I've been thinking about how to tell the story of John Rigas, the cable pioneer who founded Coudersport, Pa.-based MSO Adelphia Communications, ever since I visited Pennsylvania in early November to attend an event hosted by the nation's largest cable company – Comcast.
As a Verizon quadruple-play customer, I've gotten used to seeing promotions for the new Redbox Instant streaming video service when I pay my bill online. It took the pitch to a new level Thursday morning, when it ran what could be compared to an online home page takeover ad. Before I could watch NBC's "Today" show, Verizon ran a static ad on my TV screen for Redbox Instant, offering one month of free service.
ActiveVideo had one of the smallest booths at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo last week, where it bought a simple tabletop space. But its demo of a cloud-based version of TiVo that could offer pay TV subscribers both DVR storage and over-the-top video from Netflix drew some of the biggest crowds from cable operators shopping for new technology.
By deciding to shutter their joint innovation lab, Verizon and cable partners Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House signaled they believe it'd be more profitable in the long run to pursue their own multiscreen distribution products than to share their inventions.
Struggling to understand why Verizon seems to be dragging its feet in rolling out the next-gen FiOS TV Media Server, I've spent the last week reading documents ranging from Harvard Business School case studies on John Malone's TCI to the consent decree the Department of Justice issued last year when it approved the $3.9 billion spectrum deal Verizon Wireless struck with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
Today marks the first day of FierceCable's merger with our weekly publication FierceIPTV. As our publisher Jason Nelson detailed in last week's announcement, FierceCable is expanding its focus to cover all pay TV distributors, including cable operators, telcos and satellite TV providers.
What's a cord-cutter's viewing experience like? I recently had the chance to sign up for Aereo when the service launched in late August in the Boston area. With online video streaming equipment in place on all of my TV sets and devices, and subscriptions to a few OTT services already in place, a service streaming local broadcast signals from a leased antenna seemed like the icing on the online video cake.
I've been thinking a lot this week about that hypoallergenic rubber bracelet Brian Roberts had on his wrist at The Cable Show convention in June.
In football terms, IPTV is the AFL of video entertainment, taking the field in the shadow of the NFL but, through the efforts of some pretty powerful players like AT&T and CenturyLink, reaching competitive parity with the big guys. That's why IPTV, the reason FierceIPTV was spawned in the first place, is no longer a niche product to be studied in a niche publication; it is part of a worldwide IP-based market of carriers and service providers.