Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

Charter Communications went public on Monday with its latest bid for Time Warner Cable. The $37.4 billion cash-and-stock proposal, submitted via letter from Charter CEO Tom Rutledge to TWC Chief Rob Marcus, follows three private offers submitted since June that have all been turned down by the nation’s second-largest cable company. TWC rejected the bid as “grossly inadequate.” Rutledge said Charter, the fourth largest cable operator, has no plans to increase the offer. Continue reading Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

Hulu Discusses Bundling Possibilities with Pay TV Providers

Hulu is reportedly in talks with pay TV providers including AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable and Verizon regarding potential partnerships. Among the ideas being discussed is for pay TV operators to sell Hulu Plus as part of their television bundles, said people familiar with the situation. In addition, Hulu hopes that consumers would have access to the service via cable set-top boxes, providing Hulu Plus subscribers with the option to watch full current seasons of broadcast TV shows. Continue reading Hulu Discusses Bundling Possibilities with Pay TV Providers

LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Los Angeles is poised to unleash an ambitious city-led broadband project with plans to deliver fiber to all of its businesses and 3.5 million residents. The new fiber network, expected to cost $3 billion to $5 billion, would offer free Internet access of 2Mbps to 5Mbps, likely subsidized by advertising. Paid tiers would offer access up to a gigabit, and the network would power Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas. Phone service and television is not a requirement for bidders, but package offerings would not be a surprise. Continue reading LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Netflix in Talks with Cable Companies to Combine Services

Netflix is in talks with several pay TV providers, including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications, to offer its online video service as an app on pay TV set-top boxes, according to those familiar with the talks. Netflix and cable operators are competitors, but both may be open to the possible benefits in combining their services. However, some cable operators have concerns regarding Netflix technology on their network and where that may lead.

Continue reading Netflix in Talks with Cable Companies to Combine Services

Broadcasters Turn to Additional Screens to Launch New Shows

With fall TV premieres just around the corner, networks including ABC, NBC and Fox are offering pilots and new content through outlets such as Hulu, iTunes, Amazon and cable and satellite provided VOD, often prior to the scheduled television broadcasts. Hulu, for example, is already offering episodes of “The Mindy Project,” “Ironside,” “The Goldbergs,” “Trophy Wife” and “Welcome to the Family.” Some shows will also be available on network websites and those of affiliated stations. Continue reading Broadcasters Turn to Additional Screens to Launch New Shows

Cox Launches Contour Personal TV Experience on the iPad

Cox Communications is introducing a new service that offers a personalized TV experience for its subscribers. With the Contour service, Cox is attempting to offer Netflix-like recommendations. Cox will use Contour to learn what its subscribers enjoy and combine “on-demand” features with live TV. Marketed separately from other Cox services, Contour includes three components: a data-driven TV guide, more powerful DVR and a redesigned app. Continue reading Cox Launches Contour Personal TV Experience on the iPad

FlareWatch: Cox Targets Cord-Cutters with Internet TV Trial

Cox Communications is offering a beta version of a broadband TV service that delivers lower-priced live television and DVR storage to subscribers in southern California. The company’s flareWatch trial marks the first time a major U.S. pay TV operator is specifically targeting cord-cutters. The IPTV service uses Fanhattan’s $99 Fan TV set-top box, which features a touch-sensitive remote control. If successful, flareWatch could see a wider rollout. Continue reading FlareWatch: Cox Targets Cord-Cutters with Internet TV Trial

NCTA Cable Show: Comcast Unveils X2 Cloud-Based Platform

During the NCTA Cable Show this week in Washington D.C., Comcast CEO Brian Roberts unveiled the X2 cloud-based entertainment platform that will enable Xfinity TV subscribers to access live and on-demand television programming, online video, personalized recommendations and apps across platforms including computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs. The company has also upgraded its current X1 platform with a new “Send to TV” feature that allows users to send Web content to their set-top box. Continue reading NCTA Cable Show: Comcast Unveils X2 Cloud-Based Platform

DECE GM Answers Questions About Future of UltraViolet

Mark Teitell, GM of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, spoke recently during a Home Media Magazine UltraViolet presentation. Teitell says we should expect a marketing push this year and suggests there will be increased transparency involving the number of titles within the 12 million-plus UltraViolet accounts. During a Q&A session, he also addressed the status of UltraViolet’s Common File Format and in-home disc-to-digital efforts. Continue reading DECE GM Answers Questions About Future of UltraViolet

Epix Everywhere: The Future of Premium Cable Networks?

  • Premium cable network Epix has had its library of Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate movies available for streaming for nearly two years.
  • Since its launch in 2009, Epix has added original programming to its library of 3,000 film titles and has expanded its number of distribution partners.
  • “The channel is now available through Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, Cox, Charter, Mediacom, Suddenlink and the National Cable and Telecommunications Cooperative,” reports GigaOM. “Together, those distributors have more than 30 million subscribers, of which Epix has managed to sign up 9 million to its network.”
  • But now that TV Everywhere has become the trend with other networks, Epix is looking to differentiate itself in additional ways.
  • Epix is building apps for new devices (the network is already available on more than 100 devices), producing more of its own exclusive content, adding video that complements its library of movies, and leveraging partnerships that provide original video content.
  • Clearly, premium cable (and perhaps all television) needs to look beyond traditional practices to survive. Is Epix becoming the model of what a premium cable channel needs to be in the era of TV Everywhere?

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