May 6, 2015
1:44 pm

FCC Chairman Takes the Case for Open Internet Rules to an Unreceptive Cable Crowd (LA Times)

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler took the case for Open Internet rules into hostile territory today, delivering a speech at the Internet and Television Expo — INTX — in Chicago.

“The FCC chief received a frosty reception at the gathering, which is hosted by the leading industry lobbying group, National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wheeler “scolded telecommunications companies, saying they provide America with an increasingly vital public service — the Internet — and regulation is warranted for an industry that lacks sufficient competition,” the story reports.

Said Wheeler, a former president of the NCTA: “More competition would be better.”

The Times notes: “CEOs of cable companies, who were next to take the stage, lamented the FCC’s more hands-on approach to regulations for the Internet. The new FCC rules, adopted earlier this year by a divided FCC, come after decades of the federal government allowing the companies to operate in a less restrictive environment.”

One of the execs who commented on Wheeler’s position was Michael Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, who said: “I am baffled by the chairman’s remarks. There is a presumption of guilt and punishment for success that I’ve never seen before.”

Lawsuits have already been filed, including by the NCTA, in an effort to block the FCC’s Open Internet rules, which are due to take effect in June.

“The new rules demand that broadband companies, such as Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast Corp., treat Internet traffic equally,” the Times reports. AT&T has also filed a lawsuit to fight the regulations.

Following Wheeler’s speech the NCTA released a statement indicating that it appreciated Wheeler’s talk about the importance of net neutrality, and adding: “Cable is the largest broadband industry in America, and our networks are ushering in an exciting transformation of how consumers are enjoying content and experiencing new entertainment services.”


May 6, 2015
1:39 pm

Nathan Lane’s Musical Tribute to David Letterman — Watch It Now (TVWeek)

Nathan Lane paid a visit to “Late Show with David Letterman” as the late-night veteran winds down his long-running CBS show, and Lane captured his feelings in a Broadway-style tribute to Dave.

Here it is:

May 6, 2015
1:31 pm

HBO and FX Lead Critics’ Choice Nominations — We Have the List of Nominees (USA Today)

The nominations are out for the 5th annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards, given out by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

USA Today reports that HBO leads the nominations count with 27 nods, followed by FX with 16.

The awards are set for May 31, to be aired live on A&E.

“The HBO miniseries ‘Olive Kitteridge’ and the recently concluded FX drama ‘Justified’ each scored five nominations, with FX’s ‘The Americans,’ HBO’s ‘Bessie’ (May 16, 8 p.m. ET/PT), CBS’s ‘The Good Wife,’ Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ and PBS’s ‘Wolf Hall’ each tallying four nominations,” the story notes.

Competing against “The Americans,” “The Good Wife” and “Justified” for best drama series will be Fox’s “Empire,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Showtime’s “Homeland” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”

“Transparent” will vie for best comedy series with Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” CBS’s “Mom,” FX’s “You’re the Worst” and HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and “Veep.”

Please click here for the list of nominees.


May 6, 2015
1:17 pm

Lifetime Announces Initiative to Put More Women Behind the Camera (Multichannel News)

Lifetime has taken the wraps off a new initiative aimed at increasing the opportunities for women to create, produce, write and direct programming for the channel — with a goal of also improving the media landscape overall for female creatives.

Multichannel News reports that the initiative, “Broad Focus,” will concentrate in particular on “finding and growing up-and-coming talent in the creative field. Broad Focus also aims to raise awareness on the need for more women creating meaningful content in the media.”

The network is presenting the initiative to advertisers as it courts upfront sales. Two programs are set for later this year, according to the report.

“One will be sponsored short-form content about women filmmakers. The other will partner directors with marketers for short films,” the story reports.

Said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks, Lifetime’s parent company: “There is a large, untapped well of female talent out there, and we want to remain first in line to that source of creativity. Our company invests heavily in finding fresh, unique voices, and Broad Focus will inspire us to look deeper and in non-traditional places to discover women among those storytellers.”

broad focus-lifetime-logo

May 6, 2015
1:11 pm

Amazon Prime Takes to the Sky on JetBlue (AP)

Amazon and JetBlue have launched a partnership that will give Amazon Prime members access to their Prime Instant Video content during flights.

The innovative program, Fly-Fi for Amazon Prime, is being billed as the future of not just in-flight entertainment, but potentially in-flight commerce as well.

“The e-commerce company will let members of Amazon’s $99 annual loyalty program Prime stream its instant video service for free on their Wi-Fi enabled devices via JetBlue’s inflight Wi-Fi service,” the AP reports. “JetBlue is one of the only U.S. airlines to offer free Wi-Fi on its planes; Southwest offers free Wi-Fi-enabled entertainment like TV shows and TV stations.”

The report adds: “The service will give Prime members access to original Amazon shows like ‘Transparent,’ its other streaming TV and movies, as well as the ability to rent or buy other titles on Amazon’s Instant Video store.”

Amazon Instant Video will be available on laptops, Fire devices, iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets without the need to download anything ahead of time, the report notes.

“The agreement will also let JetBlue Airways Corp. use some behind-the-scenes footage from Amazon’s original shows on its seatback TV inflight offerings,” the story notes.


May 6, 2015
9:52 am

Breaking News: Cablevision Boss Seeks Deal With Time Warner Cable in New York Market (TVWeek)

The CEO of Cablevision Systems revealed today that he’s looking to do a deal with Time Warner Cable to consolidate the New York cable market.

James Dolan made the comment during a panel discussion at the Internet & Television Expo in Chicago — INTX 2015. Panel moderator Julia Boorstin, media and entertainment reporter for CNBC, first asked Dolan whether he would be interested in pursuing a deal with his competitor FiOS in New York, and Dolan said he would not.

When Boorstin followed up with a question about whether Dolan would like to do a deal with Time Warner Cable in the New York market, Dolan said yes.

The market is currently divided between Cablevision and Time Warner Cable.

Dolan, who appeared on the panel as part of the general session at INTX, said a combination of Cablevision and TWC would make the market more efficient, benefiting the New York consumer through improvements such as increased innovation.

Rob Marcus, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, was also on the panel and did not respond to Dolan’s comment.

Other panelists were Tom Rutledge, president and CEO of Charter Communications, Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications, and Michael Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global.

Noting that Charter and Time Warner Cable were working on a possible merger before the high-profile, recently failed merger attempt between Comcast and TWC, Boorstin asked Marcus and Rutledge whether they might have any deals to talk about, and both men declined to comment.


May 6, 2015
9:37 am

Sports Emmy Awards Announced — We Have the Complete List of Winners (TVWeek)

NBC had a big night as the Sports Emmys were awarded Tuesday night, leading all networks with nine trophies for the broadcast net, while the NBC group — including NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA and — took home 17 Emmys to lead the way in that category. The awards were presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The ESPN group — including ESPN, ESPN 2, ABC, ESPN Deportes and ESPNews — was close behind in the group standings with 15 trophies, including six for ESPN (second among individual networks) and five for ESPN 2 (third).

The NBC group’s coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games led all individual programs with seven Sports Emmys, followed by “Fox Sports Live” with four and the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and Univision with three, while ESPN 2′s “E: 60″ also took home three Emmys. HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” won two awards, for outstanding sports journalism and outstanding sports news anthology.

In some of the other top categories, ESPN won the Emmy for outstanding studio show — weekly, for “College GameDay,” and MLB Network won outstanding studio show — daily, for “MLB Tonight.” NBC took the award for outstanding live sports special for Super Bowl XLIX, and Fox and Fox Sports 1 received the Emmy for outstanding live sports series for “NASCAR on FOX.”

Please click here for the full list of Sports Emmy winners.


May 6, 2015
8:57 am

Scientific Study Determines That the Impact of the Beatles and Stones Has Been Eclipsed by … (Spoiler Alert) — If You’re Old School, You May Not Want to Find Out; Otherwise, Read On … (NY Times)

A new scientific study that included a computer analysis of 17,000 songs determined that the impact of the 1964 British invasion led by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been eclipsed by the impact of hip-hop, The New York Times reports.

“The unusual study found three revolutions on the charts: the 1991 emergence of rap and hip-hop on mainstream charts; the synth-led new wave movement of 1983, and the advent of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who and other British rockers in the early 1960s,” The Times reports.

The article adds: “Although the Beatles — paced by the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney — enjoy perhaps the highest place in critics’ esteem, the researchers found the hip-hop movement — from pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa to megastars like Jay-Z — more profound.”

The researchers wrote called the advent of rap, hip-hop and related genres “the single most important event that has shaped the musical structure of the American charts in the period we studied.”

The study, released today by the University of London and Imperial College, found that the early British rock bands, who were strongly influenced by U.S. pioneers such as Chuck Berry, were following existing trends.

meet the beatles-album cover

May 6, 2015
8:44 am

Jamie Foxx Explains His ‘Off-Script’ National Anthem (Access Hollywood)

After being ridiculed for his performance of the National Anthem before the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, Jamie Foxx offered an explanation. The actor and singer, who won an Oscar in 2005 for playing Ray Charles in “Ray,” told Access Hollywood that the fiasco can be blamed on his earpiece.

Foxx is quoted in his interview with Billy Bush saying: “We had a little bit of a situation with our ear pieces. The [ear] pack actually dropped off, so I couldn’t, you know … I can’t hear what’s playing. So I just had to go on my own. Hopefully they understand.”

Foxx added: “I think a little bit was just people wanted to have something to talk about. But everything’s cool.” He also joked that he would be putting the National Anthem on his next album.

Here’s a clip of Foxx’s performance:

May 6, 2015
8:23 am

TV’s Hold on Live Sports Faces New Threat (Washington Post)

Live sports, which has been a stronghold for traditional television even as online streaming and on-demand viewing gain market penetration, is facing a serious threat from new technology. The Washington Post reports that new live-streaming apps including Periscope and Meerkat put TV’s “golden egg” at risk.

“Just hold a smartphone up to a television to record and stream what’s airing, and suddenly piracy is easier than ever,” the article reports. “That stunning recognition arrived this past weekend when droves of boxing fans skipped the $100 pay-per-view fee and watched the much-anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao free Saturday evening.

The report adds: “Dozens of live streams of the fight were available through Periscope, and even though the app shut down 30 illegal streams, users gloated about their ability to watch.”

While media companies say their bottom line has yet to be damaged, some observers have voiced concerns.

Jesse Redniss, a co-founder of the media consulting firm BraveVentures, is quoted in the piece saying: “This is a breaking-of-the-dam moment because everyone has massively powerful computers in their hands that can shoot HD-quality video and live stream it to thousands of people simultaneously. There are major rights implications, and Periscope is treading over very thin ice because they have the ability to police the streams.”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read the Post’s in-depth report.

periscope tv-logo

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