In addition to the endless lists of chaotic and unreal moves made by the new administration in the past few weeks, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is already siding with corporations at the expense of the public, content creators, and media platforms.
The new FCC chairman and former lawyer for Verizon, Ajit Pai, took the lead in rolling back consumer protection regulations and the net neutrality progress made during the Obama administration by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, including closing out the inquiry in zero-rating offerings by AT&T and Verizon that violated the FCC’s Open Internet order. Comcast had also received an inquiry request by the FCC for its Stream TV content that was exempt from applying to a customer’s service data caps. That too is in the circular file.
The Denver Film Festival 39, which began last week, hosted an interesting panel session along with Comcast, “New Avenues of Distribution,” which focused on what the growing number of streaming TV services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, means for content creators, the film industry, and film-watchers alike.
On the panel was Comcast’s director of programming, Brett Hatch; the senior director of product management at Level 3, Jon Alexander; Stephan Shelanski, the former Starz executive vice president of programming acquisitions who is now on the other side as a film producer; and film critic and moderator of the panel (and long-time Denver Film Festival participant), Bob Denerstein.
This week in Streaming Buzz, Hulu announces plans to launch Live TV, Comcast says no to delivering a cable-less live streaming TV service, Twitter announces #WhatsNext for their core business, and Facebook takes targeted ads to OTT.
There's more, so read on...
Live Streaming TV Competition Heats Up as Hulu Joins the Fray
Last week it was DirecTV Now. This past week it was Hulu joining the growing number of SVOD content providers getting into the live streaming “skinny bundle” game, keeping the momentum going from their first "Live TV on Hulu" announcement back in May.
In case you missed it, where Murdock's 21st Century Fox failed, AT&T is making their play to acquire Time Warner, Inc., Comcast customers paying more for streaming gets the internet and cable provider in hot water, and UK consumers say most streaming music subscriptions are too high.
And there's more, so read on...
There was a teaser bit of news on Friday that AT&T may be making a bid for Time Warner, Inc., and by Saturday AT&T made it final that the two conglomerates had committed to getting into bed together. This potential marriage will have a long engagement period, with many hurdles for the two companies to get over in 2017, including a lot of due diligence by the Federal Communication Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, along with gluttony of scrutiny from consumer watch groups.
In case you missed it, last week's streaming news included Pandora pumping up user engagement with new video streaming features, Twitter securing more live streaming partners, and HBO seeking a bigger piece of the monetary pie, being as frustrated with cable companies' greed as Pay-TV customers.
And there’s more, so read on…
Tune into Twitter and BuzzFeed on Election Night
After Twitter broke records during the second presidential debate, it’s on track to live stream the real-time happenings on election night, partnering with BuzzFeed. Metrics from that debate revealed that of the 3.2 million unique visitors, an estimated 70 percent were younger than 35, according to Huffington Post.
This past week’s streaming news was wild and wooly, as Twitter stock went up with rumors of M&A, and then dropped by a third as potential suitors stood up the micro-blogging company. Comcast tries to pull a fast one on customer once again with a new internet data-capped service, which should really piss off Netflix, who has been pushing the FCC to ban data caps for obvious reasons. In turn, Netflix probably put theater owners panties in a pinch as they continue to move in on their territory.
And there’s more, so read on…
When I saw the New York Times notification pop up on my phone last night, “Obama Urges F.C.C. to Adopt Strict Rules on Net Neutrality,” I wasn’t convinced that what I read would make me happy. It wasn’t as clear as the Guardian’s headline, “Obama calls on FCC to make ‘strongest possible rules’ to protect net neutrality.”