R.I.P. 2015 NAB! Mini- vs Mega-Bundles!

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives

Comment : The Over-the-Airheads (OtA) have mostly vacated Las Vegas casinos and gone home after a week of crowing and whining. They crowed about better newscasts, the $s (maybe) to be made from spectrum, streaming and OtA’s version of TV everywhere, MVPD redefinition (lots of broadcasters multicast), ad dollars and the coming bonanza of an election. They whined about Comcast/TWC, Wheeler, repacking, cable news, retransmission challenges and upstream compensation, small cable operators, big cable operators, DBS, repacking, small $s from spectrum (show floor chant: “more, more, more money!”), the FCC and more.

My new book “The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media” continues! Read the latest chapter here.

Mini-Bundles, or The Death of A La Carte? Well not really. Today’s big cable bundles aren’t going away anytime soon -- that’s because they work for now. The big bundles are, however, facing what looks like a slow death spiral. I don’t think full a la carte will ever arrive in the US unless it works in Canada; and we should know how that works in a couple of years. But mini-bundles (small-, little-, ineffectual-, compact-, lightweight-, trivial-, petite-, wee-?) are here and proliferating like bunny rabbits. Should make for interesting sales messages and confusing sales propositions. Viewers and subscribers could pick from a Chinese menu of options: pick one from column “one” (local choice?), one from column “two” (sports?), three from column “three” (HBO et al the pay services), etc. Reminds me of when cable started launching channels mimicking radio’s top 40, news, weather and sports with individual channels instead of top of the hour quick rundowns.

In Other Items of Interest :

INTX is not the new name of the media industries -- rather, it is the upcoming originally-known-as cable show in Chicago. Or as some would say, the forced mating of wires with re/code. Should be intriguing as cable redefines itself again. Something that couldn’t be said of the OtAs in Las Vegas.

In an almost 50-year career writing and reporting on media, Paul S. Maxwell started and/or ran some 45-plus publications ranging from CATV Newsweekly to Colorado Magazine to CableVision to Multichannel News to CableFAX and The BRIDGE Suite of daily newsletters and research publications. In between publishing stints, Maxwell served as an advisor and/or consultant to a number of major media companies and media start-ups including running a unit of MCI and managing a partnership of TCI and McGraw-Hill.

Send any and all criticisms, suggestions, rants, threats, corrections, etc. to him at cablemax@mac.com. He has a new Web site coming soon!

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