The death of cable TV as you know it seems to be here. Earlier this month, Spectrum and Comcast announced a new streaming player that will let you watch your TV subscription from Spectrum streaming online alongside other services like Netflix. Now Spectrum has announced that new customers will only receive the streaming-only option.
The Disney-Charter carriage battle is foregrounding the fragility of the pay-TV bundle. Charter’s Spectrum TV service is in its fifth day of darkness as the companies fight over carriage terms, leaving nearly 15 million customers without access to 18 Disney networks, including ESPN, as well as eight ABC stations.
Shares of several big media and entertainment companies tumbled Friday as investors considered the potential fallout from an impasse between cable giant Charter Communications and media titan Walt Disney Co. On Thursday, Disney said it had pulled major networks such as ESPN and ABC from Charter systems after the two companies could not come to terms on a renewal of their carriage license. Charter’s systems reach a little under 15 million subscribers in markets that include New York City and Los Angeles.
Addressing Thursday night’s carriage impasse with Disney, Charter Communications executives told Wall Street investors on a conference call today that their linear video business is “at the edge of a precipice.” Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said any resolution to the outage, which left almost 15 million customers in the dark at the start of football season, would need to happen quickly. Otherwise, he said, Charter will take pains to preserve broadband relationships with customers who drop video service.
ESPN and 18 other Disney networks as well as ABC stations have gone dark across Spectrum, the No. 2 cable TV service in the U.S. Charter Communications, which runs Spectrum, and Disney had been locked in a distribution dispute since well before the U.S. Open tennis tournament began this week. In the coming days, college football and the NFL will kick off, potentially putting two massive sports properties on the list of programming unavailable to Spectrum customers. Along with the ESPN family of networks, the carriage fight also involves FX and a number of non-sports networks as well as ABC stations.
Following a recent workshop on the potential impact of AI on the communications sector, The FCC has voted to launch a Notice of Inquiry into non-federal spectrum usage and explore how new data sources, methods and technologies like AI would allow the agency to better manage increasingly congested commercial spectrum. This NOI will explore how new tools can promote effective spectrum management and identify new opportunities for innovation, the FCC said.
The FCC’s authority to regulate spectrum auctions expired on Friday, March 10, after a Senate vote to renew its authority failed to pass on Thursday. The FCC has had responsibility over the management of spectrum auctions for more than 30 years and in 2017, in particular raised nearly $20 billion in selling off portions of the broadcast spectrum. The House approved reauthorization in February but the Senate failed to pass the resolution amid disagreement on military spectrum needs.
The Senate came in for plenty of criticism Friday for its failure to pass House-passed legislation extending the FCC’s spectrum auction authority beyond March 9. That came at a House Communications Subcommittee hearing on spectrum policy. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) had teamed with ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) to co-sponsor the legislation (H.R. 1108) extending authorization to May 19, which passed the House Feb. 19.
Fear not broadcasters: Even if streaming ultimately pushes linear TV over the precipice, your spectrum still has value for datacasting or auction.
Alp Sezen and Chris McGhay have formed PEAK3, an IoT and edge pathway solution focused on building businesses using the ATSC 3.0 broadcast spectrum. The IP-based ATSC 3.0 standard ushers in […]
Customers of Charter’s Spectrum TV are about to see their bills go up yet again. Late last month, Charter began issuing notices to customers of its Spectrum-branded video services warning that the price of their programming packages will go up by at least $4 a month. The price increase is tied to a broadcast television fee that Charter imposes on customers who receive local channels as part of their video services. Affected video plans include Spectrum Stream TV and Spectrum TV Choice.
Charter Communications must pay over $1.1 billion to the estate and family of an 83-year-old woman murdered in her home by a Spectrum cable technician, Dallas County, Texas, Judge Juan Renteria has ruled. A jury in the same court previously ordered Charter to pay $7 billion in punitive damages and $337.5 million in compensatory damages.
Spectrum Networks announced today it will launch Spectrum News Challenge, a new weekly show hosted by Spectrum News 1 Southern California anchor Amrit Singh. Debuting September 7, the show will […]
Charter Communications is conducting a soccer trick-shot content, with the winner appearing in a spot that will air during the World Cup promoting the Spectrum Mobile Wireless service. The promotion is part of a partnership with Comcast’s Telemundo and Peacock Premium promoting the Spanish-language coverage of the World Cup.
Effective March 18, Spectrum’s “Broadcast TV Fee” will increase by $3. Customers will have to pay $21 per month just to be able to watch their local, over-the-air television stations. The Broadcast TV Fee has been raised each of the last two summers; most recently, it was increased to $17.99 per month in June 2021. This means that Spectrum’s average surcharge for local, OTA stations is rising an average of $36 per year.
The implementation of 5G wireless technology has created a strain on radio frequency spectrum that is putting the industry at odds with administration agencies, with the FCC stuck in the middle. One analyst compares it to the 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, where a ravenous, human-eating plant can’t be sated. Similarly, telecommunications companies appear to have an endless need for additional bandwidth to provide ever-faster mobile data services.
Charter still values being able to sell traditional video packages alongside its broadband products but CFO Chris Winfrey suggested that a breaking point is coming. Speaking at an Evercore investor event, Winfrey reaffirmed that video is still an in-demand product and that it’s still profitable for Charter. But he warned changes are needed to ensure that his company can continue assembling attractive products that can be packaged for different customers with different budgets.
The microphone maker’s petition argues the wireless microphone community needs clear spectrum now more than ever, as the 600 MHz band has been reallocated to mobile phone use and the DTV repack has moved many TV stations into the 500 MHz spectrum.
The FCC has signed an agreement with the National Science Foundation and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the White House’s top communications adviser, to advance spectrum R&D. The move is a nod both to interagency multilateralism and the value of science, two things the previous administration was criticized for downplaying.
One of the most daunting barriers to innovation in local TV news is fear — the danger of driving away viewers who like what you’re doing and don’t necessarily want it to change. By that standard, Spectrum News is taking on a tricky challenge: tinkering with its iconic 24/7 New York City cable news channel, NY1.
A distinctive formula for local news finds a new platform. The Spectrum News App is designed as a “value add” that enhances the value of the company’s broadband service: it’s the first content product to be created for all 28 million Spectrum residential customers, whether they subscribe to its video offerings or not.
As part of Dish Network’s $1.4 billion agreement last week to purchase around 9 million Boost-branded mobile customers from T-Mobile, the company also quietly said it would purchase billions of dollars of additional spectrum. The deal underscores the fact that Charlie Ergen — the chairman of Dish Network and a key architect of the company’s 5G strategy — ostensibly has an utterly inexhaustible desire for spectrum.
Broadcasters are giving new meaning to the phrase “dynamic spectrum access” in arguing that an FCC proposal to free up WiFi spectrum in the 6 GHz band could take away electronic newsgathering spectrum just when a pandemic-sequestered nation needs it most. That came in phone calls last week between National Association of Broadcasting executives and FCC officials.
Policymakers “need to take a fresh look at existing allocations of spectrum, including the allocation of spectrum to broadcasters” to determine if “that spectrum is still needed by the broadcast industry or if it is better used in other areas,” said Jim Ciconni, senior EVP of AT&T at a Washington think tank event.
The FCC’s decision today to expand the use of so-called “white spaces” TV spectrum for unlicensed wireless broadband drew quite a crowd Friday after a unanimous vote to allow for higher power and taller towers to extend the reach of unlicensed uses.
The FCC today adopted new rules to auction and make available quickly and efficiently 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for flexible use, including 5G. “Making this critical spectrum available represents another […]
The FCC will be making some big spectrum-related decisions Friday (Feb. 28) at its February public meeting that will affect broadcast and cable operators. The commission is scheduled to vote on freeing up 300 MHz of the 500 MHz C-Band satellite spectrum for next-gen terrestrial wireless, in the process repacking satellite operators and their broadcast and cable clients into smaller space and potentially paying those satellite operators billions to exit the spectrum early.
The FCC said it needs $481.59 million to conduct its operations next year, up just 0.3% from the current fiscal year and reflecting an expected boost in revenue from spectrum auction fees. Among the notable lines items in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget plan is a $134.5 million request for spectrum auction authority, an increase of nearly $2 million (about 1.5%) from the current year.
Louis Libin, chairman of Election Wireless 2020, coordinates wireless requirements for broadcasters at the upcoming conventions, debates and election night. He says the repack has made assigning spectrum more challenging than ever, and that broadcasters must temper their expectations relative to past years.
Aerospace and defense industry contractors told the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Communications Subcommittee leadership today (Oct. 29) that they need to be cognizant of the potential for interference with an auction and repurposing of C-Band satellite spectrum for 5G.