Sony’s PlayStation Vue live-TV streaming service has been marketed as a true cable-replacement option for cord-cutters, but the company just announced changes to its channel lineup that will see the removal of several big-name cable networks. [More]
When your child uses a kid-targeted website for Barbie, Dora the Explorer, Neopets, Nerf, or Nickelodeon, federal law limits what information can be collected. But an investigation by the New York state attorney general found that some of the biggest names in toys and kids’ entertainment were violating that law by collecting information from their young users without authorization, and by allowing third parties to track users’ behavior across the internet. [More]
This morning, Dish Network and Viacom announced a contract multi-year renewal that keeps Viacom channels like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and Nickelodeon on the satellite service, and will also add a number of Viacom-owned channels to Dish’s Sling TV streaming service. [More]
Advertisers pay a lot to air commercials, and the price they pay is based on the projected popularity of the show being interrupted. When a TV network’s ratings are great, it might try to cash in by airing as many top-dollar ads as its viewers can take. But when ratings sag, that network has to contend with both annoyed viewers and shortchanged advertisers. That’s why, according to a new report, after years of cramming ads into every nook and cranny, media giant Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon) is going to try shaving a few minutes of ads during prime time. [More]
If you’ve ever tried to withhold a tablet full of cartoons from the grasping clutches of a five-year-old intent on mainlining Dora the Explorer, then you know that children’s TV content is a pretty big deal. Often it’s the only thing that can prevent a total, shrieking, screaming, flailing and hysterical meltdown. Viacom will be trying to cash in on that need for kid fodder with a new stand-alone subscription service for Nickelodeon.
Hearing the emergency alert warning tones blaring from your television typically makes you take immediate notice (and immediately hit the Mute button). So when a broadcaster allows a commercial or program to air similar sounds without an actual emergency occurring, they could be on the receiving end of a pretty big fine from federal regulators. [More]
The FCC is currently mulling over whether to give its stamp of approval to two huge mergers — Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV — and is intending to make information available to third parties about the deals that that these pay-TV giants make with broadcasters. But even though you and every other cable subscriber wants to know exactly how much Comcast pays for access to channels like ESPN, MTV, and the major networks, the broadcasters want that info kept under lock and key — and they’ve asked the court to stop it from possibly going public. [More]
Plenty of people have cut back on pay TV — cable and satellite — and gone to internet-only subscriptions in order to save some cash. But the individual cord-cutters aren’t the only ones realizing how expensive programming can be, and how they can live without it in the broadband era. Some small-scale cable companies are also taking the plunge, and cutting out TV service altogether.
After what seemed like an eternity of news leaks, rumors, and promises of an online-only pay-TV service from Sony, the company has finally announced that it will indeed be launching that cloud-based service, and that it will start with a slate of channels including some that humans actually watch. [More]
Sick of being forced to accept Viacom’s massive bundle of barely watched cable channels — Palladia and MTV Hits, anyone? — just to get the handful that its subscribers want to watch (MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon), New York-based Cablevision sued Viacom in early 2013, alleging the broadcaster was violating federal antitrust laws. Viacom has since tried to have the case dismissed, but a U.S. District Court has ruled that the case can move forward. [More]
Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime owe a good deal of their success to parents of young children, who love that they can dial up one of their kids’ favorite shows or movies instantly and without commercials. The folks at Viacom and Verizon are hoping to replicate some of that experience with a new customizable cable TV channel aimed at youngsters. [More]
I’m no weathervane (or AM I?!?) but it seems the wind is shifting in the land of TV content and Internet streaming. Sony and Viacom are reportedly close to a deal that would allow network programs from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and the like to be carried on a system Sony’s working on. [More]
Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn “Two Ns, Two Ts” Britt has been an outspoken critic on broadcasters who package desirable, high-viewership channels with niche-market offerings and tell cable companies to pay for them all or get access to none, which results in the cable providers passing these bundles (and the price tag) on to customers, many of whom only watch a handful of the hundreds of available channels. It’s a model, says Britt, that could have dire consequences. [More]
Now that Viacom and Netflix are over, done with, broken up, splitskies, never ever getting back together, don’t think the cable programming giant is crying into its pillow every night, soaking it with the desperate tears of the unloved. No, it’s moving on — straight into the loving arms of Amazon’s streaming video service with a new, multiyear licensing deal. [More]
Seems like ever since Cablevision sued Viacom over its process of bundling less popular channels in with the ones people actually want, things have heating up in the pay-TV world. But instead of suing anyone, Verizon says it’s working on an entirely new model of TV programming: It wants to pay fees to media companies for their TV channels depending on how many people actually watch them.
Earlier this week, Cablevision sued broadcasting biggie Viacom for its practice of requiring cable and satellite carriers to buy a wide range of channels — many of them with small audiences — in order to be able to air the few stations with mass appeal. But it doesn’t look like Cablevision is open to the idea of giving customers the same level of choice. [More]
Among the biggest bones of contention in the now-frequent carriage fee disputes between broadcasters and cable/satellite companies is broadcasters’ insistence that carriers buy an entire bundle of channels just to get the one or two networks people actually watch. Today, Cablevision declared “Enough!” and filed suit against Viacom. [More]