News

Programmer and pay-TV stocks get crushed as ESPN woes spur concerns of cord cutting, skinny bundles

Stocks for virtually all of the major media conglomerates have dropped sharply amid newly heightened concerns about the future of the pay-TV bundle.

Moonves: CBS to make $2B per year in retrans fees and reverse compensation by 2020

CBS is on track to receive by 2020 more than $2 billion a year from broadcast retransmission licensing fees from pay-TV operators, as well as "reverse compensation" fees from broadcast stations for the rights to air its programming. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves disclosed the figures during the programmer's second quarter earnings call with media analysts.

HBO's Plepler: Less than 1% of HBO pay-TV subs have bolted for streaming service

HBO CEO Richard Plepler dismissed concerns that the company's new direct-to-consumer streaming service, HBO Now, is cannibalizing its core pay-TV product.

Former Sprint CEO Hesse recounts the 'pain' caused by Network Vision

Former Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told FierceWireless that he regrets causing so much disruption to Sprint customers when the company embarked on its Network Vision network modernization initiative.

Verizon adds Discovery programming to mobile video service

Discovery Communications said it made a deal to sell long- and short-form programming to Verizon for its upcoming mobile video service.

Disney's Iger: 80% of ESPN sub losses were due to pay-TV contraction, not skinny bundles

disney bob iger

Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger told investors that ESPN's subscriber losses have been overstated, and that most of them have come from the overall recession of the pay-TV market, not from operators excluding the national sports network in their skinny bundles.

Cable One loses 21.4K pay-TV subs in Q2, but minimal broadband gains are a concern

Cable One said it lost around 21,400 pay-TV customers in the second quarter, its first quarterly report as an independent company.

Dish reports 81K sub losses in Q2, but analyst says Sling TV gains are hiding much bigger attrition

Dish Network reported a 3.7 percent rise in second quarter earnings to $3.83 billion, but the company lost a whopping 81,000 subscribers during the three-month period.

MLB Advanced Media beats out Comcast, others to add NHL as client

Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced it is taking over all operations for the National Hockey League's cable channel, websites and digital operations. MLBAM also said that it plans to spin off a digital technology unit in which the NHL would hold an equity stake.

Microsoft to add DVR for broadcast TV to Xbox One next year

Microsoft said it will add DVR features for over-the-air TV broadcasts into its Xbox One starting next year. The move is the latest by Microsoft to push its Xbox video gaming console into the set-top box arena currently dominated by cable companies.

Comcast gets a bump from NBCU's theme parks business

Few investment analysts thought Comcast would actually keep NBCUniversal's theme parks division -- and all of its associated maintenance and public safety costs -- when it purchased the programming conglomerate in 2011.

Cablevision urges 'robust' changes to retransmission consent rules

Cablevision is asking the FCC to make "robust" changes to decades-old rules that the company argues give broadcasters an increasingly unfair advantage in retransmission consent negotiations.

Charter loses 33K video customers in Q2, more than analysts had expected

Charter Communications notched an increase of 7.6 percent in its overall revenues, but the company reporting losing 33,000 pay-TV subscribers. Those subscriber losses were far higher than some Wall Street analysts were expecting: JP Morgan had expected Charter to lose 15,000 video subscribers, while Jefferies had predicted 25,000 customer loses.

Mediacom down 12,000 video subs in blackout-laden Q2

Mediacom Communications reported that it lost just 12,000 video customers across its two operating units in the second quarter, despite experiencing two recent retransmission-related station blackouts. The Blooming Grove, N.Y.-based MSO finished the quarter with a total of 879,000 pay-TV subscribers, down from 919,000 at the end of June 2014.

Suddenlink loses 29,400 subscribers in Q2, calls losing Viacom a diminishing factor

Suddenlink Communications continues to lose basic video subscribers after failing to renew its contract with a major programming conglomerate, Viacom, late last year.

Pac-12 chief still 'optimistic' AT&T will solve its DirecTV problem, but has no idea when

The Pac-12 Network will enter its fourth year -- and fourth college football season -- of operation without a lynchpin carriage deal on DirecTV.

Verizon, unions continue talks after current deal expires

Verizon continues its negotiations with two key unions, and has so far avoided a work stoppage, even though its current collective bargaining agreement expired Saturday.

Comcast's X1 upgrade automatically extends recordings of sports events that go into overtime

Continuing to evolve pay-TV's most technologically advanced -- and expensive -- platform, Comcast has unveiled a new DVR feature for its X1 service that automatically extends recordings of live sports events that go past their scheduled run time.

Cable networks cram in up to 10% more commercials, with ratings down 9% in Q2, report finds

With linear TV ratings dropping another 9 percent in the second quarter, major cable networks now appear to be stuffing as many as 10 percent more commercials into every hour of programming to sustain their margins.

AT&T bundles wireless with DirecTV pay-TV services … again

A little over a week after closing its $49 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T has already debuted an asterisk-heavy bundled promotion that combines pay-TV and wireless services.