The dynamics of cable carriage and broadcast retransmission negotiations differ. But in blacking out its 129 broadcast affiliate stations on the program guides of around 5 million Dish Network customers this week, Sinclair might have been thinking it found a late-summer scheduling sweet spot to dig its heels in -- not yet pre-empting into any serious viewing events, but cutting it close enough to get Dish's attention.
ACA's Matthew Polka tweets to FC about runaway retrans, proliferating OTT, rampant consolidation, more
While over-the-top distribution and consolidation continue to roil the pay-TV industry, no issue concerns the American Cable Association more than fast-increasing broadcast retransmission fees. As the FCC gets set to look at 23-year-old laws that govern the negotiations between broadcasters and operators, we caught up with a man on the front line of the discussion, ACA President and CEO Matthew Polka. He's our guest in @FierceCable's first Twitter chat on Thursday, August 13, at 2 p.m. ET.
Sifting through the pay-TV and programmer earnings reports that triggered a three-day, $60 billion Wall Street bloodbath last week, a theme emerged: From Disney's Bob Iger to Cablevision's James Dolan to Time Warner Cable's Rob Marcus, the pay-TV ecosystem's top executives were trying to buy time. Like, five to 10 years ... that should do it.
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.
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?
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.