Read original story on: Business Insider
Barely a month after Comcast gave in to regulators’ opposition and called off its $45 billion offer to buy US cable giant Time Warner Cable (TWC), Charter, currently the fourth-largest U.S. cable firm, has now emerged as a potential buyer with over $56 billion in cash and stock to acquire TWC, pending regulatory approval. If approved, the merged new company would instantly become the second largest cable company in the country, just after Comcast.
The announcement comes at a time when cable companies are struggling to keep up with the changing habits of TV viewers. The rise of streaming video services like Netflix and Amazon has created a fragmented market, shifting the TV industry from networks to the Internet. Cable companies are eager to consolidate the market, and mergers like this could give cable companies greater leverage to negotiate with the content providers and media owners.
Read original article on: Fortune
When it comes to the smart home market, tech companies like Apple and Google seems to be enjoying an early lead with their smart home hubs like HomeKit and Nest-based platform. But cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable, already controlling the home wireless network of millions, are also making a play for the market as well.
Earlier this year, Time Warner Cable partnered up with BestBuy to give customers of its security-focused IntellegenceHome service a better deal on smart home devices. And now, Comcast announced their Xfinity home platform, controlled by a branded tablet under monthly lease, is now supporting the connected home gears from its new partners, which include Nest, August (locks), and Rachio (sprinklers), and Lutron (lighting).
Furthermore, the cable behemoth is also planning to expand its smart home offering later this year with a SDK, which would developers to create officially sanctioned services using the Xfinity system. As the smart home market starts to take off, we expect to see some more players joining in the ring before it solidifies.
Read original story on: The Verge
Verizon FiOS is devising ways to make its cable programming more attractive to viewers who now have alternative streaming television options like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and HBO Now. Starting Sunday, customers can avoid cable package offerings and pay for a more customized set of channels. The new “Custom TV” packages will start with a $65 bundle that pairs with Internet service and 35 TV channels. The TV half alone can be purchased for $55 each month with the option to purchase $10 add-ons for additional channels. There’s high anticipation to see how cable networks begin to adapt to the growing OTT trend that we’ve been intently following.
On top of the large number of over-the-top services that Fire TV already supports, a new array of branded video streaming apps, including WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Jr., MLB.TV, Animal Planet L!ve, and the WWE Network, are all coming to the Amazon’s platform. Adding to its exclusive deal with Rovio to bring Angry Birds Family to Fire TV, it is obvious that Amazon is stocking up Fire TV’s content by drawing from diverse sources—welcome news to its customers.
As Americans begin to abandon cable TV providers in favor of streaming services, and those streaming services being to gain a foothold in the living room environment, content providers are aiming to distribute to the widest variety of services possible. Set-top box manufacturer Roku added new live broadcast programming to its selection in the form of WatchESPN and WatchDisney channels. These networks are available widely to tens of millions of digital cable subscribers, and represent an effort on the part of content providers to accommodate varying user tastes to ensure they aren’t left behind by rapid developments in how people choose to consume media.
With the rise of Over-the-Top providers, cutting the cord has never been easier according to a new study from Miner & Co Studio. The report states that 13% of 18-34 year olds (8.6 million) who already have broadband service are committed to a broadband-only existence with Pay TV and broadband crossovers moving away from the cable model. The key driver appears to be consumer demand for VOD and live streaming TV everywhere. Also interesting is the lack of desire for offline content, saving shows to watch during periods without connectivity.
The Corporate Intelligence/WSJ blog has an interesting report about Time Warner Cable’s opinion of the carriage costs associated with underperforming cable channels. TWC has pledged to renegotiate these deals versus passing along the the costs to it’s subscribers. In addition, the WSJ provides an estimate of TWC’s costs for the top cable networks.
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