Comcast turns the landline into mobile phone

May 23, 2012

Comcast, the largest U.S cable operator, is pushing ahead with its drive to transform the way Americans live with a range of new communications and video services launched at this year’s Cable Show  in Boston.

TV 2012: A tale of two sets

January 18, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the era of big, it was the hour of small. It was the age of complexity, it was the era of simplicity. It was an epoch of freedom, it was a time of tyranny. It was the season of two dimensions, it was the moment of 3D. Everything was before us — and we have seen it all.

Are kids wringing out SpongeBob?

November 10, 2011

Back in September, right before the quarter ended, Viacom trimmed  its advertising revenue outlook to high single digit growth from double digit growth. One of only a few media conglomerates to take that step–News Corp, Time Warner, and CBS were much more upbeat–the move prompted some concern among media watchers that advertisers were beginning to slash their budgets on macro-economic concerns.

Is Netflix the new cable guy?

September 20, 2011

Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix in Buenos Aires earlier this month

Customers tired of abuse from cable companies found a refuge in Netflix, the video rental service that won over Wall Street with a fast-growing and fiercely loyal stable of subscribers wowed by great customer service.
The old cable narrative has always been about cable cowboys acting like typical old world monopolies: providing poor customer service (here’s a video of a Comcast technician having a nap on the job), terrible user experience and still having the nerve to raise prices every year. Cable companies have changed and evolved in the last decade but not enough for many customers.
Netflix was supposed to be different — very different.
It had a responsive customer service, a pleasant user experience and also fairly simple pricing. It was the opposite of cable. In no time at all users were telling their friends about Netflix.
That might have all changed.
Netflix has angered so many customers it was forced to lower its fourth-quarter subscriber projections, and CEO Reed Hastings offered an apology for the company’s handling of a recent price increase.
Hastings acknowledged many subscribers “felt we lacked respect and humility” when the company announced in July it was raising the cost for DVD subscribers by as much as $6 a month, or 60 percent. He said he “messed up” and “slid into arrogance based upon past success.”
Hastings did not, however, roll back the price increase.
Many customers weren’t buying the apology, with negative reactions piling up on the Netflix blog. Plus, Hastings provoked more anger by moving the DVD business to a separate website from the streaming service. That will force customers of both services to visit two different sites.

from Ask...:

How fast is your broadband?

August 2, 2011

The FCC report released today on advertised broadband speeds praises Internet Service Providers like Verizon that are bridging the gap between how fast your Internet connection can be and what they actually deliver.

What’s all this about TV cord cutting?

March 15, 2011

When media bigwigs argue that they haven’t seen any evidence of real cord-cutting — and, believe us, they love to argue this point –  they can back it up with some new statistics from researchers over at SNL Kagan. For those of you who have fallen behind with industry jargon, cord-cutting is the idea that Americans are canceling cable and satellite television subscriptions because so many movies and TV shows can now be found on the Web — for far less than the cost of pay-TV. Huge issue, obviously, since these subscripti0ns are a pillar of today’s TV business. Not only are they the chief source of revenue for cable and satellite companies, but they help line the pockets of media companies such as Time Warner or  Disney who collect fees for the TV shows they create.

Relief in Philadelpia? NBCU profit up 13 percent

July 16, 2010

NBC Universal’s quarterly results — still wrapped into the General Electric numbers — should have some of the folks down in Philadelphia smiling this weekend. The numbers didn’t set the world on fire, but both profit and revenue showed improvement thanks to (what else) the cable division.

Census Bureau: Newspapers, radio had a really bad 2008

December 16, 2009

Newspapers

People say you shouldn’t trust the government, but their news about the declining health of the newspaper and radio business is hard to dispute.  Read the Census Bureau’s press release, out on Wednesday,  about the tough times hitting the business in 2008, the most recent year for which comprehensive data has been compiled:

from Summit Notebook:

Discovery CEO talks about Oprah, her show, and OWN

December 3, 2009

Now that Oprah Winfrey has set a date for when the sun will set on her syndicated talk show -- Sept 2011 -- everybody wants to know if she will recreate the show on OWN. OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, is the cable channel set to flicker on in some 80 million homes in January 2011 with Discovery Communications.

from Summit Notebook:

ESPN: We all live in sports towns (And tell great jokes)

December 1, 2009

ESPN President George Bodenheimer has been at the business of TV sports, one way or another, for nearly three decades, starting in the mailroom and working his way up.