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Surf City

Surf City Streaming Media West 2014 and the Future of TV I just returned from the Streaming Media West conference in Huntington Beach, California (aka Surf City, USA). Events like these tend towards the technical and are fairly well attended by the video Technorati, and have earned a well-deserved reputation as ‘the’ place to hear [...]

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50 Shades of Grey

President Obama, still suffering from the mid-term election blues, came out this week with a (surprisingly) vigorous defense of net neutrality. Without pretense to political punditry, our Commander-in-Chief advanced a popular (and populist) position: a free and open Internet, a notion that ranks right up there with Mom and apple pie in terms of mass [...]

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Missing the Boat

Lots of chatter last week about a proposed FCC initiative to broaden the definition of ‘MVPD’ to include online video distributors (OVDs) that deliver a linear stream of programming. Newly-defined OVDs would then have access to broadcast content under the FCC’s must-carry rules, and be required to negotiate retransmission consent with larger broadcasters that decline [...]

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The Amazon Effect

Two announcements from Amazon this week that should give pause to anyone who thinks the future of TV is going to be easy. First, Amazon announced its results for Q3 2014 and they weren’t pretty. Despite 20% growth in topline revenue, the Internet retailing giant posted its largest quarterly loss to date, including a $170 [...]

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Cheap Premium

Though HBO and CBS (rightly) dominated industry discussion last week, another worthy announcement was overshadowed. Netflix announced that new customers who want access to 4K content must sign up for its highest-tier $11.99/month plan, which also allows up to four simultaneous streams. The handful of brave souls already streaming 4K content from Netflix are grandfathered [...]

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The Center Cannot Hold

A monumental announcement on Wednesday: HBO will launch a standalone HBO Go service in the US in 2015. After more than four decades of partnership with pay-TV operators, HBO has decided to break free and go after the 80 million US households that do not subscribe to HBO today. This new service will be delivered [...]

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Hoop Dreams

Major news this week from the NBA, which announced new nine-year video distribution deals with ESPN (ABC-Disney) and Turner Sports (Time Warner). The deals will run from 2016 to 2025 and bring in some $2.6 billion a year for the NBA (nearly three times current revenue). This unique deal is a bold combination of old and [...]

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Gone in 60 Seconds

Today the Redbox Instant video streaming service shuttered its doors. Formed in February 2012 and launched to the general public in March of 2013, the ill-fated joint venture between Verizon and Outerwall was originally intended to extend the RedBox brand – and its installed base of nearly 36,000 retail kiosks – into the online space. [...]

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Day and Date

Interesting announcement this week between Netflix and the Weinstein Co. regarding the upcoming 2015 sequel to 2000’s epic martial arts movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Weinstein is producing the new movie, which is currently being filmed in New Zealand and slated for release in August of 2015. Remarkably, the movie will be released simultaneously to [...]

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Us and Them: AT&T, Fullscreen Media, and the Future of TV

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi News this week that Otter Media, the broadband video joint venture formed earlier this year between AT&T and The Chernin Group, has agreed to purchase a majority interest in Fullscreen, an independent operator of YouTube channels. Founded [...]

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The Little Dutch Boy

I just returned from the IBC conference in Amsterdam – excellent show and beautiful weather in one of the world’s most wonderful and unique cities. Only natural, then, that upon seeing news of Sony’s new deal with Viacom to license MTV and other Viacom channels for Sony’s upcoming OTT service, I was immediately reminded of [...]

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Pay-TV’s Pandora’s Box

As fall approaches and the kids are finally back in school, I was reminded of a story from the summer that should not pass without comment. Back in June, the folks at Disney updated WatchESPN (ESPN’s ‘TV Everywhere’ app for iOS and Android) to support Chromecast (Google’s $35 streaming dongle for the TV). Seems like [...]

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