The Recline of Cable TV

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The Recline of Cable TV
Number 145
Broadcast Date November 14, 2016
Episode Length 56:00
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Brian Dunaway

We’re calling it: cord-cutting is real, but people still watch live TV. PS Vue has grown-up cable problems with Viacom. With special guest Brian Dunaway. Brief Dr. Strange spoilers 30:44-31:08.


Intro Video

Primary Target

Pay TV lost 486,000 customers in Q3 down 1.4% - MoffettNathanson about the same as last year in Q3 (432K).
Does not include Sling TV's 204K
BTIG est. 8 biggest providers have 88.2 million (off 926K)
MoffettNathanson est. total at 96.8mm w/ smaller providers
Telecoms (ATT, VZN FiOS) lost at a rate o 11.7% - mostly losing subs to other providers
Average Revenue Per User not dropping, so likely not full of skinny bundles or throw-in packages.

How to Watch

Sony announced Tuesday that it will drop all Viacom-owned channels from its PlayStation Vue service starting Friday, November 11. That includes channels like Comedy Central, Spike and MTV. Sony also announced the addition of BBC America and NBA TV and the future addition of Vice as well as more CBS and Fox local stations.
“As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our customers.”

What to Watch

HBO has renewed Westworld, Insecure and Divorce for second seasons.
After Westworld ends this season comes The Young Pope and Big Little Lies followed by David Simon period piece The Deuce.
The Night of and True Detective have not been given new seasons yet. But neither have been canceled.

What We're Watching

Front Lines

A TiVo study found that 80% of all broadcast TV viewing takes place live. 18% of viewing is time shifted up to three days and 2% is time-shifted 4-7 days. On cable 91% of viewing happens live. Primtime time broadcast shows are recorded more often with 23% in the 3 day window for broadcast and cable is recorded less often with only 11% in 3-day. Exceptions exist network by network especially among younger audiences. The CW, for instance, is only viewed live 56 percent of the time.
The FCC's wireless bureau sent a letter to AT&T outlining concerns about the company's practice of not counting DirecTV video against customer data caps. AT&T allows any video service to exempt its data from AT&T customer caps for a fee. The FCC said the practice "may obstruct competition and harm consumers." AT&T says DirecTV pays for the right to exempt customers from caps just like any non-AT&T owned business would. Friday AT&T announced its Stream Saver program will reduce customer's video streams to standard definition starting in early 2017 to help save data costs.
ZatzNotFunny reported last week on leaked images of a new TiVo model called Mavrik. The device includes the ability to record OTA television to cloud storage for streaming from TiVo apps. Details on storage options cost and release date have not been discovered.
Disney reported that revenue from its cable networks fell 6.8% last quarter to $3.96 billion. Analysts had expected $4.13 billion. For comparison Disney's movie business rose 1.57% to $1.81 billion.
Vudu updated its Android and iOS apps with the ability to download rented movies for mobile. Vudu also announced support for movie extras and iOS users get 1080p and airplay functions. You can also buy DVDs and Blu-ray from within the apps.

Dispatches From The Front

Today is a dark day, and no I am not referring to the election results.

Vue adds BBC America (yay) and NBA TV (yawn). And announced they are removing 20 some odd Viacom channels including Nick, Comedy Central, and many more. Thanks for refusing to pay an arm and a leg in carriage fees under the guise of protecting me, but you are keeping the difference. Hey, Sony ... leave the channels or lower the price!

So now, in Miami, I can give up my DVR and half my locals and go to Sling. Or, wait for DirecTV Now and give up different locals, no word if there's anything DVR oh and if you like NBC on your TV, too bad suckers!

Or I can wait and see what compromises these dinosaurs force on Hulu, Google, and maybe one day Apple's service.

Why can't I have been born a Millennial? Then I wouldn't care about these legacy networks and the shows I like on them. Instead, I'm the last generation that needs my Must See TV. Another plus millennial me would have had... I wouldn't have to be 40.

Long email short, one day we will give up linear TV in my house. Every year there's more on Netflix, Hulu and Prime. Soon I'll choose to live without network and cable shows or just buy them or watch them a year after the fact for free on Netflix.

Maybe the networks epitaph will read "Oops, we finally annoyed our last customer away.

- Scott

I'm in my 11th grade year and we were doing a college tour. I saw one of the students watching a show on their laptop and got to thinking: if I use the same family account I use now when I go to collge is it illegal? My family won't be giving me the password at that point, and at the time that they gave me the password it was totally legal for them to do so. I thought that the FCC ruling specifically mentions sharing passwords, not using the account.

- Amar

To Brian & Tom, After listening to you two talking about Sling TV nearly every episode, thought I try it out on the one week trial. I only have DSL with an average of 5mbs down. But it has worked great so far. On my cell phone, tablets, desktop, and Roku. No hiccups. I have mainly binged on ESPN, CNN, and AMC. I got the Orange bundle. The other channels are in my opinion the usual crap you get in a cable bundle. It is weird seeing all the commercials! I cut the Cord seven years ago and I am used to the commercial free VOD services. I believe I will keep SlingTV until the football season is over. I did miss ESPN the past seven years. FYI from a Cordkillers Fan!

- Michael

Comcast putting Netflix on it's cable box may be a smart move for Netflix, but it's not good for cord cutters. Do you think it is a coincidence that this happened within months of Comcast enforcing their data caps? This is just a double down on those data caps. Comcast says, "Hey, quit complaining. Just watch Netflix on your set top box, and you'll have plenty of data." Don't forget, their set top box can cost more per month than your Netflix subscription.

- Sam

Hi Brian and Tom,

Would you like to check out our new eBook How to Watch TV Without Cable? Also, it'd be awesome if you could consider giving us a testimonial we could post on our site (that is, if you like the book).

Here's the book's MOBI version:

...and here's a PDF:

- Ville



Preceded by:
"Star Inflation"
The Recline of Cable TV
Followed by:
"D-U-M Dumb!"