December 5, 2012
Re "Sports cost, even if you don't watch," Dec. 2 The story about all cable and satellite customers paying the cost of sports channels even when not watched left out an alternative: an antenna. A year ago I installed a rooftop antenna; those who live in areas with strong signals can probably get by with new rabbit ear-type antennas. My TV now receives 45 channels, many in glorious high definition, for free. Recently I added an online video box, and the free content is beyond amazing.
September 22, 2012
In the dark Saturday's football game between USC and California will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, which is carried by only a few local cable companies. A list of cable operators who will - and won't - be offering the game: Has the game: Suddenlink, Cox Cable Communications, Time Warner Cable, Dish. Doesn't have the game: AT&T U-verse, Calneva Broadband, Catalina Cable TV, Champion Broadband, Charter Communications, Lone Pine TV, Mediacom, Verizon, DirecTV.
September 14, 2012 |
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to phase out rules that required cable operators that own programming to make that content available to rival pay-TV distributors such as satellite broadcasters. On Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski signaled that he is not interested in extending the so-called program access rules beyond their expiration date in October, people inside the regulatory agency said. An FCC chairman rarely pushes an item unless he feels he has the support of the majority of the commissioners, which means it is unlikely the rules will get a last-minute reprieve.
August 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Verizon Wireless won final federal approval for its $3.6-billion purchase of airwave licenses primarily from large cable companies, but regulators slapped additional conditions onto the deal. The approval by the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday followed the go-ahead last week from the Justice Department, which also placed conditions on the deal to ease concerns that it would decrease competition in the telecommunications market. The FCC voted unanimously to allow Verizon to obtain airwave licenses from a consortium of cable companies — Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks — that once had hoped to launch its own mobile services.
August 17, 2012 |
The Department of Justice says Verizon can go ahead with its $3.6-billion purchase of wireless spectrum from the cable industry, but not without some tweaks to help protect consumers from telecom behemoths becoming too cozy. Specifically, the DOJ said Thursday that it's placing limits on sales of cable services at Verizon Wireless stores - a move that had appeared to relegate Verizon's own TV and Internet offerings to the back burner and make the market less competitive. I'm not a told-you-so kind of guy, but this is exactly what I warned of in a column last month questioning how this deal worked in consumers' best interest, not to mention how downplaying the company's own services was good for Verizon shareholders.
August 16, 2012 |
A $3.6-billion deal between Verizon Wireless and several cable companies received a go-ahead Thursday from the U.S. Justice Department. The agreement now awaits final approval from the Federal Communications Commission. If approved, the deal would allow Verizon to continue expanding its 4G LTE network by gaining unused portions of the airwaves from the cable companies. T-Mobile would also benefit from the approval. The company entered into a deal with Verizon in June that would help T-Mobile improve its own 4G network and an LTE network expected to roll out next year.
June 26, 2012 |
Sky Angel LLC, a distribution company that delivers content via broadband or "over the top," claims that programmers are resisting doing business with it for fear of upsetting cable and satellite pay-TV distributors. In written testimony submitted in advance of Wednesday's Future of Video hearing being held by the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Sky Angel Chief Executive Robert Johnson said, "The video distribution marketplace remains willing to engage in anti-competitive tactics in order to harm emerging competitors.
June 15, 2012
Rapid technological advances have helped cable TV operators become the country's leading providers of broadband Internet connections. Yet "cable modem" service poses an existential threat to the pay-TV business that has been cable's bread and butter since its inception. Low-cost online movie and television services from the likes of Netflix and Hulu are slowly drawing customers away from cable's ever-more-expensive bundles of channels. So when leading cable TV operators started penalizing customers who downloaded unusually large amounts of data - a practice that seemed to target the heaviest users of online video services such as Netflix - it raised a troubling question: Are the penalties a legitimate effort to reduce congestion and offer a better online experience for most cable modem customers, or just a pretext to hamper cable's online rivals?
June 13, 2012 |
After the coffee. Before watching "Goodfellas" again. The Skinny: The first time I went to a concert as a teen they searched you for any illegal recording equipment that could be used for bootlegs. When I saw Van Halen on Saturday the whole audience was recording the show on their phones. My, how times change. Wednesday's headlines include the Justice Department probing the cable industry, the broadcast networks wrapping up ad sales for the fall season and a review of TNT's new version of "Dallas.
May 21, 2012 |
BOSTON -- Several major cable companies are teaming up on a new initiative to allow their subscribers to access Wi-Fi in so-called public hot spots even if they are in an area not served by their own local provider. In other words, if someone is a Time Warner Cable subscriber but traveling out of a town and in a region served by Comcast Corp., they can still access free wireless by logging in with "Cable WiFi. " The catch is that you have to already be a broadband subscriber and register to use the service.