Local TV stations would be prohibited from teaming up to negotiate retransmission-consent agreements with pay-TV distributors, under a proposal FCC chairman Tom Wheeler announced Thursday.
DirecTV is following the lead of competitor Dish Network and is in discussions with Walt Disney Co. to deliver Disney content such as ESPN, the Disney Channel and ABC to customers via an over-the-top Internet-based product.
Top executives at Dish Network and DirecTV used their fourth-quarter earnings calls to react to Comcast's merger proposal with Time Warner Cable, expressing concerns about the number of pay-TV subscribers and programming assets that Comcast and TWC would control.
Dish Network added 8,000 net video subscribers in the fourth quarter, with growth slowing compared to the 14,000 it picked up in Q4 2012 and the 22,000 net video subs it posted in the same period in 2011.
DirecTV picked up 93,000 net video subscribers in the fourth quarter, which was a decrease compared to the 103,000 that it gained in the same period in 2012.
Cox Communications hasn't raised subscription fees on its Hampton Roads, Va., system, where it competes with Verizon's FiOS TV, in two years. But following rate hikes last year on FiOS programming packages and equipment, Cox said it'll hit subscribers in Hampton Roads with several price increases on March 1.
If Comcast succeeds in closing its merger agreement with Time Warner Cable, one of its first challenges may be to secure carriage deals for SportsNet LA, the regional sports network TWC plans to launch this spring with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I was starting to write a column last night about some predictions that former Tele-Communications Inc. chief Leo Hindery had in 1999 about the impact of cable consolidation when news broke about the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal. Those statements from Hindery, the architect of a series of cable system acquisitions and swaps in 1997 that we called the "Summer of Love," are as relevant today as ever.
Nearly one month after dropping The Weather Channel, DirecTV said Monday that it is working with WeatherNation, the programmer that replaced TWC, to add local weather reports and a mosaic program guide channel that it will use during severe storms.
I thought separate meetings I had last week with the top video executives at Comcast and Verizon would help answer questions about their strategy with new technology platforms like X1 and LTE multicast. But my interview with Verizon's Shawn Strickland left me with many more questions.