Three Scotch Challenge

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Three Scotch Challenge
Number 143
Broadcast Date October 31, 2016
Episode Length 56:19
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Shannon Morse

Apple TV introduces TV app that collects some of your TV. AT&T will promises monthly $35 a month. ESPN leads the subscriber fallout. With special guest Shannon Morse.


Intro Video

Primary Target

Apple added a TV app to Apple TV. The new app accesses TV shows and movies from across installed apps including on demand and live streams. Partners at launch include CBS, HBO NOW, Hulu, Starz, Showtime and several apps from cable channels. Significantly Netflix was not announced. The TV apps is also coming to iOS. Siri now supports launching live channels as well including schedules. The TV app is coming to Apple TV, and iOS in December in the US.
Up Next shows new episodes of what you watch
What to Watch makes suggestions based on viewing habits.
Library shows iTunes purchases
With Apple's single sign-in feature, you'll be automatically logged in to all the new streaming apps you download and those apps will appear in TV across all your devices.
Consultant Pavan Rajam poses two theories why Netflix isn't on board
1. Netflix views usage data as highly confidential, proprietary information. They don’t even share this data with their show creators, so there’s no way in hell they would share this data with a partner who, it could be argued, is trying to disintermediate them.
2.Netflix also doesn’t need help curating and personalizing their content library, they are already the best in the industry. Almost all of the other video apps need all the help they can get.

How to Watch

At a Wall Street Journal event, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the Internet-only DirecTV Now service will cost $35 a month and include more than 100 channels, from Time Warner, NBCUniversal, Fox, and Disney, and more. Stephenson said the service will be available by the end of November.

What to Watch

Variety reported Bryan Fuller is handing over show runner duties on Star Trek: Discovery to fellow EPs Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. Discovery is set to begin filming next month. Fuller will remain as an Ep and help break stories. Writer-director Akiva Goldsman is also expected to join “Discovery” in a top creative role. Fuller is finishing up American Gods for Starz and prepping for a reboot of Amazing Stories. Fuller wrote the first two scripts and sketched out the story arc of the series.

What We're Watching

Front Lines

Late Friday Nielsen released estimates for November showing ESPN had lost 621,000 subscribers, which would be the largest loss in the channel's history. A post on sports blog Outkickthecoverage used this as the basis of a fair analysis of the TV sports rights bubble. ESPN said Sunday the numbers did not match with its own numbers. Nielsen subsequently withdrew the number for review. But the fact is ESPN does not dispute it's been losing approximately 300,000 subscribers a month. And we've talked about that previously on Cordkillers and ESPN will spend $7.3 billion on content next year, higher than any other network, including Netflix.
Verizon will buy Vessel and shut down the service merging its personnel and technology into existing digital video products like Verizon Go90. Vessel's Richard Tom will become CTO for Verizon's digital entertainment offerings. Vessel CEO Jason Kilar will not stay with Verizon long term.
Sony also promised access coming to PCs and Macs soon.
Multicoco has a new take on the thousands of Android streaming devices out there. This one comes housed in a Caribbean coconut. It runs Android TV has HDMI and two USB 2.0 ports and supports WiFi and Bluetooth. And it comes in coconut. A crowdfunding effort to sell the coconut launches November 1st.

Dispatches From The Front

Hey guys,

Long time listener, first time caller.

You guys have been talking about cable companies using skinny bundles to increase subscriber numbers for a long time. In some cases, buying internet and cable is actually cheaper than just buying internet. I understand there reason they want to do this, but doesn't this go against the logic for data caps?

I'm unfamiliar with how the cable system works, but I'm sure adding a cable box you the system adds a tiny bit of system overhead. After that, I doubt they notice in their costs whether I watch cable or not. Similarly, I doubt they notice an internet customer using 1100 GB instead of 1000GB.

So how can they get away with giving away cable access while charging for additional data usage?

Of course I understand that both skinny bundles and data caps are revenue generation constructs not a reflection of operational costs, but it seems the two use opposite logic to justify.

Thanks for the show.

- Todd.

I'm one of those people who sometimes watches Netflix and other streaming services through my DVR, for a few reasons:

1. I'm already in my TiVo interface, so I don't have to grab other remotes or change any settings to just launch from there

2. With TiVo, I can set a Season Pass for shows on Netflix/Amazon/etc., and so that appears in my list of things to watch all in one place, also serving a reminder of shows I mean to try out or catch up on

3. My TiVo remote is awesome, so it lets me use that, which also controls volume and other features I might want (and it way more functional that the remote for something like the Apple TV Gen 3 and under, where it doesn't really have the buttons for the things you want to do)

That said, it is slow compared to Roku/Fire/Apple TV, so it's not my first choice all the time, but it can actually be a pretty good method at times

- Tim

Hey Tom, Brian, Bryce, Jackie, and possible guest,

Love the show, blah blah blah, been a Patron for a long time, blah, blah, blah. Let's get to the point.

I don't understand why AT&T thinks they need Time Warner for the reason that as Tom mentioned on Daily Tech News Show, that they'll just be dumb pipes otherwise. I don't even see a reason that they need them for content, they already have DirecTV. I can understand Comcast buying NBCUniversal because they know that the cable cash cow will eventually die and so they need something to fall back on. I can even get why Verizon is buying Yahoo because of the content deals that they currently own that might help their streaming efforts.

AT&T doesn't really need to worry because not only are people killing the cable cord, but some are also killing the Broadband cable as well, and only using their phone as their Internet connection. When you consider that, AT&T is in the best position right now with owning DirecTV because they will be able to fully compete with the likes of Comcast, Spectrum, etc, with a TV service and upcoming fast 5G speeds in the future that can rival traditional cable Internet. They don't need Time Warner, they're already set for the future. I believe they have already set themselves up perfectly for what TV and Internet service might look like in 5-10 years. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, I think cable companies that refuse to transition their cable service to over the Internet will cease to exist in the future. DirecTV didn't even really need AT&T honestly, they could've done this Internet TV service on their own and have been just fine, but it's a perfect match for AT&T.

So, all of that is to say, AT&T doesn't need Time Warner as far as I'm concerned. All they're doing right now is bringing up anti-trust concerns. I'm gonna make a prediction and say that this deal WON'T be approved, and I think they'll resort to just owning a major stake in the company.

-Willie Scott (a.k.a. WScottis1)



Preceded by:
"A New Type of Extortion!"
Three Scotch Challenge
Followed by:
"Star Inflation"