paid tier. Continue reading Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Sony Announces New Markets for Cloud-Based Vue TV Service

After this week’s launch in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Sony’s cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue is now available in four of the five largest U.S. cities (Vue is also offered in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia). The service starts at $49.99 per month, and features more than 50 channels of live TV from three major networks and a collection of popular cable channels. Addressed during the company’s E3 press conference, Vue is part of a larger effort to make the company’s PlayStation console a multi-purpose entertainment hub. Continue reading Sony Announces New Markets for Cloud-Based Vue TV Service

Showtime to Debut its Internet Streaming Service This Summer

Showtime is joining HBO in introducing its own Internet streaming service that will offer unlimited on-demand access to original series, movies and sports programming without requiring a traditional TV subscription. In addition, it will include a live feed of Showtime’s broadcasts for both coasts. The cable network announced yesterday that it plans to debut the standalone service in July to coincide with the season premieres of “Masters of Sex” and “Ray Donovan.” The service will initially be available on Apple devices for $11 per month. Continue reading Showtime to Debut its Internet Streaming Service This Summer

Android TV Blends Online Video and Broadcast Programming

At last week’s Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Google announced a new initiative to mix online video services with popular television content. Via Android TV Channels, Internet video app publishers have the ability to add linear channels of programming to Google’s Android TV platform on the same program grid used for broadcast TV networks. According to Google, the initial launch partners include AOL, Bloomberg, the Huffington Post, Pluto, TED, Vevo, the Weather Network, and European live streamer Zattoo. Continue reading Android TV Blends Online Video and Broadcast Programming

Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

While Netflix and YouTube combined account for roughly half of all Internet bandwidth consumed during peak hours in North America, the latest projections from Cisco suggest even greater growth for online video. The company predicts that in five years, video will be responsible for 80 percent of the world’s Internet consumption (and 85 percent in the U.S.). Cisco explains that the growth will be the result of cord-cutting, mobile expansion, Internet users consuming more (and higher quality) video, and an increase in the overall number of global users. Continue reading Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

In the face of declining ratings and a shift in ad dollars to digital platforms, television networks are expanding their data and analytics capabilities. On Monday, leading broadcast and cable TV companies announced the formation of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a new trade organization that plans to promote research and data that highlights the impact of TV commercials to Madison Avenue. The VAB intends to provide marketers with insights and measurement tools that help gauge whether video ads drive consumer purchases. Continue reading Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Comcast reportedly has plans to launch an online video service similar to YouTube, which would offer short-form content. By offering original content, Comcast hopes it would appeal to a younger demographic and create shows that could also be distributed as part of its traditional TV cable package. The company has yet to announce an expected launch date. Meanwhile, Comcast has unveiled Xfinity Share for its Triple Play customers, which allows users to beam live video to their TVs or those of their friends. Continue reading Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

ESPN filed a lawsuit Monday in New York Supreme Court against Verizon, claiming that Verizon’s new FiOS TV packages — which allow subscribers to purchase a basic set of channels starting at $55 per month, and add tiers of genre-based channels — are in breach of contract regarding ESPN distribution. While Verizon introduced the new packages to attract consumers looking for more flexibility, the company has met resistance from major players such as 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal regarding current programming agreements. Continue reading ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Comcast issued a statement this morning that the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable has officially been terminated. “Today, we move on,” noted Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.” Reports had circulated in recent days that a merger of the country’s two largest cable operators was ending as Comcast faced intense regulatory scrutiny regarding the $45.2 billion acquisition. Continue reading Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently found that one-third of Americans now own connected TV sets, while one-third of those consumers stream video to their TVs daily. According to new survey findings from consulting firm Deloitte, video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have now surpassed live programming as the viewing method of choice for many consumers. The survey determined that 56 percent stream movies and 53 percent stream TV shows, while 45 percent still prefer watching live broadcasts. Continue reading Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

ESPN, Fox and NBCUniversal claim that Verizon’s newly launched package offerings, that feature cheaper bundles of pay TV channels, violate the terms of their respective agreements. On Sunday, Verizon introduced new flexibility for FiOS subscribers by offering a slim package of channels and optional add-on “channel packs” that feature genre-based channels. A few days prior to the launch, ESPN expressed its objection to being placed in an optional sports tier. Fox and NBCUniversal claim the Verizon plan is also outside the terms of their contracts. Continue reading Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

Vimeo Hit Series ‘High Maintenance’ Leaving the Web for HBO

HBO has acquired the popular online series, “High Maintenance,” which first launched on Vimeo in 2013 free of charge. Last year, creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld partnered with the streaming service to offer the second season exclusively via Vimeo On Demand, and it quickly became a top seller on the VOD service. For now, viewers can still watch the dramedy without paying for HBO, since the first 13 episodes are streaming free of charge and the most recent six episodes are available on demand for $2 each. Continue reading Vimeo Hit Series ‘High Maintenance’ Leaving the Web for HBO

HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

The first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” fifth season were leaked online before the season’s premiere. Reportedly leaked from a review screener, the episodes have since been downloaded from public torrent sites millions of times. In response, HBO has distributed thousands of warnings to those Internet subscribers whose connections were determined to share leaked episodes. There are no legal ramifications for the subscribers, but HBO hopes that the warnings will prevent some of them from downloading future episodes. Continue reading HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

Verizon to Debut New Options for its FiOS Service Next Week

To better compete in the changing pay TV landscape, Verizon is planning to introduce more flexibility for subscribers of its FiOS service. Beginning April 19, viewers will have the option of a slim package of channels and will also be able to add “channel packs” that feature genre-based channels (for example: pop culture, lifestyle, sports). Plans will start at $55 per month. Additional packages including 10-17 channels will run $10 a month. In addition, subscribers will have the ability to switch between channel packs after 30 days. Continue reading Verizon to Debut New Options for its FiOS Service Next Week

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