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
    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 Beer
    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 Beer
    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 Beer
    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 Beer
    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 Beer
    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   >   >>
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Three Cs of MWC15

    3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


    My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

    2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


    Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

    2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


    A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

    2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


    With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
    LRTV Documentaries
    BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

    2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


    This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
    LRTV Interviews
    Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

    2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


    On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Going Green in 2015

    2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


    Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
    LRTV Custom TV
    SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

    2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


    Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Time for Gigabit Europe?

    2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


    Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

    2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

    1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
    Upcoming Live Events
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    Hot Topics
    Small Cells Enabling Location Services
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
    Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
    FCC Adopts Title II Rules
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
    60% of World Lacks Internet: Facebook Report
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/25/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
    G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.