Cablevision Not Murdoch’s Only Problem

Cablevision Not Murdoch’s Only Problem

Cablevision’s battle with NewsCorp over retransmission fees is not Rupert Murdoch’s only regulatory problem at the moment. Leo Porter began his post titled “Why the Web Mustn’t Become the New TV” with the news that “A consortium of rivals are gathering to impede media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s bid to gain total control of [British] cable outlet BSkyB.

The anti-Murdoch consortium wrote to the British government last week saying “We believe that the proposed takeover could have serious and far-reaching consequences for media plurality.” Besides a group of UK newspaper publishers, the letter was also signed by executives of the BBC and BT, the UK’s biggest telephone company.

Sony Googles TVs

Sony Googles TVs

Sony has announced four new TVs plus a Blu-ray player with built-in Google TV. The models will come with built-in Wi-Fi and a RF QWERTY keypad remote.

The models will be able to download content from the Android Market early in 2011. Sony also says that the Intel® Atom® powered models will “also feature Dual View, allowing users to watch television while tweeting about what they’re watching, checking their fantasy football scores, or finding related content on the web.”

(Engadget has a hands-on review.)

The Sony models join the previously announced Logitech “Revue” Google TV box.

Net Wit: Why Neutrality Matters

Net Wit: Why Neutrality Matters

John Ueland for TIME

In an article in the September 6th issue of Time Magazine, Joel Stein makes the case against net neutrality by arguing that limited bandwidth needs to be allocated fairly. He says that is why your cell phone company “allows 911 calls through first, phone calls second, instant messages next and Web searches last.”

Allocating bandwidth is fine if you are an over-the-air broadcaster or cell phone company where there is limited (government licensed) spectrum. But let’s think about where most of us get our home internet service. Unless you are stealing it from your neighbor’s unencrypted router, chances are you are getting it from your cable company – which is also in the business of selling you pricey “silver” and “gold” packages of pay-tv channels.

What happens if you and a majority of the people in your franchise area begin watching True Blood, Dexter and Rescue Me by downloading them from Bit-Torrent? You and your neighbors cancel your high cost cable packages and opt for the basic package plus internet service. Watch your cable companies revenue decline while bandwidth usage goes up, making it harder for them to stream “on-demand” movies to those people who are still stupid enough to pay for them. How do you think that will make your cable company feel about net neutrality? Just Google “tiered service“.

The Four Screens

The Four Screens

UPDATED: Watch the 3 Minute Ad Age clip here.

What comes after television, the internet and mobile is what has been commonly referred to as the fourth screen. But what is the deal with all these screens? What are they, why are they important and what do we as producers, designers, technologists and marketers need to know?

The panel was: Steve Ronson, EVP, AETN; Lance Podell, CEO, NextNewNetworks; Dana Spiegel, VP of Application Strategy and Development, Cathedral Partners; Michael Kogon, Founder and CEO, Definition 6. Denise Oliver, Co-Founder, ShortFormTV was the moderator.

It’s not that SobelMedia needed the extra publicity, it’s just that I like the promo that creativebubble did.

Related:

2010: The Year of TV Everywhere

Disney Touts a Way to Ditch the DVD – About “Keychest” and “DECE”. (Sorry, Rupert wants to charge you for this article.)

Lala Could Help Apple Redefine ‘Ownership’ of Content

So Where is AdSense for Newspapers ?

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Categories: Media Divergence

So Where is AdSense for Newspapers ?

How Google Can Help Newspapers
… asks Mark Cuban refering to a guest opinion piece by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt in the Wall Street Journal.

And where is AdSense for cable?
I think it has a chance to catch on – as soon as cablers refine the
technology to deliver targeted advertising at the set-top level.

Related:
Congress to Hold Hearing on Cable Advertising (4/22/09)
CableLabs: tru2way
Canoe Ventures: In Forbes (6/18/09); Canoe Ventues Home Page

Pretty As A Peacock; The Almost Broadcasting Company

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Categories: Media Divergence

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Pretty As A Peacock; The Almost Broadcasting Company


In an unusual alignment of the moon (currently full) and the rest of the univers(al), it looks like GE and Vivendi have agreed on how much ($5.8 billion) NBCU is worth, paving the way for the media giant’s sale to Comcastic.

ABC Logo 1953
Over at the Meatball network, the move backward toward it’s first incarnation, the Almost Broadcasting Company, continues with the confirmation that Mike Shaw, the President of Sales and Marketing will be stepping down from his current role at the end of the year.

As both these events occurred on the same day, I should be saying that media divergence continues, but the first instance is a big fish eating a little fish and the second instance is just what happens when you have a “mature” business. (Just read that as “past it’s prime.”)

Robert Peterson’s Plan For Survival

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Categories: Media Divergence

Robert Peterson’s Plan For Survival

In response to Diane Mermigas’ Media Post blog entry "(Paul) Sagan: TV Survival Means Hyper-Local Online Video", Robert Peterson proposed:

"I am starting to think that station managers need to split their organizations into two parts. Today the new hides in bits and pieces throughout the old. Make a new organization that is all about the new and put the best person in charge. Work out what it has to achieve and how to measure.

"At the same time make a coherent organization out of the old. Do your costs cutting here. Make this organization as efficient as possible. In a way Greenfield it – do not accept any assumptions about "we always have done it this way".

"Now you have a portfolio of the new and the old. Both will have to perform. Resources in the end will have to move over time to the new."

At least one TV network is already doing this…

An Unsteady Future for Broadcast

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Categories: Media Divergence

An Unsteady Future for Broadcast

Link to graph
The departure of Oprah from syndication and bumps in the road in the NBC/ Comcast merger led a peg for this article in the New York Times business section.

“Most analysts and many executives agree that the economic model of
broadcast television — which relies much more heavily on advertising
than cable — is severely fractured. What they are wondering now is if it
is irreparably broken” says the article.

This doomsday scenario is not new, but as upfront revenue declined for a second year in a row, the situation appears dire.

But there might be some ways to postpone the inevitable.

This Is The Last Season of Network Television

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Categories: Media Divergence

This Is The Last Season of Network Television

… Said Master of Ceremonies Neil Patrick Harris and Emmy presenter
Julia Louis-Dreyfus:
"Amy (Poehler) and I are honored to be
presenting on the last official year of network broadcast television."

They were joking, of course. But it’s much closer to the truth than any
of us would care to admit.

From Brian Stelter’s NY Times Emmy
Blog
:

"In the Emmys sketch, Dr. Horrible declared that “television is dead,”
only to suffer the cliched fate of many a Web video: streaming lag-time
and pixelated images."

Way Over The Top: Data To Your Home

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Categories: Media Divergence

Way Over The Top: Data To Your Home

With Sony’s
announcement
of an IPTV module for its new sets and the Media Center
features built into Windows
Vista™
, a lot of people might soon be watching streaming video
on their TV, not watching those channels that our cable companies charge
us way too much for.

So what’s a cable company to do? Continue claiming that its internet
service is faster than the phone company’s or throttle back the bitrate
and charge you extra for those streaming IPTV shows? Stay tuned. (Or
should I say – logged-on?)

(Remember – in our digital world its all zeros and ones: your phone
call, your TV show, your e-mail. It’s time to stop thinking of it as a
wire and start thinking of it as a pipe.)

Son of WebTV

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Categories: Media Divergence

Son of WebTV

Some analysts just don’t get Media Divergance, (like Todd Chanko of
Jupiter Media) even though there are lots of people paying to watch last
night’s TV on their iPods. When asked by TelevisionWeek
to comment on how Microsoft Vista will promote integration between the
computer and the TV, he said: "They are searching for a problem that
doesn’t really need solving."

Young geeks are all over Slingbox
and Xbox.
Buy one Media Center PC and a bunch of Xboxes. Feed your recorded TV
shows all over your house, the whole dorm, the whole world. With Sony’s
announcement
of an IPTV module for its new sets, gee – it might be a
good time to start an Ippy TV network!

What’s All This About Ippy TV?

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Categories: IPTV
Media Divergence

Tags:

What’s All This About Ippy TV?

There’s been so much news on the IPTV front recently that even Roseanne Roseannadanna would have heard about IPTV by now.

First was the announcement by a consortium of Japanese TV manufacturers announcing their push for an IPTV standard. Then there was Apple’s peek at their iTV product.

And lots of little things as well…
MatrixStream began shipping their 1080p capable IP set top box in June. NeuLion has their own box and content management platform – just add your own channels.

All this hardware… If the boys from Japan can get some momentum going
on a box standard, this IPTV thing might just take off.

Makes you want to start your own channel. How about the Emergency
Responders Channel? Reruns of Adam 12, Rescue Me and Justice Files 24/7 ! (And how about a comedy block with Car 54 Where Are You?)

And if you don’t think that I Pee TV isn’t going to be big, just check
out the article in the New York Times Circuits section on 9/27/06 !

That’ll Never Work

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Categories: Media Divergence

That’ll Never Work

Gee, I wish I could see into the future. Well, maybe I can. When I saw,
then made, my first QuickTime™movie
I thought it was, well – useful. But beyond making video previews, I
didn’t think it would ever be as big as "full motion video."

When AVID
came out with ‘AVR24′ resolution and called it ‘broadcast’ I laughed to
myself. "That may fly on cable, but it’ll never air on network TV!"

And cell phone video, how great is that ?

Well, my 2 year old computer does a decent job at playing 720p video at
24fps. George
Schlatter
Productions used AVR24 to edit skits on his 1994 series "She-TV".
And YouTube
is getting lots of hits with it’s cell phone camera and webcam uploads.
So what’s next? Nah, downloading Hollywood features over the internet
will never be big. Right !

In 1996, GENE JANKOWSKI, the former President of CBS, told an interviewer
from the BBC
:

"The Internet I associate more with cable and with phone companies. It
has nothing, the Internet has nothing to do with why people want to
watch 60 Minutes or ER or Dallas
. In the last couple of years
there’s been a tremendous amount of attention focused on technology and
the new equipment and digitalisation etc and so forth and my attitude is
that we cannot lose sight of the fact that it’s not technology that
gives value to man, but rather it is people with creative ideas that
give value to the technology. We don’t go out and buy a VCR just because
we want to own a VCR, we buy it because it gives us the opportunity to
see the creative programming that we can play through our VCR."

Sign of the Times ?

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Categories: Media Divergence

Sign of the Times ?

This week while waiting for the commuter train I overheard T.C. Mits*
say "I’m going to watch it on the web." I’m not sure I had the context
right, but from the snippets of conversation I overheard, it appeared
they were talking about something that they had missed on TV. Divergence
continues…

(* T.C. Mits = The Common Man/Woman in the Street.)

Convergence?… No, Just Evolution

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Categories: Media Divergence

Convergence?… No, Just Evolution

To those of you who thought we’d all be watching TV on our computers (or
using keyboards on our TV’s) – the future is coming into focus, and it’s divergence.
Here are the some of the signs:

  • Craigslist
    is cutting into classified advertising revenue in Bay Area newspapers.
  • A news aggregator (Yahoo News),
    not a news gathering organization is the top news website. (Source: Nielson
    – Net Ratings
    )
  • People are paying
    to download last night’s TV shows to their iPods®.
  • Beginning January 3rd, ABC News will use its Evening News anchors to
    anchor a Webcast.

And some signs of desperation as entertainment / media companies
scramble to retain share:

At one network, the left
hand
said one thing but the right
hand
did someting else.

So, just as radio news changed the newspaper business and television
changed the radio and motion picture businesses, technology is changing
the way we consume media. OK, that’s obvious… but a seismic shift? No,
just evolution.