Posts Tagged ‘satellite’


Google Reinvents TV: YouTube Ad-Supported ‘Channels’ Bring Internet Television Closer to Reality

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
WordPress Image: SierraAshley
WordPress Image: SierraAshley

How much exposure does one person need? I have my own Facebook page to post personal updates and photos and my own Twitter handle to speak my mind in “real time” — so why not a 24-hour “TV” channel, aka “The Harry Grapenthin Channel,” dedicated to my content (or lack thereof)?

As frightening and ridiculous as this sounds, Google continues to work hard at making this a reality (no pun intended). Rewriting the rules of television, Google has made it vividly clear how it intends to pursue its piece of the TV advertising pie. As a follow up to Google TV, the search engine giant recently announced it will be offering a software package that allows you to search the Internet for interesting things to watch and plans to launch 100 new advertising supported “channels” for its YouTube online video service, confirms The Economist. (Madonna, Shaquille O’Neill, and Jay-Z are some of many celebs already signed up to provide professional content). Just when we thought there were too many channels on cable TV, a channel per person or topic could mean millions more popping up on the Internet.

But what about live sports you ask? Google has that covered too. In fact, last month Google dipped its toes in the “live sports” waters for the first time when it announced the future launch of seven sports channels, including one that will feature programming from Major League Soccer. “What you’re seeing is a bit of a tip of the iceberg, explains Brian Bedol, a cable industry veteran who founded Classic Sports Television in 1995, in this Sports Business Daily article. “This is where the young male demographic gets more and more of its entertainment. If you’re in sports, you need to be looking at how you’re delivering sports over the Internet.”

Whether we get our television from networks, cable providers, satellite providers, online providers or “fill in the blank” – one thing remains the same, television content, as we know it today, continues to be in high demand and still commands huge advertising dollars … whether this continues remains to be seen. However, Google is betting that it does.

FCC approves $30 Billion NBC – Comcast deal…with many strings attached

Friday, January 21st, 2011
Image Source: IWatchStuff.com

Image Source: IWatchStuff.com

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approved a pending $30 billion joint venture which allows Comcast to own 51 percent of NBC Universal. The approval comes 13 months after the two sides announced their plan to merge one of the nation’s largest cable and internet operators with a broadcaster whose assets include NBC and Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Universal Pictures. Comcast controls 24 percent of the nation’s cable subscribers and NBC owns 12 percent of what is viewed on television. A match made in heaven? Not so fast… Over the last year this deal was met with heavy opposition from consumer advocate groups who argued consumers would have less influence over the newly formed company while online distributors worried about the possibility of having to pay a premium for NBC’s content, which would be controlled by one of their largest competitors in the distribution space. (Source: LA Times Blog, Entertainment News Buzz, January 2011.)

On paper this looks like an unstoppable combination in the making, and could potentially open the door for similar deals between content providers and cable and online providers. Although some were successful and some flopped, this is not the first time we’ve seen this type of marriage before – CBS/Viacom, AOL/Time Warner, Time Warner/Turner. With Comcast controlling NBC’s network and cable shows as well as their movies, it would seem their 15 million subscription base would be the perfect captive audience to view their content with competing cable and online providers forced to pay a kings ransom for the rights to their shows and movies. The FCC, however, put conditions on the deal to prevent any funny business with the hopes of maintaining as much “net neutrality” as possible.

One of the conditions requires Comcast to make its content available to all rival cable and satellite distributors as well as online distributors, and has to offer it’s content for the same price to everyone. They are also required to sell their internet service as a standalone service – this is significant since online distributors (Netflix) gives you the ability to access content without a cable subscription but requires internet service. The FCC is also asking Comcast to relinquish its day-to-day control of their online site HULU, allowing them to maintain an ownership stake but stripping them of any voting rights or the ability to suddenly make content unavailable from the site. (Source: Reuters, January, 18, 2011.)

So before everybody bows down to this newly formed Media behemoth, let’s remember… a lot has changed over the last 13 months since their initial announcement, and the conditions put on the new merger by the FCC (if enforced) will help neutralize any abuses of power. The consumer now has more options with the rise of online providers (Netflix, Google, and Apple TV) and will ultimately choose their services based on the quality of the entertainment, not the amount of channels offered or where the channel falls on the dial.

The pressure now falls squarely on the shoulders of NBC Universal. Without quality content from NBC, Comcast will quickly begin to wonder why they paid all of that money and went through all of the trouble of diversifying their business. The competition is sure to be fierce between cable and online providers; content providers will continue to fight for better licensing agreements for their content and in the end consumers will also have to ask themselves… is it all worth it?