Latest Commentary

ESPN scratches and claws to sustain its margins amid souring pay-TV economics

At a time when platforms like Netflix continue to increase their spending on content, can the most expensive programmer in the pay-TV ecosystem keep cutting costs and stay in the bundle?

Apple Music, Sling TV pave the way for Apple's TV strategy ... but time is running out

There was one topic conspicuous in its absence during Apple's quarterly conference call this week: The company's plans for the TV. And that's surprising given the TV industry's remarkably rapid embrace of everything a la carte and OTT, from HBO Now to Showtime's OTT service to Dish's Sling TV to Comcast's Stream.

How the global set-top market lapsed into recession ... and how it can return to growth

In the 2000s, global sales of pay-TV set-tops boomed, as operators raced to keep up with consumer demand for digital video recorders, HD and digital cable. But all winning streaks eventually come...

Examining the funding behind the NCTA, ACA and other telecom-industry trade groups

The cable business and its telecom-industry brethren are backed by plenty of acronymed trade groups. But how these orgs are backed is often unclear. Luckily, the telecom industry's top trade...

Will SVOD make programming networks like HGTV, NBC and AMC obsolete?

Some call it "network flow," but I've also heard it referred to as the "network effect." It's how programmers monetize their expensive hits. After all, what incentive does ESPN have for paying the NFL $1.9 billion a season for TV rights if it can't ubiquitously brand its coverage and drive viewership to other programming?

The video business is dead … for those without the will and resources to compete in it

To hear executives at America's No. 4 and No. 10 cable companies explain it, television is a dead business. "The video subscription model is broken and cannot be fixed," read one presentation slide from Cable One. I agree with the first part. But I'm not sure about that second part.

Linear TV's cratering subscriber rate confirms it--the cord-cutting check is already in the mail

In sports, some fans will adamantly deny the facts that are right in front of them. The same dynamic, I suspect, is at play when many of us ponder pay-TV subscriber losses, and still wonder if wholesale cord-cutting by U.S. consumers will soon get underway. There shouldn't be any debate that radical change in the way U.S. consumers watch television is already occurring.

Memo to Tom Wheeler regarding Charter-TWC: Hurry it up this time

As Charter's $56.7 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable this week may well prove again, acquisition proposals can take just days to assemble, but the ensuing regulatory angst can be never-ending.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend

From all of the staff at FierceCable, we want to wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday. In observance of the holiday, we will not be publishing on Monday, but we'll back in your inbox on Tuesday morning.

Better know your billionaire Euro telecom magnates: Introducing Patrick Drahi

I was sitting with a Suddenlink executive in the press room at INTX in Chicago two weeks back. I had just covered the "Captains o' Cable Industry" keynote, during which Cablevision's James Dolan notoriously proposed corporate marriage to Time Warner Cable's Rob Marcus right on stage as Charter's Tom Rutledge and several other CEOs looked on in horror.