Sinclair has launched STIRR, an ad-supported, over-the-top platform that delivers live local news, entertainment and regional sports to mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV. The company will bundle content from its almost 200 stations with that of channels including Outdoor America, Cheddar and World Poker.
Morgan Neville is producing "Shangri-La," a docu-series centered on iconic music producer Rick Rubin. The project will air on Showtime in 2019, exploring the life of Rubin, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and producer for artists including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Adele.
The FirstNet Authority will pursue additional partners beyond AT&T in what acting CEO Ed Parkinson described as a shift in strategy to focus more on "spinoff applications" that can aid the group's public-safety mission. In a speech last week, Parkinson said FirstNet needs to find technology partners that can complement the role of network builder AT&T.
Harry Jessell writes that broadcasters should use the impressive lineup of new shows and talent scheduled to appear at next week's NATPE as an indicator of how great things are looking for the syndication business. The industry's top syndicators, including Disney, NBCU and FOX, will be there to sell "big stage" shows featuring Kelly Clarkson, Tamron Hall and Meredith Vieira, among others.
The National Association of Broadcasters will be inducting Urban One Chairperson and founder Cathy Hughes into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame on April 8 during the NAB Show. "Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry," says Gordon Smith, NAB leader.
Technology policy experts in a panel discussion this week generally agreed that the Universal Service Fund program and rural broadband deployment practices need to be changed, though they differed on what those changes should be. Suggestions included reimbursing property owners who build connections themselves and funding fiber to the home.
The internet of things could make heavy use of 5G's ability to handle large amounts of data, although Paul Bevan of Bloor, a consulting and advisory firm, says many IoT devices can still function well without it. "It is in areas requiring low latency, such as autonomous vehicles or, further down the track, remote robotic surgery that 5G really comes into its own," Bevan adds.
Hargray Communications is to increase its Pell City-area footprint by purchasing USA Communications' Alabama assets. The company will provide a full lineup of internet, TV and phone services to both residential and business customers.
Cox Communications is giving customers affected by the government shutdown payment extensions without penalties. Customers can schedule their payments for a future date by visiting the Payment Arrangement Options segment of the account site or contacting a customer service representative.
FuboTV's subscriber engagement last month was nearly three times greater than at the same time the previous year, and the company says connected TVs get the credit. The company's nearly 250,000 subscribers watched an average of almost 90 hours of programming, with entertainment being the most popular category.