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

Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Internet users in the U.S. pay more for broadband and have fewer choices than Europeans. According to findings from the Center for Public Integrity, Americans pay 3.5 times the amount that French people do for Internet access, for example, and most U.S. residents can only choose from two Internet providers. That’s because broadband companies carve out their own territories to offer service. Cable providers do the same thing, but Internet TV may finally force them to compete. Continue reading Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Sony Rolls Out PlayStation Vue Streaming Television Service

Sony has joined the growing array of new streaming TV offerings with the three-city rollout of its PlayStation Vue Web-based streaming service. The $49.99 per month service will initially be available to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 users in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. It will eventually expand to other regions and be available on the iPad. PlayStation Vue offers a bundle including 50+ channels such as CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBC, TBS and USA. It also features a personalized, searchable approach to access live and on-demand TV. Continue reading Sony Rolls Out PlayStation Vue Streaming Television Service

San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

San Francisco will be the first city to use a new wireless technology that is reportedly 35 times faster than current 4G LTE networks. Artemis Networks is leasing the wireless spectrum for two years from Dish Network. Artemis still needs regulatory approval before it can begin operating, but the company hopes to start serving customers by the fall of this year. The company’s pCell technology is super fast because the network is designed to utilize wireless interferences that usually slow most networks. Continue reading San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

As more people cut the cord and abandon their pay TV plans, Dish Network believes it can retain customers by offering a new remote control that promises to help people find what they want to watch. Startup Ray Enterprises is already working with Dish to make its advanced remote control compatible with Dish Network’s Hopper DVR. The $200 touchscreen remote includes search and recommendation features and the ability to control other devices connected to the TV. Continue reading Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

HPA Tech Retreat: Jim Burger Delivers a Washington Update

On the second day of the HPA Tech Retreat, Jim Burger, a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP in Washington, DC and copyright lawyer, gave his annual Washington Update. “Washington, as always, is a city under construction,” he said. “There’s a lot going on.” Burger discussed the potential impact of the Aereo decision on cloud storage, the latest regarding lawsuits against Dish Network, the FAA’s examination of drones, a very busy FCC and what’s next for net neutrality, and an update on the spectrum auctions. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Jim Burger Delivers a Washington Update

Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

Dish Network’s new Sling TV service is transitioning from its invitation-only beta phase to public availability, starting at $20 per month (various add-ons are available for $5 each per month). Unveiled during CES, the pay TV service features access to channels ranging from ABC Family, CNN and the Disney Channel — to ESPN, TBS and TNT. It also includes access to a VOD library, the WatchESPN app, and content from Maker Studios. Yesterday, the company announced that AMC Networks would become another programming partner. Continue reading Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

During CES, Dish announced its $20 per month, OTT subscription service that provides access to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and YouTube videos from Maker Studios. Sling TV could finally help position the enormously popular YouTube content at the same advertising value as television. Advertisers would be able to reach the younger demographic that increasingly watches less television, while multi-channel networks like Maker Studios may grow in value. Continue reading Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

During a press event at CES, Dish Network announced its new subscription streaming service, Sling TV, which is slated to debut in the first quarter of 2015. According to Dish President and CEO Joe Clayton, the $20/per month OTT service will offer 25-30 channels from Disney, ESPN, Scripps Networks Interactive and Turner Broadcasting, in addition to exclusive content from YouTube and Maker Studios. The bundle is targeting millennials who might not otherwise subscribe to a cable or satellite pay TV service. Continue reading Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps. Continue reading NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

Report: TV Viewers Continue to Drop Cable and Satellite Subs

Third quarter reports indicate a greater reduction in the number of pay TV customers as compared to the previous year. The decline in pay TV customers suggest that a growing number of consumers are taking to “cord cutting” when it comes to media consumption. With a number of viable streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon currently available, customers are choosing to abandon traditional pay TV to avoid paying the steep cost of cable and satellite packages. Continue reading Report: TV Viewers Continue to Drop Cable and Satellite Subs

Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

LightSquared, a wireless company that filed for bankruptcy in 2012, proposed a new restructuring plan that would give Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen 60 percent of the new equity in addition to $1 billion in junior debt. J.P. Morgan Chase, a LightSquared lender, would come away with 31.9 percent of the equity and a seat on the board of directors if the investment bank provides $189 million in funding. The restructuring plan is intended to raise between $750 million and $1 billion. Continue reading Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

Universal Puts New Spin on Music Video Product Placement

Universal Music Group has its hands on new video editing technology that will allow the music giant to regularly update the product placement in its music videos, even ones that have already been released. A music video for Swedish EDM producer and DJ Avicii with an ad by Grand Marnier was the first to feature the new technology. Coca-Cola, LG, and Dish Network are some of the other brands that viewers can expect to see in updated music videos. Continue reading Universal Puts New Spin on Music Video Product Placement

Viacom Will Offer 22 Networks Via Sony’s Internet TV Service

In a deal that will offer more options for TV viewers, Viacom announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with Sony to make 22 of its networks available through Sony’s new Internet-based television service, expected to launch later this year. The subscription service plans to offer live TV and on-demand programming via connected Sony devices, including PlayStation game consoles and smart TVs. This marks the first time Viacom networks will be made available through such a service. Continue reading Viacom Will Offer 22 Networks Via Sony’s Internet TV Service

Netflix Has More Subscribers, But HBO Remains More Profitable

Netflix, which recently reached 50 million streaming customers, now generates more revenue from subscriptions ($1.146 billion) than HBO. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, edging past HBO’s $1.141 billion is a “minor milestone.” SNL Kagan estimates that HBO has 28.7 million U.S. subscribers. However, HBO remains much more profitable than Netflix. In related news, Time Warner Chairman Jeff Bewkes told analysts this week he is open to OTT services. Continue reading Netflix Has More Subscribers, But HBO Remains More Profitable