News

Cablevision's Dolan accused of union-busting by NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board has charged Cablevision CEO James Dolan with threatening to withhold pay raises to his company's Brooklyn tech workers unless they voted to quit their union.

Cord-cutting accelerates as pay-TV sub losses double to 179K

Pay-TV operators lost a total of 179,000 video subscribers in the third quarter, more than double the 83,000 lost in Q3 2013. On Friday, that was definitive evidence enough for the Wall Street Journal to loudly declare that "'Cord cutting' is accelerating as more consumers drop cable and satellite-TV connections."

Senators look to kill STAVRA if CableCARD language isn't taken out

It has already cleared the Senate Commerce Committee, but a push is being made to let STAVRA expire on Dec. 31 if language isn't removed from the bill that stipulates the end of the CableCARD rule.

Comcast customer service czar makes first big move: apologies, credits for X1 outages

Marking one of the first high-profile moves under Comcast's new "customer experience" czar, Charlie Herrin, the MSO has apologized for technical problems experienced this week by X1 pay-TV customers.

Disney's Iger: ESPN not going a la carte

Disney may have negotiated ample streaming rights for ESPN as part of its recent programming deals, including the just-signed $1.5 billion-a-season agreement with the NBA, but the media conglomerate has no plans to take ESPN a la carte anytime soon.

Waiting for MVPD status, Aereo cuts way back

Slipping into hibernation mode as it waits for the FCC--and the courts--to give it new life by declaring it a multichannel video programming distributor with all the riches that entails, Aereo has decided to shutter its Boston office, laying off 43 employees. An undisclosed number of employees will also be laid off from its New York headquarters. FierceOnlineVideo has a report here.

DirecTV 4K service set to launch 'a few' VOD movies, will require Genie DVR and Samsung TV

Shedding a bit of light on the first 4K/Ultra HD programming service provided by a pay-TV operator, DirecTV said its new offering is still on track to launch in the fourth quarter of this years.

Satellite and telco growth 'hit the wall' in Q3, analyst notes

Amid uncertainties about the futures of the ad market, the pay-TV bundle, and over-the-top distribution, the issue of cord cutting has been quiescent in third-quarter pay-TV earnings reports, says MoffettNathanson principal analyst Craig Moffett in a memo released Thursday.

Comcast X1 platform experiences second major outage in less than a week

Comcast's X1 platform experienced its second major outage in less than a week Wednesday, with reports of pay-TV outages spread across the nation and concentrated in major cities including Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

Video will consume 50% of mobile traffic by 2020, Ericsson says

In the not-too-distant future, humans will begin to colonize Mars, genetically engineered fish will secrete their own natural tartar sauce, and 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions spread out all over the world will consume 50 percent of the earth's mobile traffic with streaming video.

DirecTV loses 28K subscribers in Q3 as cord-cutting fears again take hold

Signaling a concerning trend for pay-TV operators in the North American market, DirecTV reported subscriber losses of 28,000 for the third quarter. This compares unfavorably to the 139,000 U.S. customers DirecTV added in Q3 2013.

Cablevision sees 3.7% revenue spike despite worst-ever quarterly subscriber loss

Continuing a third-quarter trend for pay-TV operators, Cablevision reported significant losses of 56,000 TV subscribers but saw revenue increase 3.7 percent to $1.63 billion, driven by higher customer fees.

With Ergen, Turner finds out it's better to be lucky than a good longtime programming partner

As he aggressively dragged a program licensing dispute into Dish Network's third-quarter earnings report Tuesday, I had to chuckle a bit at this particular Charlie Ergen barb: Choosing to permanently ditch Turner Networks' channels, he said it "would be a little bit tougher if their original programming was a success like AMC."

Sony adds CBS and Discovery for OTT service

CBS Corp. and Discovery Communications have confirmed in their separate third-quarter earnings reports that their programming has been licensed by Sony for the launch of the Japanese conglomerate's upcoming virtual pay-TV service.

Turner says it's disappointed, bewildered by Dish assault

Responding somewhat rationally and unemotionally to a rather vicious earnings-call assault rendered upon it Tuesday by Charlie Ergen, Turner Networks released a statement saying it's "disappointed" and bewildered with the Dish Network chairman's comments.

FCC denies programmers' plea to limit document access during merger reviews

The FCC has denied a request made by top media conglomerates to restrict access for 245 individuals to see deal-related documents as part of ongoing pay-TV merger reviews.

Ergen says streaming makes CBS 'less interesting to MVPDs' as network readies OTT news service

Drawing clear battle lines of what CBS should expect as it looks to aggressively grow its broadcast retransmission fees amid its launch of OTT platforms, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen confirmed that the newly launched CBS All Access is a major factor in his company's ongoing retrans renewal talks with the network.

Pay-TV fees overcome slow quarterly ad sales for Time Warner Inc. and Fox

Shrugging off a sluggish ad economy with growing subscription fees for their cable networks, both Time Warner Inc. and 21st Century Fox posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings results Tuesday.

FCC doesn't understand impracticality of live linear video over OTT, analyst says

While it's good to see the FCC finally recognize that regulations for facilities-based MVPDs are anachronistic, the commission revealed its naiveté of over-the-top distribution by not acknowledging the impracticality of online video for live linear broadcasts. That's the conclusion of analyst Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group. His latest report can be found here, distilled by FierceOnlineVideo.

Turner taps former Fox chief Reilly to head TNT and TBS

Bereft of leadership due to an exodus of top-level executive talent, forced into painful job cuts by its corporate parent, facing a sluggish ad sales market, battling pay-TV operators for distribution, and badly in need of fresh original series hits, Turner Networks turned to a widely popular television executive in its quest to rebuild momentum.