Aug. 29, 2013, 2:08 PM
- A report by research firm SNL Financial delves into the details of the negotiations between CBS (CBS +0.1%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.1%) over retransmission fees.
- CBS wants $2 per TWC subscriber each month compared to the $0.65-$0.75 it was earning under the old contract.
- If CBS lands a hefty figure it could lead to a significant upward revision of earnings estimates across the broadcasting sector (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA, CBS, AMCX, VIAB).
Aug. 28, 2013, 1:29 PM
- Though the FCC says it's involved in trying to resolve the dispute between CBS (CBS +1%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.5%) that has kept TWC subscribers in several major cities blacked out of CBS programming, what weight the agency can bring to the negotiations is far from clear.
- If the stalemate continues into the regular season NFL season, BTIG thinks DirecTV (DTV) could be the wildcard by giving free access to Sunday Ticket for affected TWC subscribers.
Aug. 28, 2013, 3:37 AM
- The Federal Communications Commission is working to resolve the fee dispute between CBS (CBS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) that's prevented 3M of the latter's customers from receiving CBS programming since August 2.
- The FCC is trying to play the peacemaker despite acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn saying that the agency doesn't have the power to intervene.
- The sides basically have until September 8 to reach a deal, when CBS is due to broadcast its first NFL game of the season.
Aug. 27, 2013, 3:41 PM
- The leverage between broadcasters (CMCSA, DIS, FXA, CBS, AMCX, VIAB) and the cable/satellite industry (TWC, CVC, CMCSA, CHTR, DTV, DISH) is so lopsided that BTIG says it feels as if the bazooka-carrying armored broadcasters are battling a cable/satellite group only carrying paper swords. A scenario that detriments U.S. consumers.
- One solution proposed by BTIG is to allow retransmission fees to be negotiated in each market by the entire group via a little Congressional intervention. Not a perfect solution if major broadcasters decide to turn into cable networks, but potentially a workable one.
- What to watch: It's only 9 days before NFL football starts and CBS vs. TWC goes to Defcon 1.
Aug. 23, 2013, 12:21 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.6%) says subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas can receive free indoor antennas at TWC retail locations or receive a $20 credit that will be able to be used at Best Buy (BBY +1%) locations.
- The move give the cable operator a little bit of leverage as the NFL season approaches, although stepping over the gridiron Rubicon is still considered an unwise move by media analysts.
Aug. 22, 2013, 7:06 AM| Comment!
Aug. 21, 2013, 3:23 PM
- Disney (DIS -0.5%) says it will consider giving access to ESPN programming to online TV ventures similar to those being developed by Sony, Google, and Intel.
- The key question is which events and what ESPN networks would be rolled into an online package from a tech giant aimed at disrupting the cable/satellite model (TWC, CHTR, CMCSA, DTV, DISH, CVC). In the past, sports have been viewed as keeping cord-cutting at bay.
- The development looks particularly interesting following shortly after an announcement on a promising Sony-Viacom content deal and Google-NFL flirtation buzz.
- The big picture: It's too early in the game to forecast a media/tech winner in the race to offer a broad online TV service, but owning shares of a NFL team might end up being the best investment of them all.
Aug. 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
- Federal Trade Commission member Joshua Wright wants the FTC to be the agency to oversee net neutrality rules instead of the FCC.
- If the regulatory switcheroo takes place, the FTC could step in and out of battles with Internet providers in a more nimbe fashion than the FCC.
- Consumer advocacy group prefer the firm hand of the FCC, while many large tech/media concerns (TWC, CMCSA, VZ, T) feel more comfortable with the FTC.
Aug. 19, 2013, 2:50 PM
- There's "too much at stake" for a resolution between Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.6%) and CBS (CBS -1%) not to happen before the start of the NFL season, according to media analysts.
- Reports on backroom negotiations tip off that questions on digital rights of content are just as big of a concern to the media players as retransmission fees.
Aug. 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
- Progress toward a resolution in the fight between CBS (CBS -0.3%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%) appears to be slow with neither side nor regulators delivering the leverage to get a deal worked out.
- So far, the pain on both sides has been limited. CBS won last week's ratings war even without TWC subscribers in New York and L.A. contributing, while Time Warner Cable reports it hasn't seen significant defections.
- Industry analysts think the beginning of NFL football will see the U.S. Congress intervene in the affair to write new legislation that could potentially alter the landscape of the industry.
Aug. 16, 2013, 3:26 AM
- Fox's (FOXA) national sports channel is due to launch tomorrow morning "with every major distributor on board," including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), as well as Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T).
- Fox reportedly persuaded the TV companies to sign up after agreeing not to raise the price of $0.23 per subscriber they were paying for Speed, the auto-racing network that Fox Sports 1 is replacing. Fox had initially asked for $0.80.
- The new channel will reach 90M households and its line-up will include college football and Major League Baseball.
- However, Fox Sports 1 faces major competition from Disney's (DIS) money making machine, ESPN, which, as Fox Sports executive Randy Freer admits, "has a 30-year head start and an astronomical revenue stream."
Aug. 15, 2013, 10:10 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA -1.8%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.2%) form a joint venture to develop software for next-generation set-top boxes.
- The entity will be called RDK Management and will continue licensing a RDK software bundle created by Comcast in an effort to form a common protocol for future video services.
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:51 AM
- Only three days before Fox Sports 1 is set to debut, Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) still doesn't have carriage deals with DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH), and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
- Part of the issue is that the new sports network doesn't quite have the leverage that CBS does with NFL football in its squabble with TWC, as it claims Speed programming and a Regis Philbin talk show as two of its centerpieces.
- Eventually, the company hopes to push some of the sports programming from broadcast network Fox to Fox Sports 1.
Aug. 12, 2013, 2:58 PM
- The implications of the Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.7%) and CBS (CBS +0.2%) fight over retransmission fees will be significant for the entire industry, particularly if Congress rewrites legislation covering the topic.
- Though a band-aid fix could happen at any time, BTIG Research thinks regulators and legislators will lean toward the position of the cable/satellite industry to determine that current laws weren't intended to fund NFL rights acquisitions and primetime network programming, but to ensure the flow of news and information over the airwaves.
- The back-to-the-basics position, if it comes off, could benefit Dish Network (DISH), DirecTV (DTV), Cox Communications, Charter Communications (CHTR), and Cablevision (CVC) in future negoiations - while cutting into the potential for broadcasters (DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, AMCX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI).
Aug. 12, 2013, 7:56 AM
- The FCC has entered the dispute between Time Warner Cable (TWC) and CBS (CBS) with a none-too-subtle threat.
- The interim chairman of the agency warns the two companies they need to settle the matter or she will take "appropriate action."
- Over the weekend, TWC customers in several cities missed pre-season NFL games for their local teams. Though the average fan won't become too agitated over missing the pre-season action, if the blackout extends into the regular season games in September the outcry could be deafening.
- BTIG thinks CBS will be under pressure to cut a deal before the season rather than risk losing the opportunity to promote its fall lineup in major cities during highly-watched games.
Aug. 8, 2013, 2:09 PM
- Execs with CBS (CBS +1%) report talks between the company and Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.3%) have shot "badly off course" as the blackout for TWC subscribers of CBS programming heads into its 7th day.
- The conclusion of golf's PGA Championship this weekend will be the highest-profile event blacked out to date if the impasse continues until then.
- Related: Aero says it will expand to Dallas, one of the cities affected by the cable fight.
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