by Carli Blau
Currently the big TV networks are NBC Universal, CBS, Fox and ABC. Some of the large TV distribution companies are: AT&T U-verse, BendBroadband, Blue Ridge Communications, Bright House Networks, Charter, Cox Communications, DirectTV, DISH, Grande Communications, HTC Digital Cable, Clear Picture, MediaCom, MidContinent Communications, Optimum, RCN, SuddenLink, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FIOS, WOW! and XFINITY.
Many TV distribution companies are venturing into and online platform as the business seems to be going that way. With Youtube, Hulu, HBOGo amongst many other sites, TV has taken on a whole new platform that it never had before, the internet. Many distributors are now coming together to utilize the best of both their programming as well as Internet capabilities. The best part of the Internet is that it allows distributors to reach a massive amount of consumers.
According to BroadbandTVNews.com selective programming is going to beat distribution in the upcoming years. The CTAM EuroSummit of 2011 took place this September in Malta where futurologist Gerd Leonhard, as pictured on the left, explained that TV distributors and content providers are going to need to become more selective with their programming if they want to beat social media. Leonhard claimed that Twitter was replacing CNN as a global news source which seems to be a bit crazy, however, everyone is turning to the online digital platform for everything nowadays, including television. When you think about it, many people, partciularly the younger generations are looking to Twitter for news feed rather than watching TV. This raises a strong question, are TV distribution companies going to be forced to be more selective with their content if they want to continue distributing onto television sets, along with online platforms? We’ll have to wait and see.
BBC World News is going to add major Comcast markets this year, including Xfinity TV Distribution. [MultiChannel] Comcast is currently the biggest multichannel video distributor in the United States, and
BBC World News will be gaining distribution on Xfinity TV through a pact with them. BBC World News already has existing affiliates with Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications and Verizon FIOS, so it will be interesting to see how well they do now affiliated with Comcast.
Google and NBC have been working together to increase television ad inventory. According to REELSEO, Google has been selling time through Google TV Adwords for NBC advertising inventory and now they’ve made another deal with Bloomberg TV which will allow advertisers to target Bloomberg TV. This affiliation now means that there is serious potential for Google TV. Since Google is already selling adspace to big time networks such as NBC, CNN and now Bloomberg, it’s only a matter of time before more broadcast TV distributors get into the game.
Starz and DirecTV have renewed their existing pact to work together; they have now even exposed a new multiplatform distribution deal which gives satcaster’s the ability to offer shows on DirecTV everywhere. This new deal is proof that distribution is moving towards an online platform in that, the agreement will let Starz subs ccess the net’s content online through their DirecTV accounts. “DirecTV and Starz have a long, symbiotic relationship going back to the early 1990s, and I am very pleased that we are able to extend and expand our existing business relationship,” said Ed Huguez, president of affiliate distribution for Starz. The close ties included DirecTV’s strong participation in the multiplatform sampling of “Magic City.” [Variety]
Fox TV distribution goes digital and green with FoxFast, a new completely digital distribution process developed by Fox which is projected to save $10 million per year by avoiding the costs of manufacturing and shipping. This is surely to put some stress on competitors and definitely create some more great products along the digital distribution platform. FoxFast will go right ahead with AppleTV. The reason FoxFast is projected to do so well is that is avoids all physical distribution costs by storing all media digitally for immediate access. To watch videos about FoxFast please visit the following link! [GlobalEnergyInitiativeNewsCorp]
Between Hulu, Youtube, FoxFast and AppleTV everything about television seems to be hitting some type of online platform for sure. Google plans to release newer and more improved and advanced versions of GoogleTV within the next year. Rishi Chandra, the director of product management at Google said, “The biggest challenge facing the content industry going forward is that in a world of unlimited choice, how do you actually bring the right content to the user?” This is a great question we’re currently posed with as we face this new online platform and the ability for so many distributors to use it in their own unique ways. The best part about GoogleTV is that it will be able to track everything that the viewers watch. This may be competition for Neilsen Ratings too if that’s the case! [Bloomberg]
SES has unveiled a new IP-based satellite reception technology which will convert satellite signals to IP for more in-home distribution to any IP device. This means that in a Sat-IP environment, any device that is IP enabled, such as a tablet, PC, laptop, smartphone, game console or media player will be able to get satellite programming. This will bring satellite distribution to an entirely new and innovated level in that consumers will now be able to watch their favorite TV channels that they receive via satellite on all their other IP enabled devices. It will even include HD channels. [BroadbandTVNews]
There is a new joint venture that is surely to make a big impact. Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd., and CBS Studios International has signed a distribution deal with DishTV which is Asia’s largest DTH company. Vishal Rally, the Business Head at BIG CBS Networks said, “we’re very excited to announce this alliance.” [EasternEveningNews]
Dish and Comcast have been making a lot of deals lately, and making pretty big ones too. There is a new Harlem-based network that offers original urban lifestyle content over multiple platforms that is set to launch this coming August. This network, Urban Broadcast Company will provide news, entertainment, business, fashion, health and fitness through VOD. Urban Broadcast Company also known as UBV-TV has established a video on demand deal with Time Warner, Dish Network and Comcast. This is set to give these distributors some leverage as the new network will be on several platforms only helping the distributors. [MultiChannel]
As everything in TV distribution makes its way over to the internet, Warner Bros is now all set to stream their movies via Facebook! This is going to set some real competition for Apple’s iTunes for sure. iTunes currently allows for users to rent movies, yet it does not give them the same opportunity to engage in social media as the deal between Warner Bros and Facebook will. Warner Bros decided, what better than to use the social networking obsession to better their sales, along with activity on Facebook. Adding social networking to pay-TV is almost genius in the sense that people love doing both things, why not enable them to do them together.
“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.” This joint partnership and deal will be very interesting to watch over the next year especially with AppleTV set to arrive sooner rather than later. [BroadbandTVNews]
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