News

Verizon readies for strike after union votes to walk

Verizon is preparing for a possible work stoppage in its wireline division after members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) voted to authorize a strike, should current talks remain stalled.

Evercore on AT&T-DirecTV: 'Merger doesn't result in a better positioned player over the long-term'

The just-consummated merger between AT&T and DirecTV has created the largest pay-TV operator in the U.S. with around 28 million subscribers. But Evercore ISI doesn't believe that scale will enable the combined company to overcome endemic pay-TV problems.

Disney's Iger: ESPN will eventually go a la carte, but not in the next 5 years

Walt Disney Company CEO Bog Iger said his company's highly profitable ESPN unit will eventually go a la carte as pay-TV's bundling infrastructure gives way. But that decision is still more than five years away, he added.

Comcast renews carriage agreement with Discovery, ending blackout fears

Comcast and Discovery Communications announced a multi-year renewal of their just-expired carriage agreement, ending Wall Street fears that talks between the two companies could degenerate into a blackout.

AT&T closes DirecTV purchase: Stankey in charge of new 'Home Solutions' operation, White retires

AT&T said it has officially closed on its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV following FCC approval of the transaction. The news brings to a close a review process that lasted over a year.

U.S. IPTV has slowest customer growth ever, as FiOS and U-verse combine for only 4K new video subs

In a sure sign that the second quarter will mark a major recession in the number of pay-TV subscribers, IPTV services Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse combined to have their worst quarter of video customer growth ever, adding only 4,000 subscribers between them.

Comcast targets DOCSIS 3.1 market trials for EOY; says nothing about speeds

Comcast will begin trials of DOCSIS 3.1 in unspecified markets in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said in its second-quarter earnings report.

FCC votes to approve AT&T-DirecTV deal, clearing final regulatory hurdle, Reuters reports

AT&T's proposed $49 billion purchase of DirecTV has cleared its final hurdle, according to Reuters, which reported that at least three of the FCC's five commissioners have voted to approve the deal.

Comcast looks to spark struggling cable channels; in talks with Vice, BuzzFeed, others

NBCUniversal may be coming off its strongest quarter since joining the Comcast empire in 2011, but the programming conglomerate is anxious to partner with newer digital media platforms so it can tap into younger audiences.

Start-up pay-TV alternative KlowdTV struggles to nab major programmers

KlowdTV, a startup offering customers streaming bundles of programming priced at around $3 per each genre-based package of channels, is proving how difficult it is to secure programming from major media conglomerates who aren't as interested in disrupting the current pay-TV model as the platform is.

AT&T loses 22K U-verse video subs in Q2, promises DirecTV acquisition will 'transform our industry'

AT&T reported losing 22,000 U-verse video customers during the second quarter, a reversal of the 190,000 customer additions the carrier reported during the same quarter a year ago. Conversely, AT&T's rival Verizon reported it added 26,000 net FiOS video subscribers during the period.

Comcast's Roberts: Stream 'not going to deliver meaningful results in the near future'

a Putting some context on his company's much ballyhooed announcement of a new skinny, IP-distributed programming bundle, Stream, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the service will offer the MSO a way to "up sell" broadband customers who don't already have a video package.

With DirecTV deal set to close, AT&T now ready to fight 'yesterday's war'

Although AT&T appears poised to close its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV any day now, some see the move by the telecom giant as a step backwards rather than forwards.

NBA unbundles League Pass at $6.99 per game; will DirecTV's 'NFL Sunday Ticket' follow?

The NBA has revealed pricing for the new a la carte extension of its League Pass programming service, making individual out-of-market regular season games available to customers for $6.99.

Cisco bails on fast-declining set-top market, sells unit to Technicolor for $602M

French media technology conglomerate Technicolor has agreed to purchase Cisco's customer premises equipment (CPE) division for $602 million, a move delivers a second burst of consolidation to the fast-declining pay-TV set-top industry.

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.

Comcast's 69K video sub loss is best Q2 performance in 9 years; X1 deployment rate increases 35%

Driven partly by a 35 percent uptick in the deployment rate of its next-generation X1 video platform, Comcast's video subscription losses slowed to 69,000 in the second quarter, the MSO's best second-quarter performance in nine years.

HEVC Advance patent pool announces pricing, CEO; threatens to disrupt 4K market

The HEVC Advance patent pool has unveiled a flurry of new details about itself after emerging suddenly in late March to inject uncertainty into the economics of 4K video program distribution.

Arris: OTT use has declined by 2% from last year

Netflix and Hulu have both reported massive new subscription growth. And from HBO Now to CBS All Access to Sling TV, a flurry of new over-the-top choices have been added by programmers and distributers. Still, somehow, in its latest Consumer Entertainment Index, Arris claims that the percentage of North American survey respondents reporting regular OTT use dropped from 88 percent in 2014 to 86 percent this year.

Verizon: Disney ad blackouts slowed growth of skinny bundle to 9K subs in Q2

Delivering the first update on its groundbreaking "skinny bundling" strategy in nearly three months, Verizon said around 9,000 new subscribers signed on for its FiOS Custom TV video bundles.