Comcast’s Stream TV Does Not Affect Subscriber Data Caps

Comcast just launched Stream TV, its live streaming TV service, in the Chicago and Boston areas (including eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine), and plans to debut the service in all its territories by early 2016. What makes Stream TV of interest is that its usage does not count against the 300GB data plans available in some Comcast territories or use a customer’s Internet bandwidth measured in bits per second. Stream TV is an IP cable service delivered over Comcast’s managed network rather than the public Internet. Continue reading Comcast’s Stream TV Does Not Affect Subscriber Data Caps

Networks Cautious of Canceling Shows as TV Viewing Evolves

The television industry is experiencing an unusually long cancellation-free streak for its current season, as networks struggle to adapt to a changing landscape with more viewing alternatives than ever before. Network execs are being extra cautious not to drop a series that may have potential as consumers turn beyond the major broadcasters to cable, on demand, and online streaming alternatives. In addition, overall TV ratings are down and there are more shows than ever before (more than a record-setting 400 are expected by the end of the year across broadcast, cable and online services). Continue reading Networks Cautious of Canceling Shows as TV Viewing Evolves

Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

Initiating its planned merger with Alcatel-Lucent, first announced in April, Nokia began its share-exchange offer with that company’s shareholders in Paris and London. Nokia is paying €15.6 billion ($16.6 billion) for Alcatel-Lucent, with the idea that combining the two companies’ expertise in telecom and Internet gear will help it better compete in a global economy. Nokia not only faces competition from new players such as China’s Huawei Technologies but from Ericsson, which just struck an alliance with Cisco. Continue reading Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

Univision Launches Subscription Video with Live Broadcasts

Hispanic media powerhouse Univision Communications has launched Univision Now, a $5.99-per-month Internet video service that features live broadcasts of the Univision and UniMás networks for Spanish-speaking viewers. The SVOD service features DVR-style replays of its live programming for up to three days after broadcast, in addition to on-demand access to primetime shows up to seven days after airing. Univision Now — offering the networks’ full slate of news, sports, telenovelas and award shows — is available via the Internet and iOS and Android apps. Continue reading Univision Launches Subscription Video with Live Broadcasts

Digital Hollywood: Evolution of Internet TV and Mobile Video

Internet TV has become increasingly mainstream, fulfilling the promise of video anytime, anywhere. A Digital Hollywood panel, moderated by Siemens executive Steve Wong, took a look at video across platforms to determine where the players currently stand in the evolution. Quoting a Parks Associates study, Wong revealed that North America leads the globe with OTT, whose revenue is largely based on subscriptions rather than transactions. Internet advertising is also due to overtake TV advertising by 2017, said the study. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Evolution of Internet TV and Mobile Video

Cord-Cutting Trend Spurs Hollywood to Tweak Netflix Deals

As more consumers are cutting the cord and watching broadcast and cable TV shows via Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, network executives are rethinking their deals with those streaming services. They’re especially eyeing contracts with Netflix, which pays a flat fee, doesn’t have advertising and has upped its production of original content. Just how volatile the field is was reflected in an August sell-off of media stocks during which entertainment companies lost over $60 billion in value in two days. Continue reading Cord-Cutting Trend Spurs Hollywood to Tweak Netflix Deals

Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

NBCUniversal has launched a free Roku app that offers television viewers access to day-after-air full high definition episodes and highlights of their favorite NBC shows, including new fall series such as “Blindspot,” “Heroes Reborn” and “The Player.” While no provider login is required for select new series, authentication will be needed for access to returning NBC shows and older content. The network also plans to make late night programming — including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” — available as full episodes and as clips. Continue reading Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

As hotels in the U.S. continue to offer faster Internet connections, an increasing number of guests are more inclined to stream video content via popular services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu than opt for in-house video-on-demand. As a result, hotels are beginning to experience a significant decline in VOD use. Some have recently cut their adult-themed VOD content, and may eventually do the same with other on-demand offerings. However, this may not be the end of video-on-demand in hotels if providers make their services more competitive. Continue reading Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

Hulu Introduces Ad-Free Option to Streaming for Additional $4

For an additional $4 ($11.99 per month), Hulu is offering an ad-free option to streaming movies and TV shows. Those who prefer to pay $7.99 will still have to sit through ads. The move could help Hulu better compete with popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon that do not include advertising. It could also present the company with an opportunity to increase its revenue in order to invest in more content. This could prove vital since premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime are making their programming available outside traditional cable bundles. Continue reading Hulu Introduces Ad-Free Option to Streaming for Additional $4

Netflix Allows Its Epix Cable Deal to Run Out, Hulu Jumps In

Netflix has let its deal with pay-TV channel Epix lapse, as it moves away from non-exclusive content to more exclusive content and original programming. Into that void, the smaller Hulu has inked a deal with Epix to stream its content beginning in October. Epix, owned by MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures, has the rights to numerous high profile films including “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Transformer: Age of Extinction.” Epix also signed a deal in 2012 with Amazon Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Netflix Allows Its Epix Cable Deal to Run Out, Hulu Jumps In

CableNet Explores VR, Additional Content Could Drive Adoption

Hollywood director Randal Kleiser (“The Blue Lagoon,” “Grease”) just debuted “Defrost,” a four-minute narrative virtual reality film that he hopes is the first in a series of VR films. That’s exactly what the 50 cablecasters that comprise the membership of CableLabs hope for. The industry’s non-profit R&D facility, CableLabs has been studying VR and suggests consumer excitement is strong, but that the lack of content could be a major stumbling block for cable companies interested in providing VR programming. Continue reading CableNet Explores VR, Additional Content Could Drive Adoption

Children’s Programming Counts on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon

When PBS talked with “Sesame Street” producers about the future of the 45-year old children’s educational TV series, the choices were few. The show had been running a production deficit for years and suffered from changes in viewing habits. If the show wanted to continue production and stay on PBS, it only had one solution: find a production partner. HBO stepped into that role, highlighting a little known fact: that companies like HBO, Netflix and Amazon all take kids’ TV seriously. Continue reading Children’s Programming Counts on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon

FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

In 2014, there were more than 370 scripted TV series, including those that were delivered by streaming. This year, say the experts, that number could top 400. We’re living in a Golden Age of TV as viewers have a wealth of choices among all genres. But can this level of production be sustained? Are there enough viewers to keep numbers up for so many TV shows vying for dominance? Is there enough creative talent to keep writing and producing them? And is there a way for every show to make its mark in such a crowded environment? Continue reading FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

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

YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

During its recent earnings call, Google claimed that YouTube is now bigger than any single cable network among the 18-49 demographic. YouTube’s heavily engaged user base and significant mobile growth were highlights of the discussion. The video-sharing network will put its own online stars to the test early next year when its new paid video service is expected to launch. Media partners representing more than 90 percent of current YouTube viewing have signed on to the new service, although Google has yet to secure deals with major TV networks. Continue reading YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

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