"Something's Happening Here … What It Is …" Is Slowly Taking Shape!

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: "Something's Happening Here … What It Is …" Is Slowly Taking Shape!

It's getting so every edition of every news report* begins with something that changes everything. This one looks, in a rather random manner, at top media-impactful stories from the last couple weeks or so. They range from Supreme Court challenge responses to new ATSC 3.0 developments to new OTT (over-the-top) developments to fiber shortages to proclamations about tomorrow … and more.

What they all together really mean will be discussed in the next edition.

So, here we go:

• A house boasting 10G connectivity with over 70 internet enabled "things" opened for official gawkers in Ames, Iowa. The Mediacom and Cable Labs furnished house boasts a fully-featured tele-health system, the fastest known cable-delivered high speed underpinning and a hologram projected explanation of it all.

• Bloomberg's QuickTake will launch an OTT channel in November to go along with its Twitter-distributed version of highlighted business reporting and features.

• Sling TV will add a "watch party" bonus for subscribers with Chrome browsers allowing same-time group watching and interactions.

• Broadcasting groups are adding more OTT desks almost daily.

• ViacomCBS has Paramount+ … and Showtime (without the +) as complimentary OTT ventures.

• NLBC, an Indiana operator, is carrying both linear and OTT video.

• Niche streamers are everywhere now as this guide from Vox shows.

• E.W. Scripps adds more stations by buying Ion Television … with Warren Buffet's help and the vestiges of "must carry" for all its networks.

• AMC's Shudder horror streamer has over a million subs.

• Samsung TV Plus streamer is available on Galaxy smart phones.

• Amazon launched two new Fire TV branded sticks.

• The Maine a la carte bill that allows cable subscribers to buy individual channels isn't charming judges.

• Philo cut a marketing deal with Best Buy streaming. That's a first.

• Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0) is for real with:

• (1) Launches in Boise by Evoca using the bandwidth on two low power TVs coupled with a SCOUTbox, an antenna and streaming "cable" nets … 80+ channels for "less than $50"

• (2) STIRR (Sinclair Digital Interactive Solutions) is 100+ free channels for Android users

• (3) VUit is live, local free streaming TV via most sticks.

• P&G will negotiate directly with TV for ad buys.

• CNN dropped its "Great Big Story" streamer.

• NBCU signed distribution deals including Peacock on Roku.

• Starry fixed wireless is targeting single-family homes.

• Digital (or Virtual) Cable-Tec Expo keeps growing ahead of its October 12 opening. It runs through the 15th.

• Fiber demand is skyrocketing … or, welcome to COVID-19 supply chain shortages.

• OTT software providers You.i TV and MediaKind teamed up.

• Serious big news for retransmission consent "fans" as Sinclair controlled stations and AT&T managed to get the FCC to fine the stations for "lack of good faith negotiations" … at $9 million collectively.

• ESPN's Giants-Steelers Monday Night Football with ESPN2 and ABC-TV tackled 10.7 million regular TV viewers. Who knows how many watched on YouTube, etc. streaming versions?

• Tubi active users jumped up 65% in August to 33 million.

• Black News Channel is live on DirecTV and headed for AT&T TV and AT&T NOW; it is also on Charter, Comcast and Dish.

• Discovery bought the assets of ad-tech start-up AdSparx.

• At the Goldman Sachs day, Charter's Tom Rutledge likened pay TV to a "video store" … meaning a whole range of video products on Charter's broadband base.

• Amazon's new "light" Fire stick matches the cost of Roku Express.

• WarnerMedia bet $3.7 billion renewing and expanding MLB rights.

• C-SPAN3 to "air" the 20 Cable TV Pioneer Inductee Ceremony (featuring my nominee Dan Greiner; the third Greiner to be inducted).

• The President has nominated NTIA advisor Nathan Simington to the Federal Confusion Commission; Simington, at the President's request, initiated a request from NTIA to the FCC regarding Section 320.

• NBCU's cable channels were a crown jewel. Now they're an albatross.

• Quibi might (already) be for sale.

• Pay TV to lose the most subs ever in a single year … six million?

• Amazon launches game-streaming service Luna.

• New J.D. Power national TV service satisfaction study lists AT&T/DirecTV and Dish first followed by Comcast and Charter.

As you may have deduced, TV just ain't TV anymore. And with streaming and the startling shift from a wholesale to a retail business model, more variations are inevitable. Given broadband's growth and eventual likely ubiquity, why keep spectrum for all those broadcasters?

Random Notes:

*News Report sources include ACA Connects (a compilation and a great source), Axios Media Trends, CableFax Daily, Fierce newsletters, Light Reading Cable News & Views, Multichannel News, Next TV, The New York Times, The Poynter Report, Press Releases & Web Sites, The Seattle Times, TVNewsCheck, The Wall Street Journal andThe Washington Post.

*In my last column, I mentioned Mr. Holanda and RCN/Wave/ Grande (now plus enTouch Systems; owned by TPG and managed by Patriot Media Consulting) made some things happen … our Wave system is now brought up to snuff … by really polite, cool workers.

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