The path for CBS chief Leslie Moonves' efforts to thwart Dish Network's AutoHop seemed easy enough. Moonves could simply threaten Dish in a carriage negotiation to abandon the commercial-skipper or else CBS would keep stations it owns off the satellite operator. But, CBS cut a deal with Dish four months before the AutoHop was launched, which looks to have lessened its control. CBS is pursuing court action charging violation of a retransmission consent deal -- as are ABC and NBCUniversal -- but that's a tougher path.
Almost immediately after the first presidential debate, moderator Jim Lehrer began to face a torrent of criticism for losing control and allowing the candidates too much free reign. It hasn't stopped. But that should prove to be a good thing for the country. Unintentionally, Lehrer looks to have emboldened moderators to exert control, cutting down on filibustering and other self-serving antics.
It's not surprising ESPN has curtailed its cord-cutter's delight, it's surprising it took this long. ESPN3 was a gift for consumers. Those who could live without "SportsCenter" and studio shows with non-stop NFL blather had access to almost all of ESPN's live events free online.
This week, Nielsen began installing new technology that is a cornerstone in its efforts to transform ratings in local markets. The "code reader" is making its way into homes in St. Louis and Charlotte and coming soon to Dallas.
It's time to change the narrative. It's past time to take note when a major event generates a high level of dual-screening (watching TV, while using a second device).
Analysts will say that along with Hispanics, suburban women will decide who gets sworn in Jan. 20. But, why not try to get young men to offset any shortfall with those groups? Earlier this year, national cable rep firm NCC Media cut an estimated $3 million deal with ESPN giving it more inventory to offer campaigns that chance.
A Cablevision-Disney deal includes carriage of the Longhorn Network (LHN). But the ESPN-owned channel - devoted to UT 24/7 -- will only be available a long way from New York. Cablevision said it plans to make LHN available in a small portion of its footprint out West starting early next year on a $5.95-a-month sports tier. Cablevision serves some 300,000 homes in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
As far as political ads go, President Obama has an easy one waiting for him. With Gov. Romney's pledge to cut federal funding for PBS, an irresistibly cute girl nearing tears should ask: "Mommy, will that man really take 'Sesame Street' away from me?"
In this data-obsessed world, what's the rush for cable and satellite operators to cut carriage-fee deals when negotiations reach an impasse? Why not blackout a local station or cable network and use that as a market research opportunity to gather some pretty concrete evidence? There will be time to settle when the research is done.
To listen to Mike Mulvihill, Fox Sports isn't just writing huge checks to acquire sports rights and willing to sit back and watch consumers foot the bill. Fox isn't looking to collect increasingly higher fees from cable and satellite operators and let them deal with the frustrated, economically struggling customers.