AT&T’s plan to buy Time Warner — the parent company of several cable networks, not the cable company that Charter snapped up last year — was greeted with a surprising amount of skepticism right from the start. Even though AT&T is sidestepping a lot of regulatory scrutiny by not seeking FCC approval of the merger, lawmakers have continued to ask why this merger would benefit anyone other than the shareholders of these companies. AT&T’s response: Competition or prices won’t be affected because we’re such a small-time player in the pay-TV business, and Time Warner’s viewership numbers are low. [More]
Once upon a time, we wandered the aisles of the local video, unable to make up our mind about which movie to rent. It was a waste of time, but it was usually better than whatever was airing on TV that night. Now the technology has changed, but we still spend an awful lot of time trying to find something that isn’t live TV.
Once upon a time (two whole years ago!) the idea of successfully getting an internet-based cable alternative up, running, and profitable seemed, perhaps, like a pipe dream. These days, even though we don’t know if the ventures are exactly profitable, the online competition to get your monthly TV dollars is fierce. And now Hulu is latest player to grab some big headliners for itsplan to start zapping linear TV channels to your online eyeballs. [More]
In an era when everybody and their grandmother seems to be launching their own proprietary subscription streaming service, something about Hulu seems almost quaint. The platform is jointly owned by three giant media companies, and therefore is almost a pre-bundled service that actually carries programming from all of them. And eventually — but not quite yet — you can make that four.
Thirty years ago, in 1996, you actually used your TV to watch broadcast or cable signals — live, as things aired. Twenty years ago, in 2006, you probably still had cable, but you probably also had a DVR, freeing you to watch programming at your leisure (much to the chagrin of advertisers). Ten years ago, in 2016, you may or may not have decided to cut the coaxial cord — but even if you had cable, odds were high you complemented it with some kind of streaming service. But by today, Jan. 4, 2026, if you even remember what “cable” was, that’s probably because you only see it at your grandparents’ house. [More]
Live sports — the supposed killer app that keeps people subscribing to cable when otherwise they might cut the cord — is, well, going cordless. Disney today announced a deal with Sony that will bring all of their programming, including ESPN, to a streaming service near you. At least, if you live in the right area.
As it has often been foretold, so it is coming to pass: another major cable company is planning to sell cable-free, internet-based cable to its cord-cutting customers, starting with a pilot program in New York City.
Amazon already offers users a variety of ways to get on-demand television programing: Amazon Prime Video allows Prime subscription members the ability to download or stream a number of shows and movies for free. Now, the company is reportedly in talks to expand its video offerings with a live online pay-TV service. [More]
Between Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, Amazon Prime and other similar companies, cord-cutting consumers (or those considering cutting the cord) have several options for streaming video. The latest entrant into the over-the-top [OTT] ring comes from the other side of the pond: the BBC. [More]
The first half of 2015 brought us the launch of a whole bunch of new over-the-top streaming TV services, including HBO Now and Dish’s Sling. Now, at the midpoint of the year, all of those earnings reports and investor calls are rolling in and we can start to find out just how popular those services are. Or we could… if executives would talk. Instead, they hem and haw and hedge and make only two things clear. One: cord-cutters are real. And two: when it comes to streaming, Netflix is still the biggest elephant in the room.
With Apple’s big developer conference getting underway this morning, we expect to hear more news of Apple exclusives. But fans of Penny Dreadful and Homeland who aren’t into the whole Apple ecosystem thing get a nice bonus this morning, as we find out that something isn’t actually locked only to Apple’s world.
The future may be online, but satellite pay-TV company DirecTV isn’t exactly rushing to embrace that future with open arms. The CEO of DirecTV this week admitted that the company is investigating the option of starting their own streaming service, but he was less than enthusiastic about the idea, seeing it as unlikely to be profitable.