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FCC Net Neutrality Comments Top 20 Million

From Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC last week extended the deadline for comments from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30, but followers of the issue aren't waiting until the last minute to pile on additional comments.

A week ago the docket had 18.5 million comments. That number now stands at 20.350 million. The FCC does not keep such records, but it is certainly a record for number of comments on any single issue.

Not surprisingly the docket remains the busiest in the last 30 days, according to the FCC, with over 12 million in that time period alone. The next-busiest is the FCC's just-announced so-called Sec. 706 inquiry into whether advanced telecom is being employed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely manner, with 960 over the same period. That is the proceeding in which the FCC is asking, among other things, whether wireless broadband should be considered a substitute for, rather than an adjunct, to wired.

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The 4 Big Trends Affecting The Media Industry Today

The second-quarter earnings season of 2017 has wound down for media companies and broadcasters, and FierceBroadcasting is rounding up the trends that highlighted the reports.
1. Streaming services gain traction, but strategies continue to evolve
CBS and Disney dominated this quarter with comparably huge streaming announcements.
CBS has already made a lot of headway in the SVOD space among its broadcast competitors, and now the company said it will have 4 million total subscribers for All Access and Showtime OTT by the end of the year, halfway to its goal of 8 million total by 2020. In addition, CBS announcedinternational expansion plans for All Access (starting in Canada next year) and a live sports streaming service.
Not to be outdone, Disney also announced expanded plans for its previously announced ESPN direct-to-consumer offering, as well as a Disney-branded streaming service featuring Disney and Pixar films along with exclusive originals. Disney hasn’t yet decided whether its Marvel and Star Wars films will be part of the service. Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said Disney should consider adding those films in order to lower consumption friction and drive adoption.
“… In our opinion, the company’s marginal utility is likely to be maximized with an aggregated offering rather than separate monetization paths for each brand, although this is likely to come at the cost of short term trade-off with licensing revenues. Overall, almost every media company has now announced its own OTT offering in some form, setting the stage in our opinion for further changes in consumption patterns,” wrote Venkateshwar in a research note.
In a less direct manner, SVOD and OTT services helped boost revenues for NBCUniversalTime Warner and Viacom, which all saw their distribution, subscription and affiliate revenues grow thanks in part to licensing deals.
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Next-Generation TV Expected To Usher in New Era of T-Commerce

Next-generation broadcasting boasts any number of interactive capabilities. Among its big advantages: It could make TV-based shopping — a.k.a. t-commerce — so simple that even logging onto Amazon would feel like a drag.

It may take some time to perfect this. ATSC 3.0, the internet protocol-based standard that would enable the platforms, is still at least several years from rollout, and it could be five to 10 years before the breadth of TV-based shopping opportunities are up and running.

Yet driven by the allure of audience engagement, as well as money-making opportunities, station groups, industry advocates and advertisers are already exploring ways to make buying stuff with a remote click the next big thing in home shopping.

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FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Deadline

From Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC has given commenters a little more time to weigh in on the proposed changes to the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules, but not the eight weeks they were looking for.

Daniel Kahn, chief of the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau, said Friday that the Aug. 16 deadline for reply comments has been extended to Aug. 30.

Public Knowledge, Access Now, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Consumers Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, National Consumer Law Center, the World Wide Web Foundation, and the Writers Guild of America West had sought an eight-week extension saying that was needed to give adequate time to work through the initial comments and reply to them.

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Sources: Pai Teeing Up Media Ownership Order

According to multiple industry sources, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is working on a media ownership order that, according to a broadcast industry source, would allow newspaper-broadcast and radio-TV cross-ownership.

The item also could remove the prohibition on owning two of the top four-rated stations in a market, and "tweak" the eight-voices test for allowing duopolies (two stations in a market owned by a single entity).

Currently newspaper-TV and radio-TV combinations cannot be co-owned in the same market, with the exception of some grandfathered combos. The duopoly restrictions currently prohibit common ownership of two TV stations in a market if it would result in fewer than eight independent outlets, which means no station co-ownership in smaller markets. Reducing the number of independent voices (stations) in a market would expand the number of markets where dual ownership would be allowed.

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