• Comcast Targets Netflix Customers With New Streaming Service
    Later this week Comcast will roll out Xfinity Streampix, a streaming on-demand service available free to high-end subscribers, and for a lower-than-Netflix rate of $4.99 to users with more basic packages. Adding to the catalog of its previous Web and iPad streaming service, XfinityTV, the new offering will include "older, back-catalog content" through deals with Disney, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., writes Ryan Lawler. "Importantly, Comcast has no plans to make Streampix available as a standalone service: To get it, you must subscribe to both Comcast’s TV and broadband services," writes  Lawler. "That means so-called cord-cutters, or Internet-only ...
  • Return To Antenna TV Could Aid Cord-Cutting Model
    Rabbit ears could start breeding again as part of the cord-cutting trend against cable TV, reports Christopher S. Stewart. "With an increased array of online-video programming now drawing viewers' attention, companies are starting to pitch consumers on complementing online video streamed from the Web with broadcast-TV signals as a way to save money on cable subscriptions," he writes. Consumers are responding to this pitch to return to over-the-airwaves broadcast TV -- but "there are a lot of moving parts," to keep straight, as one source notes in the piece. Stewart analyzes the challenges to such a move -- including the ...
  • NBC Wants Viewers To 'Awake" Weeks Before Show's Official Premiere
    The pilot episode of "Awake," set officially for a March 1 premiere, is now available on some Web sites and cable on-demand systems -- a stategy NBC also used for launching "Smash," whose pilot ratings were quite strong.  Using the show as another test case of nontraditional premieres makes sense, writes Alan Sepinwall, because "Awake" is a show "with a terrific pilot, but also a complicated premise... that's raised questions both about how NBC can market it and how sustainable it is long-term." Besides Sepinwall's analysis, this post also contains some interesting comments -- like the one suggesting that "NBC's ...
  • No Joke -- Cable Channel For Dogs Debuts
    A cable channel that carefully avoids loud noises and, of course, that doggy nemesis -- cats? Yep, it's DogTV, featuring three-to-five minute programs designed to entertain stay-at-home pups, now available only in San Diego via Time Warner and Cox. The network is currently free but will eventually charge a monthly subscription fee of $5, and is looking to expand into other markets.  DogTV "can't exactly sell ad space," notes its co-founder. But we're not so sure. What about ads targeted to times when dog owners are turning on the TV before leaving for work -- or coming home?
  • Oprah Winfrey's Sweetheart Deal With Discovery
    Hmm, is the Discovery deal with OWN weighted too heavily in Oprah Winfrey's favor? That's what David Lieberman's analysis of Discovery's annual report seems to suggest. Consider these facts:"Discovery has already contributed $312M to the venture, far more than its original $189M commitment," writes Lieberman. "And although Discovery owns 50% of OWN, it can’t ensure that it gets repaid because Winfrey 'holds operational rights related to programming and marketing, as well as selection and retention of key management personnel.'" Also, "beginning in 2016, Oprah can require Discovery to 'purchase all or part of (her) interest in OWN.'”
  • 'New Yorker' Editor Would Prefer Complete Digital Paywall
    "If New Yorker editor David Remnick... had his way, each issue would be behind an online paywall," begins this post, an introduction to a 30-minute video of Remnick's Q&A with Kara Swisher. Check it out if you're interested in hearing Remnick's measured, insightful views on a wide range of subjects, including the state of today's journalism and branding (he says he "tries not to vomit more than once" when he hears his pub called a brand). We also like how he describes the likelihood  today of a gazillionaire's investing in The New Yorker (a publication with "stupid drawings on the ...
  • AMC Primed For Sale?
    With AMC "in the process of reaching a ratings peak," according to one analyst -- due to the success of, among others, "Walking Dead" and the imminent return of critical darling "Mad Men" -- now could be the perfect time for a sale of AMC Networks, "one of the few pure-play cable television networks left in the United States," writes Peter Lauria. No comment from the company to this statement.
  • Philadelphia Papers Cut 37 Edit Positions
    Philadelphia Media Network newspapers Inquirer and Daily News -- along with Philly.com -- will eliminate 37 editorial positions, first through buyous and then layoffs if necessary. The company is being sold, and it appears that publisher Greg Osberg has interfered with editors'/reporters' coverage of this sale, writes Julie Moos.
  • 'Bon Appetit' Launches Tablet Edition
    Bon Appétit’s  tablet edition, debuting with its March issue, "breaks down recipes into step-by-step instructions that are accompanied by video, photos, tips, and slideshows," writes Felicia Pride. Print subscribers have free access, while digital rates include $19.99 for a year's subscription.
  • Fox News' Move To The Middle
    Fox News has shifted gears slightly to the middle by "distancing itself from the tea party cheerleading that characterized the first two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency," writes Keach Hagey. This "course correction" is prompted partly by some rating dips (though Fox maintains its clear No. 1 advantage overall) as well as criticism of certain commentators' "violent rhetoric," write Hagey. But conservatives have noticed -- and some are changing the channel.
« Previous EntriesNext Entries »