Big Fig Leaf for That Package

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Big Fig Leaf for That Package
Number 133
Broadcast Date August 15, 2016
Episode Length 1:01:40
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Andrew Zarian

Cable subs are falling. Now what? ESPN’s online-only service is not what you thought. With special guest Andrew Zarian.


Intro Video

Primary Target

Cable falling
SNL Kagan forecasts cable revenue will drop 4.7% ($2.7 Bn) by 2026 from 57.7 Bn to 55 Bn.
Basic video subscriptions are projected to drop from about 53 million today to 45.4 million
Cable prices will rise. revenue per user from $90.84 to $100.02
Net advertising revenue is expected to grow at a 4.3% compound annual growth rate
Q2 2016
Estimate total loss 812,000 subs, down 1.4 mn. (1.4%) yoy
Cable TV penetration is at an all-time low of 78.6% in US
ISPs rising
The $2.7 bn. drop will be made up for in a rise of $11 bn. in broadband revenue (+13%) (subs increase 8m mn. to 71 mn.)
The 11 biggest pay TV providers in the US lost 665,000 subscribers in Q2 according to Leichtman Research
That's more than the 545,000 in 2015 and twice the losses of two years ago
DirecTV gained 342,000 but ATT's U-Verse lost 391,000 for an ATT net loss
Q2 is always the worse quarter because students and snowbirds move
In May the 17 largest ISPs in the US, representing 95 percent of the market, gained nearly 1.1 million Internet subscribers in Q1

Signals Intelligence

The rumors were true, Disney announced Tuesday that it has made a $1 billion investment in BAM Tech. BAM Tech powers streaming services from MLB to HBO to the WWE. The deal also lets Disney acquire a majority stake in BAM if it wishes. Disney also confirmed that BAM Tech on an ESPN-branded sports streaming service to launch sometimes before the end of 2016. The service would uses sports ESPN has licensed but does not air on its main channels.

Gear Up

Front Lines

Nikkei reports Amazon is producing a series of shows on Japanese food that will let viewers click to purchase featured products from within the video app. The four 40-minute shows will be made in partnership with Yoshimoto Kogyo feature comedy team aka and Toshi with foods from their native Hokkaido.
The second trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came out Thursday. It shows more details about the planets and ships involved and a smidge of Darth Vader. An international trailer reveals even more. The movie comes out Dec. 16.
A startup called SymphonyAM which claims to track Netflix ratings says 8.2 million people watched Stranger Things in the first 16 days making it the third most popular recent release behind Fuller House and Orange is the New Black. Netflix does not believe SymphonyAM's data is accurate. Symphony pays people to install an app on their phones and laptops which monitors what they watch in part using the phone's microphone to recognize what's on TV.

Under Surveillance

Dispatches From The Front

Hey guys!

A few weeks back you did me a huuuuuuge favor, by relaying my call for help with starting a Streaming hardware show...

Well, the community responded, and The VOD Squad was born.

We will be streaming our first episode this Wednesday at 9pm CST. Come check us out live on

Thanks again for everything you do for the community I can only hope, to someday have bosses as awesome as yours!

- Clyde

Enjoy the podcast. For me so-called "skinny" bundles are a non-starter because they include channels i have no interest in. if I can pick the channels in the bundle so that i get only the channels i want ... then maybe. we cut the cord over a year ago and now are are very selective about what we watch. for us the paradigm has shifted and the old, traditional model is dead. the "new" way is far superior - no commercials, bingeing entire seasons, no long contracts, more reliable equipment, and lower cost rules. skinny bundles, as currently implemented, are just not gonna make us interested in the services that offer them.

- Dave T.

I would like to recommend a show called BrainDead. It's a goofy little show about alien space bugs that eat brains and are trying to take over DC. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead of 10 Cloverfield lane. It seems like a show that should be on syfy not cbs. It is also streaming on Amazon prime. This is the first time I have seen a prime time show available on prime. (Similar to CBS/amazon deal on Under the Dome) Check it out. One of the best part of the show is the musical previously on before each episode.

- Dave E.

(Hey Brian, I'm going to make it easier for you and write this in 3rd person!)

And here's an email from Andy . . .

He thought they had killed the cord for good, but last week it was revived. When they went off cable, they added Hulu, CBS all-access, and also started buying some TV episodes. All that added up to about $25 a month in costs they didn't have while on cable.

Here's the trick AT&T used to get them back. They offered DirecTv for $50 a month (only a $25 increase after they cancel those subscriptions) guaranteed for the entire 2 year contract, a $200 reward card, and they now get UNLIMITED DATA on their AT&T cell phone service.

The cool thing was, they don't even have to wait until the dish gets installed to start authenticating apps and watching live TV on their phones. That was all working the same day he called to order. Andy's kinda considering calling and asking if they can just indefinitely delay actually installing the satellite dish!

Andy also submits the term Cord Reviver to those who bring their cord back to life.

-And that's from Andy in Taylor, TX

Hi guys! Check out this Harrus poll on brand recognition, etc.
Netflix #1. Amazon #2. Hulu # 5. RC cola- oh how far you’ve come!

2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Rankings

Using an academically vetted brand equity model with elements like familiarity, quality, and consideration, brands create powerful connections with consumers.

The stronger the brand, the greater the bond. The Harris Poll EquiTrend® study benchmarks how deep those bonds go and honors the highest ranked brands in each award category.

2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend®
Video Streaming Subscription Brand of the Year

1. Netflix
2. Amazon Prime Instant Video
5. Hulu Plus
6. Vevo
Other Video Streaming Subscription brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): CBS All Access, Crackle, Funny or Die, HBO NOW, MLB.TV, NFL Game Pass, Playstation Vue, Redbox Instant, Showtime (Subscription Streaming TV Service), Sling TV, The Blaze, WWE Network, You Tube Red

- Scott in CT



Preceded by:
"No, That's RedTube"
Big Fig Leaf for That Package
Followed by:
"Deeply Regret Button"