Light Reading

Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/14/2012
50%
50%

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is close to releasing an over-the-air (OTA) TV module that's compatible with its new Hopper HD-DVR. The move would give Dish a tactical weapon it can wield against broadcasters as the sides fight in court about AutoHop, a Hopper feature that lets users skip commercials in recorded TV shows. Among the broadcasters, CBS has threatened to pull its signal if Dish continues to support the ad-zapping feature, so an OTA module would appear at least to give Dish some negotiation leverage. SatelliteGuys got an early look at the module, noting that they were able to pick up about 30 digital TV stations with it, but that some of the guide data for OTA channels were "spotty at best." SatelliteGuys adds that the module is set to sell for $30. Dish has some basic info posted about the product here. We've asked Dish to confirm pricing and when it expects to start selling the OTA module to Hopper customers. (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper and Dish Sticks It to the Broadcasters .)

    Update: A Dish spokesman confirmed that the OTA tuner does sell for $30 and can be purchased at MyDish.com. He added that the necessary software to operate the module should have already been pushed to Hopper receivers. Customers will still have to purchase exterior or interior digital OTA antennas on their own to complete the set-up.

    Here's an illustration of how the module connects with the Hopper via a USB interface:



  • Mike Demarais, an entrepreneur and one of Google Fiber's first customers, says he's seeing consistent speeds of 600 Mbit/s to 700 Mbit/s, reports Ars Technica. Google Fiber started to install customers in the Hannover Heights section of Kansas City, Kan., on Tuesday. (See Google Fiber Starts to Hook Up Customers .)

  • The top 17 U.S. cable operators and telcos added 580,000 net new broadband subs in the third quarter, 8 percent down compared with a year ago, says Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) . Cable, however, brought in the lion's share (575,000) versus just 5,000 from the telcos, primarily because of DSL subscriber erosion. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) combined for 749,000 new U-verse and FiOS customers in the quarter, while they reported a collective loss of 799,000 DSL subs.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is facing class-action suits in New Jersey and New York over claims that the MSO violated its own terms of service by not providing enough notice (at least 30 days) about its new cable modem leasing fees, reports The Consumerist. (See TW Cable Could Reap $300M From Modem Fee.)

  • ThinkAnalytics Ltd. , a maker of video search and recommendation software for set-tops and connected devices, says its customer base of TV operators has jumped 75 percent in the past six months, from 20 to 35. It's not naming all the new ones, though Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is among them. ThinkAnalytics claims its technology now reaches 80 million licensed subscribers worldwide. (See Brits Rev Up Recommendation Engine.)

  • Sky Angel has hit C-SPAN with an antitrust suit, claiming that the MSO-backed programmer withdrew programming in 2009 after the Naples, Fla.-based company began to deliver subscription TV services over broadband. Sky Angel, which runs an over-the-top service called FAVE-TV, has already filed a program-access complaint against Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) Sky Angel is asking for an injunction that would give it access to C-SPAN for ten years.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



    (18)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:43 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    Yep, rabbit ears for Dish's Kangaroo box... funny thing is that the cable guys did look into adding OTA tuners on set-top boxes, or at least demonstrated it ( i don't recall that ever getting built into a leased-out digital cable box...yet).  T/he cable guys never said as much, but it was obviously there to provide some leverage in the retrans negotiations.  Now some of those guys are keeping an eye on how the Aereo lawsuits shake out. JB

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:43 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    A spokesman says the module is being sold at www.mydish.com for $30... but i'm still trying to clear up if the box needs some sort of software update to support it.  Dish has already extended support for the module to some other receiver models, but having it come to the Hopper offers some different implications because of the ad-zapping piece.  JB


     


     

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:43 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    Dish has leverage on broadcasters? Really?

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:43 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    I do like the "to OTA antenna" part. I guess that means, "Rabbit ears sold separately."

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:42 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    It may happen sooner than you think. At this point, what percentage of the U.S. population still uses OTA? All those local transmitters cost money to operate. At least as far as the major networks are concerned, at this point they probably come out ahead if they abandon broadcast, sell the spectrum at a nice price, and use walled-garden transmission (cable, satellite). And now that Comcast owns one of the majors, the transition is likely to accelerate.

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:42 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    What happens when broadcasters stop pumping out OTA signals? Oops -- there goes the leverage.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:42 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    Yeah, it would go away, but I'll be surprised if free OTA ends  in my lifetime depite that the government is trying to  incent bcasters to sell back some of their spectrum for use in wireless. JB

    AESerm
    50%
    50%
    AESerm,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:40 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    Believe it or not, OTA viewing is up in U.S., or so says NAB. Yes, you'd expect that from them, but they said in June that it's up to 54m from 46m a year ago. Usage skewed toward minorities and younger consumers. Sales of smart, flat panel "HD" antennas seem to be doing OK, too.

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:40 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    There are about 115 million households in the U.S. right now. NAB's numbers would suggest a pay TV penetration of less than 55%, which simply doesn't match reality. Maybe the NAB is counting satellite subscribers who use OTA for local channels. At this point, though, I'd guess that most consumers have access to a pay service that delivers local OTA channels.

    AESerm
    50%
    50%
    AESerm,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:38 PM
    re: Dish Ups the Ante Against Broadcasters


    The number exclusively OTA was about 18%, up from 15% last year. Here's the NAB release.

    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    From The Founder
    Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    Between the CEOs
    Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

    9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (1) comment


    Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

    9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


    Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

    8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


    Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

    8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

    8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


    Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Global Services Forum Preview

    8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

    8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


    Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

    8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


    Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    The Netformx Ecosystem

    8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


    Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

    8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


    Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
    LRTV Custom TV
    Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

    8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


    Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei ONS Product Demo

    8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


    Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
    November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
    November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
    Hot Topics
    T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
    CEO Chat With Bill Gates
    Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
    Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
    New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
    Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    September 16, 2015
    Wi-Fi First or Second?
    September 22, 2015
    Media Begins With “Me”
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
    The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
    Cats with Phones
    Tastes Like Fish Click Here
    Please hold while I lick the phone.