FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler may be warming to the idea, put forth by pay-TV industry players, of getting rid of set-top box requirements entirely and instead making it possible to utilize consumer-friendly streaming devices instead, in a strategy the industry has dubbed "Ditch the Box."
The evolution of content distribution and the consistent growth of over-the-top streaming generates industry predictions of the inevitable decline and fall of pay TV. As video ecosystems collide, the industry remains in a state of great change.
Comcast padded its lead among U.S. pay TV service providers in the fourth quarter of 2015, posting 89,000 net adds and claiming a 22.6 percent share of the market. The company also enjoyed an ARPU of $144.90, tops of all major pay TV providers in the country.
While it's clear that some video viewers are turning off their set-top boxes in favor of getting their content online, the top six pay-TV providers showed signs of video growth in 2015.
Global content rights are no longer Netflix's biggest problem, at least in Indonesia: the country's state-run telecommunications provider, Telkom, has blocked the SVOD provider citing objectionable content in its lineup as well as permit issues.
Virtual reality is not 3D TV: that's the consensus in the wake of the Consumer Electronics Show, where the technology got plenty of attention thanks to a heavy hype cycle. The reason certainly isn't hype, a new FierceCable special report says-- companies like Facebook are investing billions of dollars in VR.
Negotiations between pay-TV providers and content owners for retransmission rights have always been tense, but in 2015 the issue became even more acute.
Over-the-top video's disruption of the cable industry has been keenly felt for the past few quarter especially, as pay-TV subscriber numbers have steadily dropped. But traditional operators may have found a new source for revenue: advanced advertising services like dynamic ad insertion (DAI), programmatic buying and selling, and the audience data gleaned from these services.
Except for a few sporadic announcements about 4K-enabling satellite launches and 4K set-tops to be released at some undetermined future date, there has been little if any actual movement in the pay-TV industry on the UltraHD topic since January. Special report
Windstream is going to take on Time Warner Cable by launching its Kinetic pay-TV service in Lexington, Ky., later this year. This will be the company's second market for its pay-TV service: it launched Kinetic in Lincoln, Neb., in April.