Oct. 29, 2014, 1:22 PM
- A bid by Aereo to be defined as a cable provider gained support from the FCC with a new proposal out this week which was described in a blog post written by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
- The agency supports "open access" for consumers to high-speed broadband delivery and the right of over-the-top firms to offer programming owned by pay-TV providers and broadcasters.
- In essence, the FCC thinks the bundled pay-TV model should be broken so that consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.
- What to watch: Though Aero isn't likely to be the ultimate pay-TV disrupter without the deep pockets to license content, the position of the FCC opens the door for other Internet video players to emerge and chips away at the bundled channels model.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, NFLX.
Oct. 24, 2014, 11:30 AM
- The number of global pay-TV subscribers will rise 19.6% to 1.1B in five years, according to a forecast from ABI Research.
- The research firm thinks global pay-TV revenue could top $323B by the end of the period.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, LBTYA, CHA, T, TWC, OTCPK:BSYBF, OTC:SKDTF, OTCPK:KBDHY, OTCQX:DTEGY, AMX,
Oct. 22, 2014, 12:43 PM
- The FCC announces it will pause its review of the proposed Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) - Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) - AT&T (NYSE:T) mergers.
- The delay is due in part to bickering over who has the right to see confidential carriage fee agreements involving the companies.
- The agency says the informal 180-day time clock for the review has been halted.
Oct. 15, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Netflix (NFLX -2.6%) slid a little lower after Time Warner announced HBO would become a stand-alone service sometime in 2015.
- Though it isn't clear how much of HBO's programming will migrate over to the OTT product, the mention of the "international possibilities" of a streaming HBO is enough to catch the attention of Netflix watchers.
- The development also has implications for Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) and Amazon (AMZN -1%) which could end us as delivery partners or direct streaming rivals, according to Re/code.
- Pay-TV operators (CHTR, CVC, DISH, DTV) are in a bit of a box by the plan and may choose to play hardball with HBO.
Oct. 10, 2014, 7:43 AM
- The top 40 cable channels have lost 3% of the subscribers over the last four years, according to data compiled by The Wall Street Journal.
- ESPN (NYSE:DIS), TNT (NYSE:TWX), Nickelodeon (NASDAQ:VIAB), USA (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and CNN all shed more than 3% of their subscribers as consumers sought smaller bundles.
- Basic plans with a trimmed list of channels account for 12% of all pay-TV subscriptions, up from a level of 8%-10% just a few years ago.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC.
Oct. 7, 2014, 1:22 PM
- Consumers will end paying for the "reckless spending" of major networks for sports coverage rights, warns Mediacom's Tom Larsen.
- Earlier this week, ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and TNT (NYSE:TWX) signed 9-year contracts which will triple the amount they spend for NBA rights.
- Though the added costs won't start piling up until the 2015-2016 NBA season ends, some media analysts think a bubble has been built up on sports licensing costs that could burst before then.
- The pay-TV sector could suffer if consumers hit the wall on rising monthly TV bills.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, TWC, CMCSA, CVC.
Oct. 6, 2014, 10:45 AM
- ESPN's new deal with the NBA will let it experiment with selling online access to "out of market" games outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle.
- Though the initiative could take several years to take form, it will mark another small step toward a la carte programming for consumers.
- Media analysts note the length of the contract between the NBA with Disney (DIS +0.7%) and Time Warner (TWX) effectively boxes out Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) until past the 2024-2025 season.
- On the pay-TV side, operators such as Comcast, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), AT&T (NYSE:T), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) have to fret over an online product competing with their sports packages which include NBA games.
Oct. 1, 2014, 5:12 PM
- The multi-year deal with the NFL is said to expand DirecTV's (NASDAQ:DTV) "exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket and its package of every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game."
- It also expands DirecTV's rights to stream Sunday Ticket games on the Web and mobile devices, and gives DirecTV subs online access to NFL Network streams.
- Deal terms are undisclosed. Sports Business Daily previously reported DirecTV would be paying $1.3B-$1.4B/year, up from the $1B/year it currently pays.
- DirecTV is up 1.9% AH. Acquirer AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 0.4%. AT&T had the right to walk away from the DirecTV deal if Sunday Ticket wasn't renewed.
- Update: Re/code reports the new deal is good for 8 years.
Sep. 25, 2014, 11:14 AM
Sep. 23, 2014, 11:11 AM
- A new mini-bundle from AT&T (T -0.5%) aimed at cord-cutters and cord-nevers will include broadband services, select basic cable channels, HBO, and Amazon Prime.
- The service will be priced at an introductory rate of $40 per month for a year after which a strong upsell effort from the company would be expected.
- A slimmed-down package from Dish Networks is expected to debut before the end of the year.
- What to watch: Pay-TV industry executives have expressed confidence that the cheaper packages will attract new customers - instead of cannibalizing their base subscribers from the +$100/month level. It's a view not shared by some media analysts who warn of a new era of deal-hopping between pay-TV and broadband providers.
- Related pay-TV stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, CMCSA, TWC.
Sep. 17, 2014, 4:15 PM
- The Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act was passed today by the Senate.
- The legislation allows satellite companies (DTV, DISH) to retransmit broadcast TV channels to rural customers outside of any market.
- A plan by some Senators to add some provisions to the bill on a la carte options for consumers died off over the last few days under some pressure from the pay-TV industry (CVC, CHTR, TWC, CMCSA).
- "It's too big a change to be swallowed," noted Senator Jay Rockefeller.
Sep. 12, 2014, 11:01 AM
- DirecTV (DTV) CEO Mike White revealed during his talk at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference that the company expects to launch a Hispanic online TV product by the end of the year.
- YaVeo is expected to have primarily on-demand programming.
- Management says the merger with AT&T T is on track. A closing during the first half of 2015 is still expected.
- Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference webcast prior coverage
Sep. 12, 2014, 10:08 AM
- DirecTV (DTV) CEO Mike White says he expects the company to finalize a renewal with the NFL for the rights to the Sunday Ticket package by the end of the year.
- The Sunday ticket deal has been closely watched in the industry with the lurking threat that a tech heavyweight would sweep in to grab the highly-coveted content for an online TV service.
Sep. 11, 2014, 2:05 PM
- The state attorneys general now working with the Justice Department to determine whether Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable is legal have expanded their investigation to include AT&T's (T +0.2%) proposed $48.5B deal to buy DirecTV (DTV +0.1%), Reuters reports.
- New York and California are part of the multi-state review, according to the report.
Sep. 8, 2014, 2:39 PM
- A new report from Nielsen puts some numbers to the escalating transition of TV viewing toward digital channels.
- In the key 18-34 year old demographic, digital video consumption rose 53% to 35 minutes a day.
- The digital growth rate was even higher for the 35-49 year old group with a 80% rise to 26 minutes a day.
- 50-64 year olds increased digital viewing by 60%.
- Live TV viewing dropped 1%-2% across age groups.
- Related stocks: CHTR, CVC, TWC, NFLX, DISH, DTV, VZ,
- Nielsen Cross-Platform Report
Aug. 28, 2014, 1:36 PM
- Pay-TV operators are having a tough week on the operational side as a Midwest service disruption at DirecTV (DTV +0.2%) follows closely behind high-profile national outages at Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
- The troubling service blackouts by the cable and satellite players hasn't gone unnoticed by consumer groups which are using the development as leverage in protesting the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) - Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) merger.
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