News

They're Cooked: The biggest turkeys in telecom and cable

Which company made the biggest strategic blunder of 2014? What wireless provider saw its initiatives flop? What pay-TV operator suffered the most wrath from unhappy customers? Which ambitious broadband provider sent its plans aloft, only to realize too late that its 1 Gig ambitions wouldn't fly? As you prepare to sit down to the annual family feast, whet your appetite to these telecom turkeys, prepared by FierceWireless, FierceTelecom, and FierceCable. While the lists are by no means exhaustive, they include some of what we believe to be the biggest industry flops of 2014.

TiVo focuses on OTT apps, pay-TV relationships in shaky earnings

DVR manufacturer TiVo, which has been offering OTT-enabled set-tops to both consumers and pay-TV operator partners, saw lower profits in its fiscal 2015 third quarter, coming in one cent below analyst estimates at 6 cents per share, with net income of $6.35 million.

HBO goes to China, signing OTT distribution deal with Tencent

HBO may not have disclosed much, at all, about its planned standalone over-the-top service in the United States, but the premium network is about to make waves in China, announcing a deal with online video giant Tencent that will see many of its series distributed through Tencent's website "in the very near future." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Google, Roku stand to rake in holiday streaming stick sales

Streaming sticks will be one of the hottest stocking stuffers this holiday season, if new data from Parks Associates is any indication.

Aereo files for bankruptcy, closing a pioneering chapter in OTT streaming

Embattled OTA-over-OTT provider Aereo filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Friday in the Southern District of New York, citing an "uncertain regulatory and legal climate" that has kept the startup from operating since June.

Broadband sports to hit the big time, TDG says

With the NFL jumping into online video with its NFL Now app, and regional networks like Pac-12 debuting their own OTT experiences, the idea of watching sports online is transitioning from an optional activity to must-see video. And next year, "broadband sports," as TDG analyst Joel Espelien dubs it, is set to take off in a big way.

Netflix, Google, Amazon execs among most powerful people in wireline and wireless

Ever wonder what it takes to change the direction of an entire industry? If so, you might want to take a cue from some of the players we have featured here, on our Most Powerful People in U.S. Wireless and Wireline 2014 list.

Online video alliances could solve content fragmentation, fend off consolidation

Seems like everyone and their mother is trying to launch a content service over the top these days. But so far, the ever-growing number of available streaming services has brought in real profit to only a few--even Netflix is struggling to maintain decent margins--while frustrating consumers searching for the content they want to watch. Could alliances between online video providers--rather than industry consolidation--help resolve these problems?

MobiTV powers TV Everywhere for Japan's TV Bank

Multiscreen service provider MobiTV has partnered with TV Bank, one of Japan's largest online video providers, to help extend its new pay-TV service, BBTV Next, to connected devices for all its subscribers.

Mobile devices surpass TV in viewership

The advantages of developing software for a device that stays pretty much glued to consumers 24 hours a day appear to be paying off. According to Yahoo!-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry, time spent on mobile devices has grown to 177 minutes per day on average, surpassing time spent with the TV, which stayed flat at 168 minutes per day.

NAB's Kaplan: MVPD redefinition a 'worthy' goal, but FCC doesn't understand its complexities

National Association of Broadcasters EVP of Strategic Planning Rick Kaplan gave the FCC something of a backhanded compliment in a post on the association's policy blog: While lauding the commission's proposal to classify certain over-the-top providers as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), he also said that Chairman Tom Wheeler does not appear "to appreciate the complexities" of the proposed rulemaking.

Netflix may soon hit U.S. subscriber ceiling… and that could limit profits

With just under 40 million subscribers in the United States, Netflix "may be reaching the ceiling of what it can add," according to an article exploring the subscription video on demand provider's profit potential. Combined with ever-increasing prices for Hollywood content and stiff international competition, times could get pretty interesting for Netflix.

Ad bubble? ION Media Networks' Burgess thinks so

Online video advertising looks to be gaining significant ground this year--but is that really the case? Some analysts and industry players think the industry is experiencing an advertising bubble … that's bound to pop.

Bad OTT experience could chase cord cutters back to pay TV

NEW YORK--While a new generation of cord nevers may be willing to put up with occasional poor streaming quality of online video, cord cutters--that coveted group of past pay-TV subscribers who have ditched linear video service for Internet viewing--might return to the pay-TV fold if their streaming experience is bad.

Netflix disrupts, but still dependent on content owners' traditional business models

NEW YORK--Netflix may be an online disruptor, but it's still dependent on upstream content producers using traditional models. There's no money in transactional VOD. HBO never said it was going direct to consumers with its pure-play OTT service. And there are more eyeballs on Hulu's content than anywhere else. These are a few of the statements made by online video executives at the OTT Video Executive Summit held Tuesday here, in a panel session discussing the economics of over-the-top video.

Netflix optimizes iPhone 6 for 1080p

Users of Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are getting an early holiday present from Netflix: The subscription video on demand provider is making much of its content, including original series, available on the smartphones in 1080p resolution.

Fullscreen aims for young male demographic with Rooster Teeth acquisition

Top multichannel network Fullscreen, which was recently acquired by Otter Media--the joint venture of AT&T and the Chernin Group--has purchased Rooster Teeth, a smaller but established media brand, for an undisclosed sum.

Looking for content in all the wrong places: OTT executives puzzle out discovery

Search and recommendation is the most important and pressing issue for content providers and supporting players in the next year. If they want to make money, it has to get solved. But how will search and recommendation evolve? And will customers stick around as providers try to figure it out?

 

FilmOn CEO: FCC 'extremely positive' toward virtual MVPDs, Aereo's subscriber numbers 'really pitiful'

Change is inevitable. That's the mantra being carried by Alki David, founder and CEO of FilmOn. The outspoken executive made the rounds at the FCC last week, attempting to rally support for a NPRM circulated by agency Chairman Tom Wheeler that could change the definition of an MVPD. Samantha Bookman, editor of FierceOnlineVideo, chatted with David following his latest FCC visit to get his view of the climate at the commission, an overview of FilmOn's business model, and how he sees the OTT landscape evolving in the near future.

Net neutrality: Netflix says fast-lane fees to Comcast are 150% more than cost of transport

As the FCC prepares for the next round of deliberation on potential Open Internet rules, Netflix filed another comment arguing that Internet service providers can bottleneck traffic at will, with no rules in place to stop them from doing so. Further, it pointed out that the fees it now pays to Comcast for preferred access to its last-mile network are more than what Netflix pays to get its data to the cable operator's doorstep.