Al Ibrahim

Survey Says: Your Bills Are Going Up, But 82% Of Households Still Pay For Cable

It may seem like the golden age of cable and the age of internet TV is upon us, but when you get right down to it, a whole lot of households still subscribe to monthly pay-TV. That said, the latest edition of an annual survey does indeed find that both cable prices and cord-cutting are on the rise — a completely coincidental pair of facts, we’re sure. [More]

Mike Mozart

Comcast Would Rather Be More Like Tesla Than Netflix

While it remains to be seen what Comcast’s Next Big Thing will be — though it probably won’t be a streaming TV product — there’s one thing the company knows for sure: it doesn’t want to be anything like those Netflix guys. [More]

Listen To A U.S. Senator Try To Get Bogus $8 “Protection” Fee Removed From Cable Bill

Listen To A U.S. Senator Try To Get Bogus $8 “Protection” Fee Removed From Cable Bill

You’d think that being the senior U.S. Senator from Missouri would help Claire McCaskill get better service from her cable company, but you’d be wrong. As this recording demonstrates, the legislator has just as much trouble as the rest of us trying to get anything resembling decent service from her pay-TV provider. [More]

Cable Industry Doesn’t Understand Net Neutrality, Wants Netflix Investigated For Throttling

Cable Industry Doesn’t Understand Net Neutrality, Wants Netflix Investigated For Throttling

The core tenet of “net neutrality” is that Internet service providers — the Comcasts, Time Warner Cables, and Verizons of the world — can’t do anything to block, limit, or expedite users’ access to content. Regardless of whether it’s a video stream or a PDF, these carriers should be delivering the content as quickly as they advertise. And even though the cable industry is currently fighting net neutrality in court, it apparently has no understanding of that basic underlying principle. [More]

Canada Begins Phasing In Government-Mandated À La Carte Cable Today

Canada Begins Phasing In Government-Mandated À La Carte Cable Today

It’s been almost two and a half years since we last checked in with our northern neighbors in Canada about how their nationwide implementation of à la carte cable is going. Today is when the real test of unbundled TV begins: cable companies will be required to offer basic plans for $25 as of today, and even more radical unbundling will happen by the end of 2016. [More]

Your Cable Company Will Not Ask You To Make Your Payment At A Gas Station

Your Cable Company Will Not Ask You To Make Your Payment At A Gas Station

Some scams are so outrageously stupid, we have a hard time believing anyone falls for them. But scammers would pull these obvious tricks if they didn’t work at least some of the time. [More]

Two-Thirds Of TV Viewers Say They Get Frustrated Trying To Find Something Worth Watching

Two-Thirds Of TV Viewers Say They Get Frustrated Trying To Find Something Worth Watching

If you’ve wasted minutes of your life scouring the hundreds of available TV listings for something — anything — to watch, you’re not alone. A new survey shows that the large majority of TV watchers (especially those with families) are frustrated by the difficulty of locating something you might enjoy. [More]

(Drriss & Marrionn)

TV Viewership Down 10%; Industry Blames Streaming Video

Even though many of us have hundreds of channels to choose from on cable or satellite, we’re choosing to watch less live TV. But it’s not just because we’ve all decided to go outside and take up steeplechase; it has a little something to do with the availability of subscription streaming services. [More]

(Eric Spiegal)

Cable Channels Speed Up TV Shows To Cram In More Ads

Anyone who’s watched a syndicated TV show on basic cable is already familiar with some methods of trimming the fat off of shows — shorter opening credits, sped-up closing credits that may overlap on-screen ads or the next show — but what you may not have noticed is that some cable networks are actually speeding up shows and movies to squeeze in more commercials. [More]

Sling TV Chooses Epix For Its First Premium Movie Package

Sling TV Chooses Epix For Its First Premium Movie Package

Dish’s Sling TV streaming service is currently a pretty bare-bones operation, with only about a dozen channels and very little in the way of on-demand content. Today the service announced its first partnership with a premium pay-TV movie network. And no, it’s not HBO, Showtime, or even Starz. [More]

(tehusagent)

Should You Ditch Cable? This Calculator Will Tell You

We’ve been posting about cord-cutting, or ditching pay cable TV in favor of paid and free streaming video sites, for years now. However, products announced in the last year can better simulate the content available through cable. Sports, premium cable channels, and other things that were once cable-only are now available to cord-cutters. Yet making the switch doesn’t always make financial sense. [More]

From the FCC report on pay-TV pricing.

FCC: Basic Cable Prices Increased At Four Times Rate Of Inflation

If you just had a hunch that your basic cable pricing was going up more rapidly than the other things you pay for, you’re probably not mistaken. A new FCC report on the cost of pay-TV services says that during 2012 the cost of a basic cable TV package increased at more than four times the rate of inflation in the U.S. [More]

(satinpeter)

“Whatever you are passionate about, Time Warner Cable invents ways for you to enjoy it even better,” Time Warner Cable declares in commercials that run for its subscribers. Unless you’re passionate about professional football, live near Los Angeles and you’re a Time Warner customer still using a standard-definition TV. Then you had to scramble for an antenna during the second quarter of the game. [LA Times]

DirecTV, TWC, Charter Mulling Over Aereo-Like Services

DirecTV, TWC, Charter Mulling Over Aereo-Like Services

While Aereo — the online service that transmits over-the-air network feeds to subscribers’ computers and mobile devices — is slugging it out with broadcasters in court, the operators of several cable and satellite services are reportedly looking to launch similar products of their own, setting the stage for an all-new TV war. [More]

Exxon Sues FXX To Protect Its Good Name From Being Associated With Basic Cable

Exxon Sues FXX To Protect Its Good Name From Being Associated With Basic Cable

There are plenty of reasons to poke fun at Twentieth Century Fox’s new, completely unnecessary FXX network, but it’s unfair to pick on a channel that only has a single decent show (which had to be imported from FX). That hasn’t stopped ExxonMobil from taking a break from profiteering and polluting to sue Fox and FXX for having the gall to make a seemingly obvious logo design choice when presented with two consecutive Xs. [More]

(Drriss & Marionn)

Proposed Law Aims To Curb TV Blackouts, Let You Choose To Pay For Broadcast Channels

In the wake of the month-long blackout that affected 3 million CBS viewers in several major cities and Showtime subscribers nationwide, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California has drafted legislation that would give the Federal Communications Commission the authority to prevent blackouts, and give consumers the right to decide whether or not they want to pay for watching broadcast networks on cable. [More]

(Tom Simpson)

A Cable Outage Is Not An Emergency That Rates Calling 911

Look, it doesn’t matter how important it is to be up to date on the latest happenings on “Dexter” or “Breaking Bad” before you get to the office on Monday. When your cable goes out, the proper reaction is to wait for a few minutes, then (perhaps) to call your cable company to make sure it isn’t just you. That is not how the good people of Connecticut reacted last night. [More]

Comcast Now Testing Prepaid Cable Service, But With No Sports Channels Or HD

Comcast Now Testing Prepaid Cable Service, But With No Sports Channels Or HD

Earlier this year, Comcast started testing prepaid Internet service for consumers in the Philadelphia area. Now the nation’s cable provider is trying out a prepaid (non-HD) TV service that offers a few dozen channels (but no ESPNs, Nickelodeon, or MTV) and costs anywhere from $15/week to $45/month. [More]