Rapid TV News - Business News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]

Major business

Digital content licensing offers upside for FOX TV

21st Century Fox is feeling the pressure on its advertising revenue growth, thanks to the ongoing exodus of campaign dollars from TV to digital. However, the digital revolution is both a curse and a blessing for the company, because content licensing to over-the-top (OTT) providers could be a white-knight strategy that could boost overall growth by billions.

AT&T officially closes DirecTV merger, with concessions

AT&T has officially closed its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, after a review process that lasted over a year.

Hulu mulls ad-free premium tier

Over-the-top (OTT) service provider Hulu is considering adding an advertisement-free tier to its service for a monthly subscription of about $12-$14.

Media Analysis

DISH, DirecTV lead CEO value index

Its no secret that media CEOs make a killing in compensation: But given the abysmal customer ratings that most of these companies receive, the question becomes, are they worth it?

LBGT TV influencers gain in prominence

Between the Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 US states, and the positive reaction to Caitlin Jenner, it’s clear that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will be an important new segment of television influencers going forward.

Comcast Stream: Where’s the value prop?

US cable giant Comcast's upcoming Stream service may cannibalise the company’s core pay-TV service — or it may not. Some are questioning the upcoming service’s value proposition.

Media Investment

NBC won’t air DISH’s SlingTV ads

NBC has confirmed that it isn't showing ads for Sling TV in some markets, even though the other Big Four broadcast networks are.

If Adam Sandler’s Pixels fails will Netflix worry?

Adam Sandler’s Pixels, about video games becoming part of the real world, opens this week and no one has high hopes for a strong US box office. But how will a failure impact Netflix, where he has a deal in place for his next four films?

Netflix makes inroads on international profitability

Last week, Netflix turned in its first post-stock-split earnings report, showing impressive subscriber gains. But importantly, the results show that its international expansion may have costs under control.

NBC won’t air DISH’s SlingTV ads

Michelle Clancy

NBC has confirmed that it isn't showing ads for Sling TV in some markets, even though the other Big Four broadcast networks are.

Earlier this month, Sling TV unveiled its first nationwide campaign, comparing old-line TV providers to childhood bullies. NBC has confirmed that its locally owned stations in New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are declining to run the ads.

SlingTV owner DISH said that NBC’s parent, Comcast, is feeling potentially threatened.

"Maybe these commercials hit a little too close to home for them when we call out tactics like price hikes, equipment fees and just all-round terrible customer service," Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said in a blog post.

He added: "Comcast has a demonstrated history of shutting down ideas it doesn't like or understand, predictably to its benefit and at the expense of consumers. This is why we aggressively fought Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable. Our argument? That this massive conglomerate would use its incredible market power in broadband to thwart live Internet video services like Sling TV. Comcast was denied this avenue. Unfortunately, it appears 'old TV' may grasp at any tactic in attempt to preserve the status quo."

This isn’t the first time that TV incumbents have used advertising inventory to strike a competitive blow. In April, Verizon said that Walt Disney was refusing to carry ads in some markets for its new 'skinny' bundles, saying the new channel lineups violated carriage agreements.

Satellite TV provider DISH's $20-per-month ‘skinny’ Sling TV service lets viewers take on a core package of channels to watch live over-the-top (OTT), with the option to add on other, thematic packages of networks.

The majority of pay-TV consumers don’t watch many of the channels offered to them; so these stripped-down TV services that offer subscribers more control, such as Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue, are resonating with viewers. According to MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, SlingTV has gathered 100,000 to 200,000 users after just six months of operation.

A recent Digitalsmiths report found that 81.6% of respondents are interested in an à la carte pay-TV service where they can select, and pay for only the channels they want to watch. On average, respondents' ideal á la carte package would consist of 17 channels.

Respondents also proved to be cost-conscious; on average, they said the most they would pay for their ideal à la carte package was $38 a month. So far, 55.7% of respondents were aware of over-the-top (OTT) services that provide skinny packages with linear TV such as CBS All Access, Hulu Plus, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV.

Incumbents are making a pivot to meet demand. In addition to DISH’s launch, arlier this month, Comcast said it is beta-testing a new service that would let its Xfinity Internet customers stream live TV over phones, tablets and laptops for $15 per month.

"Many of us are tired of long-term contracts, expensive programming bundles, high prices and poor customer service," Lynch wrote in his post. "Instead, we want TV on our terms. To come and go as we like. To watch great content, including sports, on the devices we own and use. And perhaps most importantly, we want rational pricing. This is what our new commercials call out. This is what Comcast doesn't want you to see."