In what could signal a big change in regulatory approach, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has plans a vote on an item that would set the precedent that streaming services qualify as “effective competition” to MVPDs sufficient to trigger basic rate deregulation of those MVPDs.
While individual subscription video services like Netflix generally continue to grow in subscribers and viewership, new virtual pay TV services — which provide access to traditional TV networks — are slipping, according to a recent TiVo research report.
Every five years, satellite operators ask Congress to renew the law that gives them the right to import network affiliated broadcast signals into “white areas” where subscribers cannot get local affiliates off air. And every five years, the operators and their cable allies try to dirty the bill with provisions that will make it more difficult for broadcasters to negotiate for retransmisson consent fees. NAB’s job is clear: Convince Congress to kill the renewal legislation or pass a “clean” bill and make it permanent.
The array of options for over-the-air 3.0 is dizzying. But with roughly 75% of TV households still subscribing to cable, satellite or telco services — and retransmission fees from providing their signals to such pay-TV operators making up a growing portion of broadcasters’ revenue — it’s clear that 3.0 needs to work with cable in order to be a long-term success.
AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit will take direct aim at consumers with a coming set of OTT-delivered subscription VoD services, but pay-TV providers will also play an important role in their distribution.
The MVPDs are pushing the Local Choice alternative to retransmission consent in the pending STELAR home satellite renewal legislation as it did in 2014. So, TVNewsCheck is posting broadcast attorney Jack Goodman’s 1,564-word argument against the proposal as it did in 2014.
AT&T owns a significant SVOD product in HBO Now, with its $15-per-month price point and more than 5 million subscribers. But the company may be looking at bundling it with other direct-to-consumer products.
U.S.-based virtual multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) combined to add about 868,000 subscribers in 2Q 2018, expanding that total to 6.73 million, up 119% year-over-year, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics based on a blend of company figures and estimates.
With virtual MVPDs continuing to take on new customers at a healthy clip, keeping customers in the pay TV ecosystem, cord cutting dropped significantly for the second straight quarter, according to Leichtman Research Group. Cable, satellite and telco TV operators reported collective losses of 416,962 customers in the second quarter, down from 655,000 in the second quarter of 2017.
TiVo is introducing a next-generation platform designed to allow mid-size pay-TV operators to embrace IPTV and offer customers a modern, app-based user experience across a range of devices. It’ll be on display next week at CES in Las Vegas.