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29 May

Time Warner Inc® Entering Digital Trend

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Broadcast Live Cable

It seems that Time Warner Inc® is gearing up to broadcast live cable on online platforms. The telecommunications giant feels serving to subscribers in the future bodes their packages well. Backing them is iStreamPlanet, a subsidiary that was acquired by Time Warner Inc® for a $148 million deal in 2015.

The founder of iStreamPlanet, Mio Babic, may not be amused by digital content, but holds Netflix® in high regards. “What they do have is an incredible recommendation engine,” he said. Babic started the iStreamPlanet in the year 2000 and experienced the impact online streaming has in Yugoslavia. “There is no doubt in my mind this is the future — over time every user will have their own version of CNN,” he added.

Time Warner Inc® shall expect good deeds once the $85.4 billion with AT&T Inc® gets done. However, this latest move indicates that Time Warner Inc® has started to realize the depth of live cable broadcasting online. Jeffrey L. Bewkes has once underplayed the threat of digital content in 2010 stating Netflix® as an example. Jeffrey had said that Netflix® domination in the future would be “a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?”

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Flawless live broadcast

It would now seem the terse instincts of Time Warner Inc® CEO were correct. There are other combative digital platforms such as YouTube®, to name one. Even the standard cable TV providers know how difficult it is to stream a live broadcast to a larger audience. Live broadcasting starts with receiving the satellite feed, ensuring the feed works well on set-top boxes, inserting commercials, and speeding up the best internet provider. Flawless live broadcast means large subscribers get real time action on the digital platform. By the words of iStreamPlanet founder, “There is no room for error.”

iStreamPlanet powers the Time Warner Inc® project and might broadcast the NBA playoffs and other programs online. Time Warner Inc® might also hire a 6-foot 8-inch basketball player to do the commercials when they complete the digital entry. Would it be LeBrone James or a former basketball player cum wartime refuge? Subscribers and even the cable TV providers will have to wait to see what happens.

26 Apr

DirecTV Now Gets Added To PlayOn

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PlayOn Support DirecTV Now

The creators of PlayOn, MediaMall Technologies recently confirmed that they have added support for AT&T’s online streaming platform, DirecTV Now on their PlayOn Desktop. PlayOn Desktop is actually an app for PCs and it allows OTT TV subscribers to view the service on several platforms. In addition, it also enables customers to record and playback their favorite TV shows and other video contents.

Reports indicate that the DirecTV Now channel on PlayOn will help customers to rise above their recording and device limitations by allowing them to access and watch DirecTV Now content on virtually any device. This means that DirecTV Now subscribers will be able to access the service from Roku devices and from game consoles such as Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox.

The DVR capabilities of PlayOn also allow users to download or record DirecTV Now offerings, meaning that the users will be able to stream or watch the TV shows and movies offline at their convenience, and on any device. Additionally, they will also enjoy the luxury of skipping unnecessary commercials just as in a traditional DVR. Without PlayOn, DirecTV Now users were only able to stream and watch the contents offered by the service.  They were unable download or record videos for offline viewing, before the service was added to PlayOn.

The President and CEO of PlayOn, Jeff Lawrence said, “PlayOn’s support for DIRECTV NOW is a game changer for cord cutters. Until now, cord cutters had to sacrifice sports channels, live news, and live shows, as well as give up their DVRs. The combination of DIRECTV NOW’s live content and PlayOn’s casting and DVR technology enables consumers to watch anything they want, anytime they want on virtually any TV or device. The combination of PlayOn and DIRECTV NOW is truly revolutionary, and rivals Comcast’s Xfinity feature set at a fraction of the price.”

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DirecTV Now Offerings

The online streaming platform of AT&T, DirecTV Now is an inexpensive alternative to satellite and cable subscriptions. The inability to record and download TV shows and movies was considered one of the major drawbacks of the service. However, AT&T has effectively solved the issue with the help of MediaMall Technologies.

AT&T is one of the leading internet providers in the United States of America and they have been offering reliable and high-speed internet service to their customers for a very long time. Check out the list of internet plans offered by AT&T, as it will enable you to get the best internet deals.

25 Apr

OAN And AWE Channels Will Be Available On DirecTV And DirecTV Now

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More Channels Available

In a recent announcement, the officials from Herring Networks confirmed that two of their major offerings such as A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) and One America News Network (OAN) will be available to DirecTV customers from the month of April. They also added that the channels will be available on AT&T’s online streaming platform, DirecTV Now.

The launch of these channels on DirecTV comes a year after the programmer sued the parent company of AT&T. AT&T had earlier carried both of these channels on their U-verse cable service before and after the acquisition of DirecTV.

At the time, the telecom company described the lawsuit of Herring as a negotiation ploy and entirely baseless by stating that “we have offered to carry both channels on DirecTV at reasonable, market-based terms” but Herring Networks wanted to “negotiate a slanted deal.” On the other hand, Herring complained that the telecom giant often displays a habit of “bullying independent and diverse sources of programming.”

Herring Networks official release regarding the addition of their channels to DirecTV channel lineup did not involve any mention of the lawsuit. However, reports from several reliable sources claim that the lawsuit is no longer active. The representatives from the parent company of DirecTV also refused to shed light on the issue.

DirecTV cable customers will be able to access OAN on channel number 347 while AWE will be available on channel 387. Herring Networks officials also added that both of these networks will be available in the high-definition format (or standard definition, depending on the service of the subscriber) and in a broadly distributed package.

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DirecTV Now Offerings

The offerings from Herring Networks are available to approximately 30 to 35 million homes across the United States on distributors such as CenturyLink Prism TV, Frontier Communications, Verizon Fios and more. The president of Herring Networks Inc., Charles Herring said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with DIRECTV that will enable One America News Network and AWE to join the DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW programming lineup.”

AT&T who is the parent company of DirecTV is one of the best internet providers in the country. The cheap and best internet deals offered by the telecom giant have attracted plenty of customers towards their offerings over the years.

31 Mar

AT&T And Raycom Media Signs New Deal

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AT&T U-Verse Customers

AT&T, one of the fastest internet providers in the country, offers some of the best internet and cable deals to their customers. However, AT&T was recently engaged in a dispute with Raycom Media over retrans deal, and the dispute between the two parties resulted in the blackout of CBS affiliate WBTV on AT&T U-Verse. Both the parties blamed one another for the blackout of the channel that started back on March 15, 2017.

However, reports indicate that Raycom Media and AT&T have finally entered into an agreement over a new retransmission deal. This means that AT&T U-Verse customers in 23 markets in the US will now be able to access and watch the contents offered by CBS affiliate WBTV.

In a recent statement, the officials from Raycom Media said, “We apologize to our viewers for this inconvenience, and appreciate their patience during the impasse.” However, Raycom had earlier made claims that the telecom giant, AT&T was using blackouts to drive their customers to their much preferred pay-TV platform, DirecTV.

Raycom Media added, “AT&T U-Verse, now combined with DirecTV, appears to be using programming disruptions as an opportunity to switch AT&T U-Verse customers to its DirecTV service. When disgruntled AT&T U-Verse subscribers call to lodge a complaint, they are offered a subscription with DirecTV, the very same company as AT&T. In some instances, subscribers are also pushed to DirecTV Now, a service that in many markets does not carry any local broadcast affiliates.”

The broadcaster also added that it is the fifth Raycom Media blackout on AT&T U-Verse since AT&T completed their DirecTV purchase back in the year 2015. Raycom added that there were no U-Verse interruptions or blackouts before AT&T entered into a merger with DirecTV.

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AT&T TV Packages

The officials from AT&T responded to Raycom Media’s statement by stating that, “Raycom Media determines whether or not its stations remain in our U-Verse customers’ lineups. We have asked Raycom numerous times to leave their stations up, and once they took them down, to put them back up.”

“We have offered to compensate Raycom even when out of contract for events like the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament where a program of key interest is at risk,” AT&T officials added. “Our challenge to Raycom stands put your local stations back on and we will compensate you while we work privately to settle this issue. It’s also important for our customers to know that other than Raycom we have no other blackouts across the 21 states U-Verse serves.”

25 Mar

AT&T Blames Raycom Media For The Blackout Of WBTV

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AT&T Blames Raycom

Reports indicate that the dispute between AT&T and Raycom Media has not yet been solved. The dispute between both the parties resulted in the blackout of CBS affiliate WBTV on AT&T U-Verse.

Reports from several reliable sources claim that the officials from Raycom Media recently declined a call from AT&T U-Verse, in which they asked Raycom to lift the blackout of this channel in Charlotte region. This means that AT&T U-Verse customers will miss more than a few matches of the NCAA Men’s Tournament.

In a recent letter sent to AT&T, the senior vice president of television for Raycom Group, Jeff Rosser, said, “We are not surprised that you wish to attempt to make WBTV and Raycom Media the ‘bad guys’ who you would like to portray as denying your paying customers for such high-demand, and expensive, programming,”

WBTV has gone dark to AT&T U-Verse customers in the Charlotte area for about eight days and both parties have blamed one another for the blackout of the channel. In a statement, the officials from Raycom stated that they had agreed to keep their stations on AT&T U-Verse until March 15, 2017. Raycom Media is actually negotiating on behalf of all their stations in 23 cities across the country.

Raycom said, “You are deceptively seeking public sympathy and support as you attempt to negotiate through the press. By singling out only one of the many Raycom TV stations whose viewers are suffering equally from this unfortunate impasse. Our mutually expired agreement was between all of Raycom Media and all of AT&T U-verse, and any new agreement will be the same.”

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AT&T U-Verse Customers

On the other hand, AT&T stated that it was entirely up to Raycom Media to decide whether WBTV appears on AT&T U-Verse during the negotiation between the parties. The communications director of AT&T U-Verse in Charlotte, Josh Gelinas said, “We have asked Raycom numerous times to leave WBTV up, and once they took that station away, to put it back.”

He added, “We have offered to compensate Raycom – even when out of contract for events like Friday’s Tar Heels game. Our challenge to Raycom stands put WBTV back on and we will compensate you while we work privately to settle this issue.”

However, if you have subscribed to any one of the fastest internet providers in the country, then you will be able to watch the NCAA games over the internet. If you don’t have an internet service connection, then subscribe to AT&T internet, as they offer some of the best internet deals to their customers.

23 Mar

Netflix Programming Will Be Available To Comcast Customers During Watchathon Promo

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Comcast Watchathon Promo

Reports from several reliable sources claim that Netflix will be joining the 2017 version of Xfinity Watchathon Week, which is Comcast Corporation’s free annual VOD binge-fest. The fastest internet provider hosts the ‘Watchathon Week’ for boosting viewers’ interest in TV shows right ahead of season premieres.

Comcast is hosting the annual Watchathon for the fifth time and reports say that the telecom giant will continue to do so in the upcoming years. Comcast’s annual Watchathon will begin on 3 April 2017 and it will run up to 9 April 2017. The officials from Comcast confirmed that this year’s Watchathon would feature TV series from over 50 networks.

The recent addition of Netflix to the Watchathon has attracted more customers towards the free binge offering. Netflix will offer one-click access to its original shows such as “Stranger Things”, “House of Cards”, “The Crown”, and “Orange Is The New Black”.

The global head of business development at Netflix, Bill Holmes said, “Whether customers are eager to start “Stranger Things” or catch up on “Orange Is the New Black,” Watchathon is a great time for Xfinity customers to see for themselves what the [Netflix] buzz is all about.”

The VP of programming for Comcast Cable, Andy Hunter said, “With more than 50 participating networks and the addition of Netflix, we are thrilled to bring Xfinity TV customers the biggest and best binge watching event for the fifth year in a row. The focus of Watchathon is to provide complete, unlimited access to the best programming and give our customers the ability to sample, binge and explore everything our content partners have to offer.”

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Xfinity Watchathon Week

Comcast Corporation integrated Netflix to their X1 platform a few months ago. Reports indicate that the telecom giant is also planning to integrate both YouTube and Sling TV into the service in the near future, as approximately half of Comcast Corporation’s video sub is currently on their X1 platform.

In a recent announcement, the officials from Comcast confirmed that all their X1 customers would be able to access and watch the contents offered by Netflix during the Watchathon promo. This means that Comcast customers who don’t even have a Netflix subscription will also be able to access Netflix’s contents during the promo week.

Some of the other TV shows available to customers during the Watchathon are Bravo’s Imposters, Syfy’s The Magicians, Starz’s Black Sails, History’s SIX, Fox’s 24: Legacy, and ABC’s Designated Survivor.

09 Mar

Super Saturday Night Performance By Taylor Swift Now Available To AT&T Customers

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Performance By Taylor Swift

In a recent announcement, one of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T confirmed that they will be debuting Part 1 of Taylor Swift’s performance at DirecTV Now Super Saturday Night concert. AT&T customers can watch the new program exclusively on Taylor Swift NOW from March 7, 2017.

Reports from several reliable sources claim that the 3-part special event, which features Taylor Swift, will include a performance of her unforgettable hit “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the movie Fifty Shades Darker for the first time and she will be accompanied by only an acoustic guitar.

In addition to that, this new program will also feature hit numbers such as “Shake It Off” and “Bad Blood”. The officials from AT&T confirmed that the second and third parts of this program would be available to the viewers within a few weeks.

The concert was hosted on Feb. 4 at the Club Nomadic of Houston, and it was filmed live in front of approximately 9,000 people. This concert is actually a part of Taylor Swift’s multi-faceted, multi-year deal with the best internet services provider. Reports indicate that the deal between AT&T and Taylor Swift includes both performance and content.

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Super Saturday Night

The executive vice president and chief marketing officer AT&T Entertainment Group, Brad Bentley said, “The future of entertainment centers on how artists interact with their fans. We’re working with Taylor on new and different ways she can connect with them. AT&T customers and fans get the best seat in the house for this year’s DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night right in their living room or on their phone or tablet. We can’t wait to share more surprises and deliver unique, exclusive content for AT&T customers and Taylor fans.”

The exclusive coverage of this program will be available on both Taylor Swift NOW and on all AT&T video platforms including U-Verse and DirecTV packages. If you are a DirecTV cable subscriber, then you can access and watch the broadcast of the event on channel number 113. On the other hand, U-Verse customers can watch the program on channel number 1501.

Taylor Swift NOW is also available through streaming service applications and eligible AT&T customers can access and stream the content on their tablet, smartphones, or laptops without paying any additional data charges.

06 Mar

Comcast Acquires Full Ownership Of Universal Studio Japan

Comcast Xfinity

Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation recently announced that they are signing a deal to take the full ownership of Universal Studios Japan. Reports indicate that the deal between the two companies was signed for an estimated $2.3 billion.

This recent deal is actually a part of the telecom company’s commitment to its theme park business. This business has created a solid growth for the company since they acquired NBCUniversal. Reports also indicate that Comcast is planning to buy out partners in the Osaka-based theme park and it includes former CEO of Universal Studios Japan Glenn Gumpel, Goldman Sachs, and private equity firms MBK Partners and Owl Creek Asset Management. It is believed that the deal will be closed by the end of April.

The Universal Studios parks in both Orlando and Hollywood have made considerable contribution to Comcast Corporation’s bottle line. In addition to that, the telecom company has also made big investments in new attractions and infrastructure developments of the theme parks like the Harry Potter-themed installations.

The “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction was opened by the Universal Studios Japan back in the year 2014. Report indicates that they are planning to unveil a “Minion Park”, tied to the “Despicable Me” franchise, by the end of 2018.

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Full Ownership

The chairman-CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, Tom Williams said, “Universal Studios Japan is an amazing and incredibly successful theme park. This acquisition will bring an even stronger future for the theme park, its guests and its team members. We are thrilled USJ will fully be part of the Universal family and look forward to continuing to create a remarkable experience for our guests.”

Reports also claim that Comcast had decided to sell the Universal theme parks right after the company acquired NBCU. However, Comcast decided to change course once they become a little bit more familiar with the Universal theme parks business.

Comcast’s acquisition of DreamWorks Animation last year allowed the telecom provider to use the properties and characters of DreamWorks Animation as fodder for the theme parks. Comcast Corporation is currently building a new theme park in Beijing and the company has already licensed a Universal Studios project in Singapore.

06 Mar

Sling TV Services Have Got Even Cheaper

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Streaming Video Services

Sling TV services was launched by Dish Network in February 2015 and it offered cheap and affordable streaming TV services to the subscribers. Recently, Sling has made their already services even more affordable by announcing price cuts on their Extra bundles. Experts say that the deal will be attractive to those customers who do not want to pay for the channels that they do not watch.

When the service was launched in February 2015, it was the first multichannel live television service to use internet to stream videos. In the past few years, competitors such as DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue have emerged, but Sling TV still remain one of the most affordable services. Even today, Sling TV is one of the cheapest internet based television services.

In a post on the Sling TV website, they shared that they wish to continue to offer the best value by decreasing the price for their much popular Extras bundles. Officials from Sling said that each bundle would cost ten dollars, which was previously twenty dollars. Subscribers can also get all the four Extras bundles for thirty dollars a month.

Sling TV

Sling TV Packages

The Extra bundles offering from Sling TV group together similar content from different networks under varied categories to make it easy for the subscribers to find their favorite programs. The four bundles on offer are Comedy, News, Lifestyles, and Kids. You can have a small description of the content in the each of the bundles, below.

News – This bundle includes various news networks from around the world and include HLN network.

Lifestyle – Offers various networks like the Hallmark Channel, Cooking Channel, and VH1.

Comedy – Offers programming from various networks like GSN, Spike, and MTV.

Kids – The bundle offers On-Demand content from different children friendly networks like Boomerang.

If you are already subscribers of these bundles, you need not worry as Sling got you covered. “Customers who already subscribe to Kids Extra, Lifestyle Plus Extra, Comedy Plus Extra and News Extra will automatically see the multi-Extra discount reflected on their next bill,” Sling officials said.

03 Mar

AT&T Entrainment CEO Stresses On The Importance Of Content

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Importance Of Content

In a recently held conference, the CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, John Stankey stated that, “content that is compelling matters.” He also added that the telecom company is planning to fully participate in their program business rather than treating it as just “a hobby.”

“We just cannot envision a future where AT&T is relevant if we don’t directly participate in some of the water flowing through our pipes,” Stankey said. AT&T had agreed to buy Time Warner a few months ago in an estimated $85.4 billion deal. The shareholders from Time Warner recently approved AT&T’s proposal, but the regulators have not yet reviewed the merger.

Stankey discussed on how the telecom company has rethought their approach to its business. “Our previous course and direction failed to value customers when they really craved appreciation. We offered them prepackaged solutions when they craved customization,” he said. “We perfected the model of offering customers more for more [when in reality] they want more for less.”

He concluded by stating, “It’s the customer’s world, and we are just living in it.” According to the AT&T Entertainment CEO, the situation is “a big pivot,” and “we need to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.” He also added that his team drew up 5 guiding principles with the customer relationships.

  1. “Video will be the dominant payload of future networks,” Stankey said, as more than 60 percent of traffic on AT&T’s networks today is video, which will soon hit 70 percent. “We just cannot envision a future where AT&T is relevant if we don’t directly participate in some of the water flowing through our pipes.”
  2. Stankey said that the multisided business models will stay important. He also added that advertising and subscription are necessary and they may require a little of innovation.

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    AT&T Time Warner Merger

  3. “We believe that in the content-connectivity equation, the weight is now starting to move to the content side, both premium and native digital,” Stankey added. “We strongly prefer to address and participate in the innovation of emerging models from a position of relevance and scale than trying to get there from the ground floor up.”
  4. He also stated that integration matters for convenience and value. Stankey pointed out that customers are looking for simplicity and control. They might not watch a live basketball game, “but they want the highlights, the differentiated delivery with unique camera shots up close and personal right when they want it.”
  5. Stankey also argued that engagement and passion like the number of hours spent with content would become an increasingly popular metric, which gauge the success of a telecom company’s offerings.

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