Comcast: The Big Bad Wolf Of Media

By Nicole Sims TV’s biggest cable networks and programmers have had nothing to say regarding Comcast’s $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner. The trend continued at a Senate pannel Wednesday where you could hear a pin drop when it came time for them to testify against the industry changing deal. Although networks like CBS, Century Fox, and  Discovery have kept quiet, it’s clear that they don’t want and tension between them, and a company that’s become a serious source of revenue. Programming accounts are the largest portion of Comcast’s expenses. Last year alone it was about $9.1 billion. This enormous amont of money is mostly paid out to the six major networks, some of which outspoken CEO’s suddenly have lost their tongues. To put this figure in perspective, Viacom’s total revenue for 2013 was 13.8 billion, and 9.7 billion came from cable networks. More power quite literally means paying more money for Comcast. The amount of money Comcast paid Viacom was based on the number of TV subscribers, and Comcast’s 21 million subscribers amounted to quite a large paycheck. So a majority of  Viacom’s revenue came from none other than Comcast. A pretty paycheck isn’t the only thing keeping other networks quiet. Comcast also has some serious leverage over programmers when it comes to negotiating carriage agreements. If the Comcast-Time Warner deal is approved the company will serve as an even bigger threat. As Senator Amy Klobucher said at the hearing, “many programmers are afraid to go public with concerns” because it’s become “increasingly hard to negotiate agreements.” An example of this fact can be shown by DirectTV dropped The Weather Channel in January, only to restore it weeks after when the network forced the program into major concessions. When it all boils down, networks and programmers seem to have a lot more to lose than gain. So who’s afraid of the bug bad wolf?...

FireTV Places Amazon’s In A New Market

By Nicole Sims  Jeff Bezos has just opened the floodgates for further branding Amazon as a tech company. Amazon’s new product, FireTV, puts the retail turned content provider among the competition of Apple TV and Xbox One. This new technology helps to further brand Amazon as a serious contender for consumers in the overcrowded market of set-top boxes, and competitive streaming industry. The small .7-inch box connects to the TV by an HDMI cable, is run on Wi-Fi and streams at 1080p high definition broadcasts. The box can be purchased at Amazon for $99, and in a statement made by Bezos, he calls it a “tiny box [with] huge specs, tons of content [at an] incredible price.” Among the list of pre-loaded content, the box comes equipped with Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Showtime, WatchESPN, and even a 30 day free-trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Compared to competitors, FireTV operates on a quad core processor, as oppose to Roku’s dual-core, and Apple TV’s single-core processor. Although larger processors don’t always mean faster content, according to tweets made by BTIG analyst, Rich Greenfield, FireTV will deliver on being three times as fast as its competitors. For consumers, this means faster streaming of programs, apps, and software. Users will no longer have to wait for content to load or buffer, providing seamless streaming of movies, games, and even photos. FireTV also comes equipped with 2 GB of memory which is somewhere between two times, to four times as much memory of competitors. The box also comes with an X-ray feature, which makes it possible to recall metadata for whatever you’re watching. This feature can be used on movies, television shows, and even music . The box’s remote even has voice search capabilities, which as Bezos said, “means no more typing on an alphabet grid,” which can be pretty redundant to type in on a TV remote. The FireTV is an attempt to bring simplicity into the living room’s across the nation, and based on the size, speed and software, it’s likely consumers will be willing to give Amazon a chance....

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