www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

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Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

 

CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

Gregory G. Davis

 

July 2014 Council Meeting  - The Late June 2014 Cable Industry Report

 Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Wednesday that the online TV service Aereo operates as a cable system, and illegally violates broadcasters’ copyrights.
Why This Matters:
The decision clearly dooms Aereo as we know it, which uses millions of tiny antennae to beam over-the-air-TV signals to subscribers. But the underlying technology may have other applications, and there may be some salvage after all.
5 Takes: B&C | CNBC | NYT | THR | The Wrap

 Cable Network Ratings Slide in Second Quarter Ratings were down for nine of the top 10 basic cable networks in the second quarter, with only ESPN showing an increase among 18-to-49 year old viewers.
Why This Matters:
Ratings are down for nearly every program this summer, a trend seen during the regular season as well. Viewers have more choices competing for their attention and there’s a certain amount of natural ratings erosion that happens as a result.
2 Takes: B&C | Media Life

Court Denies Viacom’s Bid to Dismiss Cablevision Bundling Suit A federal judge  rejected Viacom’s effort to dismiss Cablevision's antitrust lawsuit accusing it of forcing cable providers and subscribers to buy channels they do not want.
Why This Matters:
Manhattan Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled that Cablevision has submitted ample evidence to support its anti-trust claim, which states that Viacom is coercing it to carry 14 lower rated channels, including Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classics, in order to license eight "must-have" networks including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.
5 Takes: MCN | Reuters | Bloomberg | Ars Technica | Fierce Cable

Dish Shares Surge as Verizon Eyes Company’s Wireless Spectrum Dish Network shares rose more than 3% ($2 each) in early Friday trading after a report in the New York Post said that Verizon Wireless was in talks to purchase the satellite TV provider’s wireless spectrum.
Why This Matters:
Analysts have valued Dish’s spectrum at about $17 billion, more than five times the $3 billion the company spent in amassing it over the past several years. The news comes just weeks after Verizon tried to quash rumors that it was looking to acquire Dish.
5 Takes: MCN | NY Post | Reuters | Fierce Cable | RBR

 

 

 

 

 

Comcast Deal With Charter Isn’t About Improving Competition; It’s About Carving Up Marketplace

By Chris Morran  April 28, 2014

Earlier today, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications finally confirmed reports that the three would be playing swap-the-subscribers in an effort to make the unappetizing Comcast/TWC merger slightly less sickening. But while Comcast wants consumers and regulators to believe this sacrificial offering is about keeping the marketplace competitive, it’s really just an easy way for the players to rearrange their customers for better regional monopolies.

 

From the moment Comcast and TWC announced their mammoth merger earlier this year, the companies said they would be shedding a few million customers to keep their total, combined customer base at the 30% market share that is often cited as a maximum, but which courts have shrugged off.  But this isn’t really about keeping marketplace competitive. Because, as Comcast CEO and scion Brian Roberts has already admitted, there is no real competition in the cable marketplace thanks to decades-old monopolies.

 

This is not Charter suddenly being granted access to compete in areas dominated by TWC or Comcast. Nor is “SpinCo” — the company formed by Comcast’s spinning off of 2.5 million customers into a new business partially owned by Charter — a new player that will enter into Comcast/TWC or Charter markets to compete. This is just a lot of shuffling and rearranging being done under the pretense of competition that doesn’t exist.

 

“This is a very complicated deal,” explains our colleague, Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, “but it looks like Comcast and Charter are trying to carve up the marketplace to their benefit.”  ….

 

Leahy: Pay for Play Must Be Disallowed

Holds net neutrality field hearing in Vermont  7/01/2014 04:04:00 PM Eastern

By: John Eggerton

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says that he can't support any approach to network neutrality that allows for paid priority.

He said from the outset that he can't endorse any approach to rules that do otherwise than ban pay for play.   ….

"The outcome of the debate is going to have a huge effect on small businesses, community institutions and consumers, so it is crucial that we get this right," he said. Leahy said he did not want to see an Internet where "those who can afford to pay can muffle the voices of those who cannot."

 

 

 

U.S. Mayors Oppose Wheeler's Pay-For-Play Broadband Proposal

by Wendy Davis, Jun 24, 2014, 5:29 PM

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has joined the growing number of opponents to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal for Internet fast lanes.

This week, the mayors of New York, San Francisco and more than a dozen other large cities unanimously approved a resolution urging the FCC to support open Internet principles. The resolution specifically condemns Wheeler's recent pay-for-play proposal, which would allow broadband providers to charge content companies extra fees for speedy delivery.

“All data on the Internet should be treated equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication,” the resolution reads. “Innovation relies on a free and open Internet that does not allow individual arrangements for priority treatment over broadband Internet access service.”

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The FCC will accept public comments on the proposed regulations through Sept. 15.

 

Washington 6/18/2014 @ 7:06AM 3,736 views

In Its Dealings With ISPs, Netflix Is Holding A Powerful Card

By producing compelling online content and interfacing directly with its customers, Netflix is holding a powerful card—and I’m not talking about its Emmy-award-winning show. Rather than playing this card, Netflix is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to intervene in its dealings with Internet service providers (ISPs).  

Interconnection issues are not implicated in the FCC’s pending Open Internet proceeding, which addresses the treatment of traffic within an ISP’s network, as opposed to on its doorstep.

Two other considerations should give the (FCC) Chairman pause about intervening on interconnection.

First, for customers who are hooked on Netflix exclusive content, …, Netflix is the “must-have” network.… By the FCC’s latest count, nearly three-quarters of U.S. households are served by two or more wireline ISPs with download speeds of at least 6 Mbps—the choice is available to enough households to make the ISPs think twice about degrading Netflix.

Second, Netflix has a potent counter-strategy that, if deployed, could be significantly more powerful in its dealing with ISPs than regulation: By charging its subscribers different prices based on their ISP, Netflix can gently steer its customers to “low-priced” ISPs—…

Before seeking further regulatory intervention, Netflix should avail itself of all potential counter-strategies in its dealings with ISPs. …, “There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted.”   Netflix is holding a powerful trump card that potentially obviates the need for regulation, but it seems disinclined to use it. Until Netflix has gone on the hunt and failed, the Chairman should shelve interconnection rules and focus his attention on the Open Internet rules now pending before him.  Twitter: @halsinger

 

Fair Pricing Conditions

Also Says General Rule Changes Are Needed   6/23/2014 2:45 PM Eastern

By: John Eggerton

The American Cable Association is telling Congress it thinks the government needs to put conditions on the AT&T/DirecTV deal to decrease the incentive of DirecTV-affiliated programmers from charging higher prices to their rivals, which include hundreds of ACA members. …

AT&T has proposed buying DirecTV for just south of $50 billion, subject to approval by the Justice Department and the FCC.

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/policy/aca-attdirectv-needs-fair-pricing-conditions/375328#sthash.CpZrhGBz.dpuf

 

Worries Over Access to Free Public TV

By ELIZABETH JENSEN  JUNE 15, 2014

Patrick Butler, of the Association of Public Television Stations, wants to ensure that no areas lose free access to the Public Broadcasting Service.

Public television officials are raising the concern that the Federal Communications Commission’s planned spectrum incentive auction, intended to free airwaves for use by wireless broadband companies, could leave parts of the country without over-the-air public television access.

The incentive auction, promising the possibility of millions of dollars to broadcast stations that give back some or all of their six megahertz of spectrum or move to another spot on the dial, will be open to commercial stations, as well. But the money could prove particularly enticing to public stations, many of which have tight budgets.

Public broadcasting officials worry that universities and states, including New Jersey, that hold public station licenses but are not primarily broadcasters may decide to give up some or all of their spectrum and use the proceeds for other needs, such as unfunded pension liabilities.

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