The Science Channel will take a look at an area infamous for the mysterious disappearance of aircraft and ships in "Curse of the Bermuda Triangle," a series that will debut on Feb. 9. The program will chronicle the work of the Triangle Research and Investigation Group, which will begin the show by looking into the 1945 disappearance of a squadron of Navy aircraft.
Comcast is "better positioned" than any other company in the world to make money from a streaming service, NBCUniversal Chairman Steve Burke predicted. He told analysts that he expects NBCU to sign distribution deals with most linear subscription television outfits to carry Peacock, which already has an agreement in place with Cox Communications.
Aaron Frey, Maine's attorney general has moved to appeal a federal court decision that struck down a pioneering law requiring cable companies to offer channels on an a la carte basis. The lower court ruled the law violated Comcast's First Amendment rights, but Frey argued that the Constitution does not protect cable's business strategies.
Each minute of viewing pirated video content prevented 3.5 minutes of legal over-the-top programming from being watched, a think tank estimated in a 2016-2017 study sponsored by tech companies and telecoms, including Comcast and Charter Communications. The Technology Policy Institute reported that up to 7.3% of US homes viewed some pirated content in 2018.
Mobile video is a bright spot for advertising this year, according to members of the Forbes Agency Council. "Instead of interrupting consumers ... brands should start creating branded entertainment that viewers will want to seek out and engage in," says Kaaren Whitney-Vernon of Shaftesbury on alternatives to banner ads and pre-roll content with mobile video.
Netflix will begin to count as a "viewer" anyone who watches a program for two minutes or more, a change from its original definition, which involved sitting through a 70% minimum of a TV show or movie. The company, in a letter to shareholders, said two minutes was enough time to prove viewer intention but conceded the move would increase the figures the streamer publicly releases.
HBO will team up with Bill Simmons' Ringer Films to produce a documentary series of six films about music with episodes that will focus on specific artists, particular albums or wider-ranging industry overviews, the companies said, adding that a different director will lead each film. Another Ringer project, "Women of Troy," will also air on HBO and will explore the women's basketball squad at the University of Southern California in the 1980s.
Comcast reported a 26% net profit increase year-to-year in its quarter ending Dec. 31, exceeding Wall Street's estimates as it gained 442,000 broadband subscribers and increased revenue to $28.4 billion. Xfinity Mobile grew by 261,000 subscribers, a 15% year-to-year gain, to surpass two million customers as Comcast Brian Roberts hailed the provider's "pivot to a broadband-centric cable company."
A Northeast Kansas cable provider has told subscribers it will end video service by June and focus on delivering broadband. Rainbow Communications said that "a high-quality and less-expensive technology exists for watching TV" and cited the increased cost of acquiring programming as a reason for its decision.
The ability of Comcast's Peacock to offer live sports events will give the upcoming streaming service an edge over its rivals, some analysts are saying, noting Peacock will debut just prior to the Summer Olympics this year. Peacock can also pull from matches in soccer's Premier League that NBC Sports does not show, as well as coverage of golf's Ryder Cup, among other events.
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