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Posts Tagged ‘Time Warner Cable’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Elliott Exits GMA | Piers Morgan Bows Out | NYT Mag Names New Editor

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Josh Elliott Exiting ABC’s Good Morning America for NBC Sports (TheWrap)
After months of speculation over Josh Elliott’s future at ABC News’ Good Morning America, contract talks broke down over the weekend and he will leave his anchor spot for a gig with NBC Sports. Amy Robach will be promoted to news anchor, effective immediately. TVNewser Elliott’s jump to NBC and return to sports comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including Sunday Night Football, NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week. Deadline Hollywood Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million. After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today show for six months. NYT Elliott is the second member of the GMA team to be recruited away from the show by NBCUniversal. Sam Champion, who had been the weather anchor for GMA, was hired by the Weather Channel to start up a new morning show on that cable channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal. ABC did make a strong effort to retain Elliott, offering him about $5 million a year, according to one executive with knowledge of the negotiations. Variety Robach, Elliott’s replacement, began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington, D.C. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of Weekend Today. Co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos remain as the leads of the show.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Palin Goes ‘Rogue’ | LA Times Scandal | Fox Cuts Brown Loose

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Sarah Palin Plans ‘Rogue TV’ (Capital New York)
Fox News contributor and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will be launching her own digital video channel, tentatively called “Rogue TV,” a source familiar with the project said. Mediaite Rogue TV will be one of the first streaming channels on TAPP, a new service from former CNN president Jon Klein and former NBC entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin. Adweek Subscriptions will cost $10 per month. The venture is an interesting one — Gaspin, former chairman of NBCUniversal and Klein, former president of CNN U.S., have both been out of the public eye for a few years, but the pair are teaming up on a streaming service not dissimilar to Netflix or Hulu and backed by “strong personalities.” Channels on the service are expected to go live in the next few weeks. Mashable Programming will reportedly be a mix of politics and current events as well as parts of the TLC reality show Sarah Palin’s AlaskaTVNewser Gaspin told Bloomberg TV TAPP would feature “personality-based” channels “with people who have super fans.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Selfie Sets Record | Charter Eyes TWC Subs | FCC Dumps Media Study

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Ellen’s Oscar Selfie Breaks Twitter Record (Variety)
Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres herded Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey and others into the most legendary selfie to ever hit the Internet. The sheer number of A-listers packed into the shot apparently caused Twitter to crash, leaving thousands of users locked out. ABC News During the telecast, DeGeneres vowed to set a new record with a photo of her posing with the gaggle of stars sitting in the audience. She had Cooper take the photo, which she captioned, “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars” WSJ / Speakeasy The tweet then received more than 921,000 retweets in less than 40 minutes. It went on to get more than a million retweets and counting in less than an hour. The previously most retweeted tweet was one sent by the Twitter account @barackobama when the president won re-election. It simply said, “Four more years.” The Daily Beast The epic selfie needed more than 780,063 retweets to eclipse the iconic victory photo tweeted by Barack Obama in November 2012. It got more than that in just about 35 minutes. AllTwitter By 6 a.m. Monday, the tweet had been retweeted more than 2.3 million times and counting. Indeed, activity around the tweet and the Oscars was so heavy that Twitter experienced a 25-minute slowdown and a full shutdown for some users as the selfie quickly broke the record. Bloomberg Businessweek “We crashed and broke Twitter,” DeGeneres said later from the stage. “We made history.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which presents the awards, took credit for the outage. “Sorry, our bad,” the Academy said on its Twitter account. Variety Unexpected demand for ABC’s live stream of the Oscars telecast over the Internet resulted in the video going down for users across the U.S., the network said Sunday. The live video through the Watch ABC app was “down nationwide due to a traffic overload/greater than expected,” a network rep said in an email. As of 10:45 p.m. ET, the feeds were back up, according to the rep, declining to provide additional information.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC to Merge | GMA Beats Today | Soledad, Google Team Up

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Time Warner Cable to Merge With Comcast Corporation (Comcast)
Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Thursday announced that their Boards of Directors have approved a definitive agreement for Time Warner Cable to merge with Comcast. The agreement is a friendly, stock-for-stock transaction in which Comcast will acquire 100 percent of Time Warner Cable’s 284.9 million shares outstanding for shares of CMCSA amounting to approximately $45.2 billion in equity value. NYT / DealBook For Comcast, which completed its acquisition of NBC Universal, the television and movie powerhouse, from General Electric less than a year ago, the latest deal would be its second big act to radically reshape the media landscape in the United States. And the merger is almost certain to bring to an end a protracted takeover battle that Charter Communications has been waging for Time Warner Cable. CNNMoney The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers. Through the consolidation of Time Warner Cable, Comcast would be the dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections in roughly one in three American homes, a total unmatched by any other distributor. Re/code So here’s the big idea that’s supposed to get the deal approved in the coming months: It’s OK for a giant cable company to buy another giant cable company, because cable companies don’t compete. For instance: I live in Brooklyn, and I’m a Time Warner Cable customer. In theory, I could also get TV from the satellite guys, and also from Verizon. But I can’t get TV from Comcast, because the cable guys work in specific territories, carved out by local regulators, and they don’t overlap. GigaOM And when you start to peel the onion and start looking at their average monthly revenues of the combined companies, you start to see why the game is all about broadband. According to UBS estimates, the combined company could see its consumer data-only revenues go from $17 billion at end of 2013 to about $23 billion by end of 2018. Voice revenues go from about $6 billion at the end of 2013 to $6.6 billion at end of 2018.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Website Goes Down | Grim Day for Journos | TWC Sued for CBS Blackout


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New York Times Website Returns After Hours Offline (NYT)
The Web site of The New York Times was offline for about two hours on Wednesday in what company officials say was a failure during regular maintenance of NYTimes.com and not the result of a cyberattack. “The outage occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update being pushed out, and we believe that was the cause,” said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The New York Times Company. The site went down about 11:10 a.m. It returned around 1:15 p.m., but service was sporadic. The Verge As The New York Times struggled to get its site back online, the paper turned to often ephemeral social media to put out its stories. Unfortunately, while the outage wasn’t long, it was enough to threaten reporting of one of the week’s biggest stories: a violent clash in Egypt that left more than a hundred people — and possibly many more — dead. To get out news of the Cairo protests, the Times turned to a system that’s usually supplemental: posting updates on social media. The Guardian / Dan Gillmor But the venue the paper chose to post its material was ill-advised, for many reasons. Facebook may have been convenient, but it – not the Times – ultimately controls what appears on its service. Facebook is not hosting this material for the sake of the Times or for people who want quality journalism. Facebook itself is an increasingly threatening competitor to the journalism industry, and it serves its own needs first. Fox Business During the Times outage, parent company Dow Jones said on its Twitter account that it was making the Wall Street Journal’s website, WSJ.com, available for free. JimRomenesko.com Jill Abramson: “It’s been the stuff of bad dreams for us all — what would happen if our website went down — really went down — and email went down at the same time? All of you handled a difficult moment with patience, determination and even good humor. I am very grateful and proud of each of you for your unwavering devotion to our readers.” FishbowlDC The Washington and New York media worlds tipped over on their heads as the NYT shut down due to technical issues. So we mined Twitter for the best of and — let’s face it — endless and some terrible reactionary comments to the temporary interruption. Even crazy bearded Dave Hughes of DCRTV noticed something unusual was happening: “Journos in a f*ckin’ panic today with the NY Times’ website down. Sheesh…” he remarked. So who actually had something interesting to say?

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Bezos Buys WaPo | TWC Proposes CBS Deal | RNC Hits CNN And NBC


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Washington Post to Be Sold to Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations. Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for the Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses. The deal represents a sudden and stunning turn of events for the Post, Washington’s leading newspaper for decades and a powerful force in shaping the nation’s politics and policy. The Washington Post / Jeff Bezos The values of the Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely. HuffPost / The Backstory On Monday at 4:15 p.m., Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth informed staff that there would be “an announcement” just 15 minutes later in the paper’s first floor auditorium. Some speculated that the Post had sold its historic downtown Washington headquarters, which had been on the market for six months. Following the Bezos announcement, a Post staffer described colleagues as “shocked and stunned.” NYT Perhaps the biggest surprise in the sale is that it happened under the watch of Donald Graham. All scions of industry do their time on the shop-room floor, but Graham had shown that he didn’t want to just inherit his enterprise, he wanted to earn it. The idea that Graham would sell the paper, whatever merits the sale might entail, seemed as unlikely as Henry V giving up the crown. But on Monday, Graham seemed at peace with what he had done. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Carl Bernstein: “I have high hopes that [Monday's] announcement will represent a great moment in the history of a great institution: recognition that a new kind of entrepreneurship and leadership, fashioned in the age of the new technology, is needed to lead not just the Post, but perhaps the news business itself, in combining the best of enduring journalistic values with all the potential of the digital era — including a profit model that will finance a renaissance of the kind of reporting that is essential for Washington, for American journalism, and for the world.” CJR / The Audit We have now officially entered the oft-predicted Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper industry’s collapse. New Republic Craigslist’s Craig Newmark has not bought the Post, thank goodness — that would be too much to bear. But Bezos as the white knight provokes only slightly less shock and dolor. We knew the other guys had won a long time ago, but it’s another thing when they can waltz in and, in the charmless guise of “Explore Holdings LLC,” drop $250 million in cash for a legendary paper (that’s a mere one percent of Bezos’ net worth), as flip and easy as plucking an Apollo rocket engine from the ocean or building a $42 million, 10,000-year clock in West Texas. NYT / DealBook If it wasn’t clear that newspapers have become trophies for the wealthy with an interest in journalism or power — or a combination of both — it should be now. TVSpy The acquisition does not include the Post-Newsweek station group; Cable ONE, Slate, TheRoot.com, Foreign Policy and Kaplan are also not included in the deal. The Washington Post Company will be changing its name. TheWrap / MediaAlley Washington Post Co. shares immediately spiked on word that the company had sold its money sucking newspapers to Bezos. In immediate after-hours trading, shares climbed nearly 5.5 percent to $599.85.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS Blackout Drags On | Newsweek Sold to IBT | Red Sox Owner Buys Globe


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No Sign of Progress in CBS/Time Warner Cable Dispute (WSJ)
A blackout of CBS Corp.’s flagship network on Time Warner Cable Inc. systems in New York, Los Angeles and a few other markets dragged on through the weekend with no sign of any resolution. By Sunday afternoon the two companies couldn’t even agree on whether any talks were under way. A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said negotiations were “ongoing,” while CBS said that “there are no negotiations taking place at this time.” TVNewser At 5 p.m. ET Friday CBS O&Os in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Denver and Pittsburgh were pulled from Time Warner Cable systems in those markets. Additionally, cable channels Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix and Smithsonian Channel are blacked out on Time Warner Cable. NYT “There are several ways that you can still see your favorite shows, including using an antenna to get CBS free over the air.” An antenna? Where does that go, on top of the cathode-ray tube? That’s one of the tips Time Warner Cable put up on screen after it stopped showing CBS around the country on Friday. NYT The continuing impasse resulted in two popular shows on the pay cable channel Showtime, Dexter and Ray Donovan, being unavailable to fans in those areas on Sunday night. And it means that the most popular drama of the summer, CBS’ Under the Dome, is likely to be blocked to millions of viewers on Monday night. Several media analysts suggested the standoff might be protracted, with predictions ranging from about 10 days to as long as six weeks. The later date is associated with the start of the NFL season, a package of programming that everyone involved agrees cannot be denied to subscribers. Indeed, timing seems to be the dominant factor driving the dispute. Time In a tit-for-tat action, CBS responded by blocking videos of full episodes of its programming on CBS.com for Time Warner Cable broadband customers in the affected markets.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: TWC Drops CBS Briefly | Zealot to No. 1 on Amazon | Reuters’ Twitter Hacked


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Time Warner Temporarily Removes CBS in Major Cities (NYT)
CBS stations were temporarily removed from cable systems in millions of homes in major cities — including New York and Los Angeles — about midnight on Monday, after protracted negotiations between CBS and Time Warner Cable over fees collapsed. In statements, each side blamed the other. The Consumerist In a bizarre coda to a story full of misinformation and bad math from both sides, the TWC blackout only lasted about 30 minutes, with the cable company explaining, “At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels.” Good to know that these titans of industry care enough to be this fickle with deadlines and consumers’ viewing options. TVNewser “We are now at war with Time Warner Cable,” CBS CEO Les Moonves said to the LA Times’ Joe Flint. “The outrageous demands for fees by CBS Corporation have forced Time Warner Cable to remove several of its networks,” TWC said in a statement. LA Times / Company Town Although squabbles between programmers and distributors are fairly common, seldom does it reach a point that a signal gets taken off the air, especially in big markets such as Los Angeles and New York. Deadline New York Time Warner Cable now says it has agreed to yet another extension with CBS “while we continue negotiations.” This moves the deadline to Friday, Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. ET.

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