Viodi View – 04/01/13

The costs of programming have risen faster than the prices MVPDs (Multichannel Video Program Distributors) charge their customers, according to an article posted by nScreenMedia’s, Colin Dixon. Dixon reviewed financial filings from several large program distributors (Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner) and found that revenues for these large providers have not kept apace with costs for several years. This is a good proof-point to what Jim Beattie described in my interview with him at last week’s MTA Convention in Minneapolis.

The Sports Bubble

Jim Beattie of Bevcomm is interviewed by Ken Pyle at the 2013 MTA Convention.
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Are we getting to the point where the economics of sports cable programming is no longer sustainable? That is, the high salaries of professional athletes combined with the ever-high fees from leagues flow through to the consumer and, at some point, significant numbers of customers may cut the video cord (in this scenario, the remaining subscribers would have to pay more).

Jim Beattie of Bevcomm, who moderated a panel at the Minnesota Telecom Association’s 2013 Annual Convention on the topic of accessing video programming, likens the business of sports programming distribution to the housing bubble. Stay tuned for more interviews with the other panelist’s from Beattie’s panel. In the meantime, click here to view the interview with Jim.

Multi-Screen Video Content and OTT Partnerships Enabled by New Video Network Architectures by Alan Weissberger

Evegent slide 8 depicting role of local service providers.
Image courtesy of Evergent

Until now, second screen apps for mobile devices have been used primarily for searching, browsing and selecting content for the first screen (TV); perhaps for looking up information about a particular TV program, e.g. movie review, actor bios, related programs, etc. There has not been too much OTT content being watched on those second screens, even though most pay TV customers have free access to “TV everywhere” from their provider. Some may also have access to Hulu, Netflix, etc but don’t watch those much on second screens (they use either game players or dedicated boxes like the one from Roku).

Click here to read more.

Laws Need to Keep Up With Technological Change

Roy Blunt gives his thoughts on the role of governement in telecom in this video interview.
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“Once you get broadband, then you want better broadband,” said Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) in this interview filmed at the American Cable Summit. He pointed out that small operators are challenged to continue to improve their network to keep up with demand and provide the service their customers require.

Blunt suggests that lawmakers need to be thoughtful when regulating technology-based industries, as the underlying assumptions constantly change. Click here to view.

MDUs – Challenges and Opportunities

Ken Pyle of ViodiTV interviews John Price of M3 Media regarding the challenges and opportunities of serving MDUs.
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The term MDU – Multi Dwelling Unit – often conjures images of high-rise apartments in cities. As John Price, president and owner of M3 – Multifamily Media Management, points out in this interview, MDU applies to more than just apartment buildings in urban areas. Student housing, campgrounds, hotels/resorts, marinas and senior housing, which Price indicates is the largest segment in the MDU market, are a significant part of an operator’s potential customer base, whether in low-density rural or high-density urban markets. Click here to view.

Bridging the Devices Inside and Outside the Home

Melissa Simpler provides her thoughts on the connected device in this interview with Ken Pyle at the Smart Energy Summit.
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Harmonizing the disparate devices in the home and making it simple for service providers to be the IT manager of consumers’ home networks is what Melissa Simpler of Affinegy discusses in this interview at the Smart Energy Summit. She explains how the TR-069 standard and its Auto Configuration Server (ACS) reaches beyond the home and into the mobile world bridging the work and home environments. Click here to view.

Where Are We Headed with Software-Defined Networking (SDN)? by Alan Weissberger

Image courtesy of IDC.
Image courtesy of IDC.

In the third article on the IDC Directions 2013 Conference (March 5th in Santa Clara, CA), we take a hard look at Software Defined Networking as presented by Rohit Mehra, IDC VP for Network Infrastructure. IDC firmly believes that the “3rd Platform” is the way forward and that the network is the vital link between cloud computing and mobility.  “The Cloud is evolving into a comprehensive, integrated application delivery model incorporating all four elements of the 3rd platform,” said Mr. Mehra. Click here to read more, as well as the reader comments about the impact of SDN on traditional networking approaches.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • A picture of a hotel TV tuned to channel 40, the home of ViodiTV coverage of the 2013 MTA.
    ViodiTV on TV at MTA

    ViodiTV on channel 40 at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Thanks to MTA and the staff at the Hyatt Regency for their help in making ViodiTV at MTA a reality once again.

  • SMB sets example for Enterprises by using cloud for voice. Beyond cost savings; cloud offers flexibility and features; good insight from Bryan Martin of 8×8, Inc., who has done a great job turning his company into a cloud-based voice solution.
  • Excellent article from Brent Christensen of the MTA on importance of telecommuting – Stay tuned for my interview with him about the article.

The Korner – Hopeful with Lots of Opportunity at the ACA Summit with Patty Boyers

Patty Boyers talks about the challenges faced by small cable operators today and 20 years ago.
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“We have a lot of hope; we have a lot of opportunity,” is how Patty Boyers of Boycom Cablevision describes her outlook regarding her business and the community she serves. She points out that small operators are the best catalyst for bringing broadband to rural areas. Implicit in her comments is that the smaller operators are physically close to their customers and understand the demand and have the flexibility to make a viable business case that larger companies could not make.

In this interview, filmed at the ACA 20th Anniversary Summit, Boyers talks about the importance of fiber and how it works with wireless. She also touches upon the regulatory environment and where small operators could use relief and, by extension, improve the value they are able to offer their customers. Click here to view.

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