Could A Viacom-Sony Deal Lead Cable Operators To Raise Prices For Streaming?

It just might if it frightens them enough to accelerate their efforts to make people pay for broadband based on how much they use — the same way they pay for electricity or water. ”This isn’t just a side show,” independent analyst Craig Moffett says. “This is THE central issue defining the value of the cable industry going forward.” And the pricing model could rock streaming companies including Netflix or, perhaps, Sony. It would be “a material risk” to Netflix’s prospects if a Sony-Viacom agreement leads to usage-based pricing, Bernstein Research’s Carlos Kirjner says. Read More »

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TV Viewers Becoming More Distracted As Internet Makes Inroads: Study

By | Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 2:35pm PDT

Traditional TV programmers should feel uneasy about some of the findings out today from consulting firm Deloitte’s seventh annual State Of The Media Democracy study. Only 64% of U.S. consumers ranked TV watching as one of their three … Read More »

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Cable Operators Open Public WiFi HotSpots To Each Other’s Customers

By | Monday May 21, 2012 @ 3:52am PDT

The change could give cable operators a powerful edge in their competition with phone company broadband services — Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett calls the strategic implications “profound.” It will enable broadband subscribers at Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox, and Bright House Networks to access the Web for free at about 50,000 hotspots. Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable already had a sharing agreement covering the corridor from Connecticut to Philadelphia. The new arrangement will provide more access in that area as well as major cities including Los Angeles, Tampa, and Orlando. The announcement kicks off The Cable Show, the industry’s annual trade gathering, being held this week in Boston. Here’s the release: Read More »

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Cable Companies To Offer Broadband To Low-Income Households For $9.99/Month

Most major cable companies have committed to supply broadband Internet access to low-income households for $9.99 a month, the Federal Communications System is expected to announce Wednesday. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has made expanded broadband access a top priority, and he … Read More »

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Leonardo DiCaprio Jumps Into Tech Startup Scene With Mobli

By | Tuesday October 25, 2011 @ 9:37pm PDT

Joining the ranks of Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga in promoting tech startups, Leonardo DiCaprio has surfaced as one of a group of investors who put up $4 million in seed money for visual social media … Read More »

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Bloomberg: AOL-Yahoo Merger Discussed

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 12:39pm PDT

AOL YahooAOL chief executive Tim Armstrong and advisers for Yahoo are discussing combining the two companies in the wake of Carol Bartz’s ouster as Yahoo CEO, Bloomberg reports. Armstrong perhaps sees his opening now that Bartz has … Read More »

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Oscars Move Closer To Voting Change — Emmys Resist; Can Hackers Be Kept Out?

Pete Hammond

Oscar’s move to online voting is off and running. The Academy confirms that a very impressive 83% of the membership had returned cards requesting their email address by the deadline date of June 30, but an Academy spokesperson assured me “it’s an ongoing process,” so if you were one of the stragglers, get that email to the membership department.

This is a first step in a very methodical and careful move to online voting for the Academy just as most other guilds and voting orgs have already done. And it is also a first step toward potentially moving the Oscar telecast up earlier in the season to the end of January or beginning of February. An expedited voting process would certainly help make that difficult prospect easier to pull off.

The Academy sent out the request to members in May, and considering the advanced age of some AMPAS voters, the response is encouraging. Common wisdom is that older voters might be the most resistant to change, but officials are happy with the way potential online voting is being embraced so far.

As I wrote recently, there was also some concern about A-listers not providing their direct emails, which is a problem because the Academy does not want to put an electronic ballot in the hands of Brad Pitt’s or Barbra Streisand’s assistants (even though it’s no secret that there are some assistants who have been known to help their boss by filling out the snail-mail ballots anyway). Academy president Tom Sherak tells me confidently that even that part of the process is now “going fairly well” too.

Sherak says the Academy hopes to have a firm that can conduct online voting in place by this month and it is actively involved now in the selection procedure for that. “We’re getting closer” is how Sherak puts it, but he emphasized to me that online voting for Oscars will not be ready for next year’s 84th Academy Awards. He says they are taking a very methodical approach and after securing a firm will begin testing by putting some kind of vote online while still using paper ballots (which will be the only ones that count in the test case) to see how the online method is initially received. Then they will probably test it again leading to its first official use, perhaps in the selection of governors for the board next May. ”It will not be implemented until we’re sure it works, but all of this preparation is necessary so we can move it methodically into a proper voting cycle for the Oscars,” he says. Sherak adds they are aware that even though they want to move this process online, some members don’t have emails. The Academy will be providing an alternative for those concerned voters (likely the old standby paper ballot) just as the guilds do now.

“We will give all our members an opportunity to be part of something they have always been a part of,” Sherak says, meaning no one among the approximate 6,000 voting members are about to be disenfranchised by new technology creeping into the notoriously slow-to-change Academy.

Of course, many of those members already have experience voting online in their various guild contests since most Academy voters are also likely guild voters. The bigger problem here I think for the Academy is that unlike those contests, Oscar, being the highest-profile awards show of them all, may provide an irresisible target for hackers — and the Academy knows it. A key reason they are being careful about diving into online voting is the danger of having its air-tight voting system compromised. After all, WikiLeaks proves no one, even the most closed doors of the U.S. government, are immune to a cyber violation of its top secrets. Read More »

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Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt Keeps Door Open For TV Job

By | Wednesday January 26, 2011 @ 7:35am PST

3rd UPDATE: Ever since it was announced last week that Google CEO Eric Schmidt would be stepping aside in April and that co-founder Larry Page would take over the day-to-day operation of the search giant, everyone’s been wondering if Schmidt would make the move to TV. Today in Germany, at the Digital-Life-Design conference, he addressed those rumors simply by keeping the door open. When asked how long he plans to stay at Google, he responded, “As long as it’s exciting.”

2nd UPDATE: Just days after announcing that he’ll be stepping aside as Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt is getting a pretty big bonus. Enormous, actually. He’s set to pocket $100 million as he steps into another role, with co-founder Larry Page taking over the day-to-day leadership. The whopping amount is a comprised of stock options and vests over four years. The $100 million award also comes as a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week reveled Schmidt could be selling up to $335 million in stock — and also revealed how much stock he has actually amassed over his 10 years in the top job: 9.2 million shares.

UPDATE: Big Media moguls only can wish they’d reap a stock bonanza like this. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it was revealed that Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, stepping aside in April after 10 years as CEO, will be selling what could amount to be $335 million in stock. As of the end-of-year 2010, Schmidt owned 9.2 million shares in Google. The company’s stock closed at $626.77 a share on Thursday. So what he’s planning to unload represents only about 6% of his total stock ownership. In Q4 earnings reported on Thursday, revenues rose 26% growth vs last year. Co-founder Larry Page will be taking over the CEO role. Read More »

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Tweet This: Twitter CEO Replaced By Insider

By | Monday October 4, 2010 @ 12:59pm PDT

Twitter may be amazingly popular, but it’s had major trouble turning a profit. So that’s why it has a new CEO. Co-founder Evan Williams has stepped down after 2 years running the company and will be replaced by the company’s chief … Read More »

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WGA To Award New Media Writing Category

By | Friday October 1, 2010 @ 2:01pm PDT

The WGA is now accepting submissions for the first annual Writers Guild of America New Media Writing Awards. The deadline for submissions is 5 PM PT on Tuesday, November 23rd for the 2011 award. To be eligible for entry, an original stand-alone … Read More »

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Playtone, Reliance Go To ‘Electric City’

By | Friday October 1, 2010 @ 8:09am PDT
Mike Fleming

Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, who already had a first look deal to hatch film projects with India-based Reliance Big Entertainment, have expanded the relationship to the web with Electric City, a serial saga about a Sin City-like … Read More »

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Google Founders Will Get Film Treatment

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The founders of Facebook aren’t the only game-changing geeks poised to have their story told on a movie screen. Michael London’s Groundswell Productions has teamed with producer John Morris to acquire movie rights to the Ken Auletta book Googled: Read More »

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WGA East: Script Of Google-Verizon Deal Would Be Rejected As “Too Heavy-Handed”

By | Thursday August 5, 2010 @ 1:41pm PDT

The following statement was issued today by Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE):

Verizon and Google: The Deal of the Titans

The world’s biggest media companies want to define how people will get content over

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Netflix Sets Streaming Deal With Relativity (…Which Now Wants To Self-Distribute)

2ND UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Relativity Media will be in the distribution business sooner rather than later as it attempts to become a mini-major. Hmm.

UPDATE: relativity mediaThis exclusive deal with Netflix might be impressive if more of Relativity … Read More »

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Rebooted Wonder Woman #600 Sells Out

Wonder Woman New By Don KramerEXCLUSIVE: Don Kramer’s Wonder Woman
DC Comics Has Ruined Wonder Woman!

EXCLUSIVE: DC Comics is already doing a … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: World Cup Up With Team U.S. Heroics, ‘Hot In Cleveland’ Down

Nellie Andreeva

ESPN’s Wednesday morning World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria set records as the highest-rated and most-watched soccer telecast in the history of the ESPN networks, while ESPN3.com drew the largest U.S. audience for a sports event on the Web with 1.1 million unique viewers watching the match for an average of 43 minutes.

Meanwhile, the second episode of the TV Land original sitcom Hot In Cleveland averaged 3.4 million viewers, down 29% from  the record-setting heights of the show’s premiere last week. The number is still pretty solid for TV Land. Read More »

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Report That CBS Joining Hulu “Overblown”

By | Thursday June 24, 2010 @ 3:09pm PDT

hulu smallInsiders are telling Deadline that the Bloomberg report claiming final broadcast network holdout CBS is joining Hulu as soon as this fall on a non-exclusive basis are “overblown”. Yes, there are talks going on between CBS with Hulu which already … Read More »

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YouTube Wins Viacom Copyright Lawsuit

By | Wednesday June 23, 2010 @ 2:05pm PDT

UPDATE: In connection with the summary judgment ruling today in its litigation against Google and YouTube, Viacom Inc made the following statement:

viacom-youtube-logos“We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language

Read More »

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Salt Represents ‘People Vs. George Lucas’

By | Wednesday June 23, 2010 @ 11:06am PDT

People_Vs_George_LucasThe London-based sales company is handling international sales on the documentary that explores the love/hate relationship that fans have with the Star Wars creator. Director Alexandre O. Philippe has boiled down over 700 hours of footage submitted by fans. Clips include … Read More »

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