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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Pac 12 Carried By DIRECTV Still a Possibility or Perhaps Not…..

According to the Larry Scott the commissioner of the PAC 12, DIRECTV will be carrying his conference’s channel The PAC 12 NETWORK sometime in the near future. This seems like great news for PAC 12 fans, all except for the fact that DIRECTV has apparently stopped speaking with conference officials whatsoever about this possibility.

Confusion abounds once again with DIRECTV negotiations.

So where is this optimism coming from that Commissioner Scott has here? Scott believes in this deal coming to fruition in the near future because the PAC 12 has a deal with AT&T, which is working to buy DIRECTV. He believes that since he has a deal with AT&T, this deal will carry over to DIRECTV once the federal government approves the proposed merger between the media giants.

Is this a possibility? Will this actually happen? Can it actually happen? Anything is possible here, but not until the government makes a decision on whether to allow the merger or not. The bad news here is that the FCC and other regulating agencies have stated that they are not going to be able to make a decision concerning this until at least the beginning of 2015.

So Pac 12 fans will have to watch their favorite teams on Dish, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Cox cable for the third season in a row, since these cable and sat providers are the only ones to sign carriage deals with the powerhouse conference.

Mafia Style Tactics Taking Place in Comcast Merger?

Corporate giant Comcast is making some wild claims today concerning their merger with Time Warner Cable. The cable provider claims that several content programmers, which includes Netflix and the Discovery channel, tried to resort to Mafia style extortion to gain their support of the proposed merger.

These companies allegedly demanded unwarranted concessions from Comcast as a condition of non opposition to the merger between between Time Warner and Comcast. These accusations were laid out in a filing with the FCC on Comcast’s behalf. According to Bloomberg News, both Netflix and the Discovery channel have openly opposed this merger, as have a long list of of content providers.

This list of companies that oppose this monster sized media merger include Glenn Beck’s network THE BLAZE, Veria Living, the Back9 Network,Herring Broadcasting,  RFD-TV, and the Weather Nation. All of these program providers have very publicly criticized the attempt to merge two companies together that by themselves are already considered to be too big by many in the market.

What is missing from the filing with the FCC is the list of companies that opposed the merger until receiving the unwarranted concessions they sought for support of Comcast and Time Warner. Univision is one such program provider that falls into this category, as they were a very vocal opponent to this being approved in the early stages of merger talks. After they signed a deal with Comcast that states the cable provider will carry the Univision Desportes Network, all criticism stopped. Univision has even gone as far as refusing whatsoever to comment on the subject at hand.

When major players in a market such as this suddenly do a complete 180 degree turn on their viewpoints after making a lucretive deal with someone they were just criticizing, it begs the question what is really going on here? Was their silent support bought with a carriage deal to carry the Univision Desportes Network? Are we seeing Comcast resort to intimidation towards Netflix and the Discovery Channel with their FCC filing? How many program providers had their silence purchased with backroom deals that would never have been made if it weren’t for this merger taking place?

On a final note, it does need to be stated that these type of deals are not considered illegal by any means whatsoever. These types of deals could be considered unethical though if the end result of this merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable negatively impacts consumers.

DIRECTV Vs Raycom: Round 2

The agreement that was reached between DIRECTV and Raycom on the 7th of this month to allow the SAT provider to carry the content of the program provider to its customers. Their disagreement and often times very public war of words ended up causing a six day blackout of all 53 channels of content Raycom has available.

Reports are now leaking out that Raycom states the deal may have to be scrapped because of unknown demands the SAT provider is making that cant be met. This is the end result of a second two week long war of words between these two, each questioning the motives of the other party. Raycom claims that DIRECTV is only interested in profiteering and not about its customers. DIRECTV claims that the six day black out was caused by Raycom to try and force the SAT provider to pay higher fees.

The two sides can not even agree on where they stand in terms of how the negotiation process is progressing. Raycom warns that they will be unable to continue to allow DIRECTV to carry their content without a finalized agreement between the two. DIRECTV claims that the two sides merely need to dot a few “i’s and cross some t’s”.

The recent flare up between these two in the war of words has the potential to not only cause a second much longer programming blackout, but it could also harm both companies in the eyes of their customers and viewers. Let’s face it, at the end of the day, the general public could care less about whose fault a black out would be, they just want to be able to watch their TV shows without interruption.

DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Streaming : Will The Problems Ever be Fixed?

For the third week in a row, DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers experienced major problems and headaches with the online version of the offered content. This is according to the company’s twitter and social media accounts, and the posts of very unhappy customers leaving comments there.

The complaints include the following issues customers have experienced : Lag, freezing, connection time outs, pixalation or distortion and disconnections.

DIRECTV customer service reps apologized for the issues and stated the company was working to resolve any and all issues viewers were experiencing. They went on to state that those experiencing problems should clear their browser history and website data on the device being used. “That should help.” is what these reps told customers via the company’s twitter account.

The complaints started rolling in en mass shortly after the start of the first game of the day, with no one seeming to be spared from the plague of issues. It did not seem to matter if you were using an Xbox ONE, a laptop, or some other mobile device, you were bound to experience one of the aforementioned issues.

 

While the customer service suggestion to clear the browser history and cache did seem to help, three weeks of sub par quality in streaming has many customers asking for a refund on their subscription purchase. Consumers are extremely upset, and rightfully so, since they have to pay extra for the streaming package when they order their normal NFL Sunday Ticket.

DIRECTV was plagued at the beginning of the 2013 season with very similar issues, but they were able to steadily improve streaming quality over the course of the season. Hopefully these issues are resolved before the start of next Sunday’s games.

2nd Place is a Great Place for Roku

2nd Place is a Great Place for Roku

Anthony Wood, CEO and founder of the company that makes the ROKU NET TV streaming device, has announced that they have now sold more than 10 million units. This puts them in 2nd place to APPLE (who has sold 20 million units) in the internet TV streaming device market.

These numbers speak volumes not only about the rising popularity of the ROKU devices, but of streaming video in general. Roku’s popularity is due in part to them offering their service in several different types of devices, but also because of the vast amount of content they offer through their devices, both free and subscription based.

Outside of the subscription based services they stream such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HULU PLUS, there is no charge outside of the initial purchase price to use their devices. The vast array of free movies and TV series available to watch through their devices makes them very appealing to informed consumer. It is these same reasons that Roku and Net TV streaming will continue to grow and expand in popularity.

HBO and Others Available “On Demand” For Free

HBO and Others Available “On Demand” For Free

 

From September 19,2014 to September 29th, Verizon FIOS TV customers will have access to 60 channels of on demand content for no extra charge. Several of these channels such as HBO, CINEMAX, and STARZ, you normally had to be a subscription paying customer to have access to their On Demand content.

This offering falls in line with several fall premieres of TV shows, and allows customers to catch up on previous seasons using On Demand. The offering allows customers to view this content on their TVs, computers, and mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Customers just need to login with their FIOS username and passwords if they wish to use their computer or mobile device.

A full list of participating content providers can be obtained by calling Verizon Directly and asking about their On Demand Marathon.