Video services

Pay-TV Providers Drop Channels & Fight Fees

Welcome to today's cable and broadband news roundup:

  • First, we had Dish cutting subscribers off from the Breaking Bad Season 5 premiere, which is on Sunday, not that anyone's counting the days or anything. Now Viacom -- owner of networks including Nickelodeon -- has gone one better in battling DirecTV, removing complete episodes from online access, apparently to prevent DirecTV users from having any way to see the shows. They're fighting over carriage fees. As GigaOm notes, DirecTV had posted instructions on how to get to the shows, so this is apparently Viacom's retaliation, one where DirecTV non-customers become collateral damage.

  • It's a reminder of the power that content owners still have, but that power could be fleeting, according to a short essay on Slate.

  • Comcast wants to get into automobile software, according to a report on FierceCable Wednesday. The potential product could run in two directions. It could use a set-top or a mobile device to alert cable subscribers about a theft attempt, and it could include ways to control home-based systems while in the car.

  • Oi, the Brazilian service provider, has picked Microsoft Mediaroom as its IPTV platform and Alcatel-Lucent as its systems integrator, according to an email sent by Microsoft to the press.

  • Time Warner Cable is offering employees $50 in prizes for delivering tips about how the Google fiber buildout is going, GigaOm reports. Three $50 gift cards are up for grabs per week.

    — Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

  • shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:28:05 PM
    re: Pay-TV Providers Drop Channels & Fight Fees

    Viacom's scorched-earth response to its DirecTV spat is a jaw-dropper. It also shows that content conglomerates are A LONG WAY from cutting their ties to conventional video service providers. OTT is a pennies-on-the-dollar proposition compared with cable/satellite distribution.

    Rush21120 12/5/2012 | 5:28:04 PM
    re: Pay-TV Providers Drop Channels & Fight Fees

    Viacom = YAWN.. while as an adult I don't watch or care much of these channels my only concern is what will Direct replace them with?  If they eventually need replacing or is my bill going down (LOL!!!)

    AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:28:02 PM
    re: Pay-TV Providers Drop Channels & Fight Fees

    So, in re the variously attributed quote regarding Ben Tre, it becomes necessary to destroy the affiliate in order to save it? Is that the deal here?

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:28:01 PM
    re: Pay-TV Providers Drop Channels & Fight Fees

    The idea that Viacom would blow up its OTT service -- even temporarily -- as part of its war with DirecTV is remarkable. It shows that Viacom still has its head in the 20th century. That may be where the money still is today, but will that be the case in, say, 2020?

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