Category Archives: TV Business

Why the Proposed “Hulu Skinny Bundle” Will Be Set Up to Fail

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night that Hulu is developing its own over-the-top “skinny bundle” for release sometime in the first half of 2017. (Note: since the WSJ article is paywalled, most of this info comes from a Mutlichannel News writeup of it.) According to the WSJ, the bundle would include, at minimum, channels […]

Two Types of Station Owners: How Broadcasters’ Inability to Navigate OTT Services Could Be Their Undoing – And Broadcasting’s Salvation

Ever since the Aereo controversy caused broadcast networks to threaten to pull their signals from the free airwaves, I’ve long accused broadcasters as a whole of being led by retransmission consent to disdain their own nominal medium. But it’s not a coincidence that ground zero of the Aereo controversy was New York, the single largest […]

Sling TV May Have Just Triggered the Beginning of the End of the Reign of ESPN

“Skinny bundles” have long been an overhyped disappointment. Cable companies offering sports-free packages have been hamstrung by contractural provisions and legal threats from offering them all that widely, when they’ve bothered to promote them at all. AndĀ efforts to create over-the-top offerings, like Sling TV, have kept most of the most expsnsive channels, including ESPN, thus […]

Incentive Auction FAQ

The broadcast TV incentive auction officially kicked off last week with the deadline for stations to declare their participation in the auction. This triggered a number of pieces about what the auction is, how it works, and what the implications of it are. In that vein, I decided to write my own explainer for anyone […]

What Killed the Cable Bundle?

I’ve heard it suggested that “recent high school and college graduates“, or just members of the generation uncreatively and corporately termed “millennials”, absolutely cannot fathom why the cable bundle even exists, yet I’m only 27 going on 28 and I remember when cable was an absolutely huge deal, an almost mandatory step up from relying […]

How Poor Ownership Rules Will Help the Incentive Auction Cripple Broadcasting

I have argued in my comments with the FCC (especially here) that the commission should, at the very least, hold off on the broadcast incentive auctions until it completes its ownership review and determines what the rules will be for the post-auction landscape; the fact that the auction process is currently slated to begin at […]

The Sling TV-style service ESPN really fears (and why Sling TV has what it has)

According to SNL Kagan estimates from last spring (listed here), here are the most expensive channels on cable (not counting broadcast retransmission fees or regional sports networks): ESPN ($6.61) TNT ($1.65) Disney Channel ($1.34) NFL Network ($1.31) Fox News ($1.12) USA Network ($1.00) FS1 ($.99) TBS ($.85) ESPN2 ($.83) Nickelodeon ($.73) The heavy presence of […]

Cable Television Regulation for the Twenty-First Century

In its highfalutin’ ideals, the Internet is dedicated to the notion of delivering a world of information to all for free, accessible for all to contribute to, available whenever and wherever you want it. Cable television, by contrast,Ā delivers only the content the cable company sees fit to provide you, the vast majority of it from […]

The Cable Industry’s Fight to Define What the Video Revolution Is Really About

An important step in the dissolution of the distinction between linear television and online video content was taken (or at least started) this week when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called for the introduction of a new standard to make cable TV content available to devices other than the cable company-provided boxes most people pay handsome […]

Towards a New Broadcast Television Compact

A common line of argument used to support policies that hurt broadcasters is that broadcasters received their spectrum for free. Cable companies complaining about how slanted retransmission consent supposedly is towards broadcasters claim the government requires them to carry all broadcast stations on the basic tier – broadcasters, they point out, who receive their spectrum […]