The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to let cable companies contact subscribers with verified email addresses about service changes and rate increases electronically rather than on paper. Democratic member Jessica Rosenworcel dissented in part, saying emails about rate increases could be mistaken for spam.
Comcast X1 subscribers will now have access to Tubi TV, a free service for movie streaming that is new to cable but has a devoted fan base among streaming viewers. Comcast also is adding two independent channels aimed at viewers of color, Cleo TV and Afro, to its regular cable product.
Syfy is branching into late night with its order of "Alien News Desk," an animated series from Lorne Michaels and other "Saturday Night Live" alums. The series will star Heidi Gardner and Will Forte as alien news anchors puzzled by human current affairs.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta will temporarily get his press pass back after Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled today that the White House violated his First Amendment rights in revoking his credentials. CNN's lawsuit drew criticism from journalist Bob Woodward, and One America News Network supported the Trump administration, but Kelly said the White House failed to provide Acosta with due process.
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei told investors this week that the company will consider buying shares of Universal Music Group from Vivendi. Any such deal would be part of a strategy to hedge against content costs, Maffei said.
Fox Sports will keep the World Series, the All-Star Game and other marquee Major League Baseball events through 2028 under the terms of a new deal. The deal also expands Fox's streaming rights and access to highlights.
Federal regulators have granted permission for SpaceX to build and operate 7,518 satellites for a very-low-Earth orbit system that provides global internet service. The Federal Communications Commission also expanded access to three other firms: Kepler Communications, Telesat Canada and LeoSat.
Altice USA operating chief Hakim Boubazine says the company isn't worried about competition from fixed wireless services backed by 5G. Altice sees the network as a way to fill in gaps in its existing wired broadband products.
Less than half of TV screen viewing is composed of live broadcasts, notes Parks Associates, which pegged the proportion of broadcast TV viewed in 2018's third quarter at just 42%. Shifts in the way people watch TV require broadcasters to focus more on "delivering video to mobile phones and transitioning live video to online sources" in order to succeed, says Parks' Brett Sappington.
Now that fast, reliable connectivity is a given from most providers, cable companies are considering how best to differentiate their offerings in a crowded marketplace. "As [network] operators we always think at the network level and we think in terms of connectivity -- and we need to start elevating our thinking," said NetScout Systems' Vikram Saksena.
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