Tag Archives: Cable TV

TV Everywhere and TiVo Expansion

TiVo Devices

In an era when cable television subscriptions are declining, many of the largest providers are working together to promote the TV Everywhere concept. Comcast, Mediacom, HBO, and others are making a concerted effort to educate their subscribers about the existence of TV Everywhere. Research studies have shown that over 25% of cable television subscribers are unaware that they have access to the various platforms which allow them to watch both network- and cable-produced shows on their computers and mobile devices. The companies developed the system in an effort to stem the tide of cord-cutting customers who are canceling their cable video services and flocking to streaming video providers, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime.

A number of issues have haunted TV Everywhere since its development. The most serious issues involve live television broadcasts. As it stands, only a limited number of cable channels have agreed on retransmission terms that allow for their content to be carried on mobile devices at the same time that it airs on TV. The major broadcast networks, comprising CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, have yet to agree on terms for TV Everywhere, in large part due to issues surrounding regional affiliates and geographic overlap. Although they are considered secondary issues compared to transmission rights, problems with user authentication and passwords remain a stumbling block for TV Everywhere, according to an industry report published in late 2014. Cable companies are working to resolve these concerns and streamline the overall experience for customers accessing TV Everywhere on their phone, computer, or tablet.

Despite the adversity facing cable companies, TiVo has seen increased revenue and subscriber totals as a result of its Roamio OTA DVR. This system is designed to locate and record the freely-provided television shows disseminated by TV stations. For around a one-time cost of $50 and a monthly subscription of $15, users are able to watch live television on their TV and stream it to devices on the same wireless network. Furthermore, TiVo’s DVR system boasts integrated streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu Plus, so that consumers have access to their subscription services on the same platform that they watch broadcast television, a prime example of the type of streamlined integration TV Everywhere has yet to achieve.

TiVo has reached out to the smaller cable companies that offer both broadband internet and cable TV packages in an effort to create new working relationships. In particular, TiVo is targeting these companies so that they can generate revenue by leasing the Roamio DVRs to broadband-only customers. While this sort of arrangement is unlikely to be as lucrative as individuals subscribing to a full cable package, it could provide some economic relief for cable companies that are hurting from cord-cutter abandonment. So far agreements to establish this leasing program have been reached with Frontier and WideOpenWest (WOW), while ongoing talks continue with other providers across America.

Rupert Murdoch Wants Media Giants To Create Netflix Competitor

Rupert Murdoch appeared on the WSJ.D conference earlier this week, with a host of other guests from the technology and business world.

One of the biggest things Murdoch said was the need for a Netflix competitor. He said media giants should work together to create this competitor, to stop Netflix from growing to the point where it has more influence than cable networks.

Cable networks are already feeling the sting of Netflix, with around 40 million subscribers, it has already surpassed one of the most popular paid cable TV broadcasters, HBO, in monthly subscribers.

Netflix Competitor

huluplus

Hulu Plus has been the streaming service most programmers backed, until it started to fail against Netflix. Comcast, Fox and Disney all had 33 percent share in the streaming provider, but have been actively looking for a buyer for months.

Rupert Murdoch might claim the cable industry needs a Netflix competitor, but to compete against Netflix they need a service which actually provides quality content, not washed up shows from the three companies.

In order to do that, the cable industry needs to cannibalize their own market. They need to give subscribers the option of either cable TV or Internet TV; similar to what HBO are willing to do with the new streaming service coming in 2015.

This might hurt the company in the short term, but imagine all of the great content coming on cable TV, on the Internet. The only problem would be making the Internet customers pay the same amount as regular cable TV buyers.

Al-a-carte systems might be put in place on cable in the new few years, lowering the price for customers – this might open more cable companies to Internet TV, but right now, it would hurt their own market too much to create a genuine competitor to Netflix.

You Can’t Stand in the Way of Progress

There is an old saying that goes something like, you can’t stand in the way of progress, and I certainly think there is a lot of truth to that saying.  I mean all anyone really needs to do is look at the world around them and then think back to how things used to be and it should become very apparent that things have certainly changed.  Whether they have changed for the better or worse are obviously debatable; likewise if any or all of those changes can be considered progress is up for debate too.  Regardless of those debates, that saying still basically means that things change, and to try and maintain whatever is the status quo is essentially fruitless, and only serves to eventually get run over by that change. Change/progress can be scary though.  In many instances we like the comfort of the familiar, and change, almost by definition, is unfamiliar.  Nonetheless, change/progress will happen, and that requires an open mind, and the ability to accept.

I remember growing up in the 1970’s and to me, as a child, I felt like everything of any import had happened before I was born.  Seriously, it appeared that nothing of any significance was happening, or was going to happen in my lifetime.  In my child’s eye, progress had stopped.  Think about it, we already had TV, radio, telephones, electricity, rockets, jets, cars, etc. etc.  What more could society possibly want or need?

Well, then the 1980’s happened, and progress was tired of feeling ignored.  Cable TV became ubiquitous, microwave ovens, VCR’s, video cameras, Atari’s, etc. etc.  Progress was on the move, and only the Amish were truly safe from its plow.

From there progress picked up steam, and new thing begot new thing, computers, the internet, wireless technologies, DVR’s, streaming video, etc. etc. Until we get to today, and you know what?  Progress isn’t done yet.

There is a thing about progress that is at times lamented, and that is that progress renders the old obsolete.  Take this article here for example, which talks about how offices in the very near future will be without desk phones, and PC’s.  Wait, what?  I can get the end of the landline, that has been happening for years, and it was just a matter of time before those lines were cut from businesses, but no more PC’s, now that is just crazy talk.  Well, not exactly, as cloud computing becomes more the norm it makes it unnecessary and redundant to have a bulky computer on, or under your desk. Then there is the fact that tablets are becoming more and more powerful, and capable and it isn’t too hard to envision the office desk of the future having nothing but a smartphone and a tablet on it.  Talk about clutter free huh?

Now, the trick is to try and imagine what the giant wheel of progress will bring in another 20, 30, 40 years.  I can imagine some of what that may be, and I can hope for some others, but regardless of what they are, we all can be assured that they will happen, like it or not, because like the saying says, you can’t stand in the way of progress.