Paul Sweeting

CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN Escape Antitrust Lawsuit Over NFL Broadcast Deals – Hollywood Reporter

Four major broadcasters with rights to televise NFL games got some good news on Friday when they were dropped from an antitrust lawsuit claiming collusion in the way that professional football broadcast deals have been set up.

Source: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN Escape Antitrust Lawsuit Over NFL Broadcast Deals – Hollywood Reporter

YouTube can still win the livestreaming war

YouTube, sounding a little miffed that House representatives were livestreaming their sit-in using Periscope and Facebook Live, reminded its community that it has been offering livestreaming on its site since 2011, “before it was cool,” the company snarked in a series of announcements emerging from this week’s VidCon event.

Source: YouTube can still win the livestreaming war | TechCrunch

Netflix Queues Up Video Downloads | Light Reading

Following similar moves by Amazon, Comcast and others, Netflix is now working on a feature that will allow subscribers to download certain programs for offline viewing, according to industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz. And Taitz thinks there will be a landscape shift when the new Netflix feature arrives.

Source: Netflix Queues Up Video Downloads | Light Reading

Discovery Channel is cord-cutters’ favorite cable network, according to survey 

According to Beta Research, cord cutters ranked Discovery Channel as the best basic cable network and the one with the highest interest among people who don’t pay for TV. Comedy Central, AMC, FX, the National Geographic Channel and A&E rounded out the top five in the category behind Discovery.

Source: Discovery Channel is cord-cutters’ favorite cable network, according to survey – FierceCable

Net neutrality: Wireless should be looked at through a different lens 

Part of what was affirmed in the ruling is that wireless broadband fits under the same rules as fixed broadband, and wireless users “don’t see the difference.” In fact, the practice of “zero rating” is coming under fire, and might end up being the first test case of the FCC applying NN rules to wireless.

Source: Net neutrality: Wireless should be looked at through a different lens – Recode

Kanye West is premiering his video for Famous with a live stream tonight

Kanye West’s live-streamed premiere of The Life of Pablo at Madison Square Garden was a phenomenal success back in February, and he’s trying to recapture that magic by hosting a similar event for the premiere of his “Famous” music video tonight in Los Angeles.

Source: Kanye West is premiering his video for Famous with a live stream tonight | The Verge

Media Stocks Plummet Amid Post-Brexit Bloodbath 

Among entertainment stocks, Discovery Communications, which has a strong presence in Britain, continental Europe and other international markets, saw its stock down 5.3 percent at $24.97, near its 52-week low of $23.74, while the stock of 21st Century Fox, which also has a broad global reach, dropped 4.2 percent, and CBS Corp. was down 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the stock of Viacom, which owns U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, fell 3.1 percent, Walt Disney 2.9 percent, and Time Warner fell 2.7 percent.

Source: Media Stocks Plummet Amid Post-Brexit Bloodbath – Hollywood Reporter

Britain Votes to Exit European Union: Musicians and Celebs React 

For the music industry, the outcome of the national vote carries huge consequences and has the potential to impact on everything from touring to record sales to copyright legislation. One thing is certain: the industry will be dealing with a new national leader by October. In the hours after the nation’s votes were counted, the prime minister David Cameron announced his resignation.

Source: Britain Votes to Exit European Union: Musicians and Celebs React | Billboard

Brexit Is “Major Blow” to Film, TV Industries 

The entertainment industry is reeling following the result of the historic Brexit vote, warning that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) could have disastrous consequences. Film and television producers worry the Brexit will create uncertainty and could unravel much of the financial infrastructure the independent industry relies on.

Source: Brexit Is “Major Blow” to Film, TV Industries – Hollywood Reporter

Live From Capitol Hill: The Triumph and Tragedy of Twitter


Political movements have long relied on the media, particularly mass media like television, to amplify their messages. The methods of political protests — sit-ins, marches, demonstrations — are staged as much to draw the cameras as draw a crowd.

Over the past decade, social media has emerged as an important adjunct to the mass media for protesters and dissidents around the world, as well as a critical tool for organizing political movements and activity. But on Wednesday this week, on the floor of the House of Representatives, social media actually replaced the mass media.

c-span_periscopeAs House Democrats staged their unprecedented sit-in to protest Republicans’ refusal to allow votes on three gun-control bills, House Speaker Paul Ryan abruptly gavelled the session to a close and ordered the cameras used by C-Span to broadcast proceedings from the floor to be turned off, citing House rules.

Whether the cameras stay on or not is under the control of the House majority, so Ryan could have left them rolling. But he clearly wanted to deprive the Democrats’ protest of media oxygen and thought, presumably, that turning them off would produce a media blackout. What he got instead was a media firestorm.

A young aide to Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) suggested using Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming in lieu of C-Span. Peters downloaded the app and began broadcasting from his iPhone.

Using electronic devices in the House chamber is technically against House rules (as is staging a sit-in for that matter) but Peters continued broadcasting as the protesting representatives chanted “no bill, no break,” a reference to the month-long recess Ryan had called. Confronted with breaking news — a rarity for C-Span — but cut off from its own video feed, C-span chose to defy the rules of engagement and grabbed Peters’ Periscope feed and put it on the air.

Though C-Span has used snippets of Periscope feeds before, on Wednesday and into the early hours of Thursday morning, it gave over hours of air time to Periscope broadcasters from Peters and a few of his colleagues that had also started live-streaming the sit-in, despite the unpredictable audio and the video’s somewhat erratic mise en scene. C-Span occasionally picked up a Facebook Live feed from Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) but Periscope dominated its coverage.

The three cable news networks eventually followed suit, picking up various Periscope feeds, with CNN and MSNBC going wall-to-wall with their coverage and turning the House Democrats’ somewhat goofy sit-down strike into a major news event. Well played, Speaker Ryan.

Meanwhile, the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak blew up on Twitter itself, generating millions of tweets in addition to the Periscope views.

It was Twitter and Periscope at their best. Frustratingly, though, it’s not what Twitter claims to want to be.

At its best, as happened this week, Twitter is a enabling tool.  But it wants to be — or at least its investors want it to be — a consumer-facing platform. Journalists love Twitter, and now Periscope, because they’re very effective news-gathering and news amplifying tools, as C-Span proved this week. But other types of enterprises also leverage Twitter, for customer service and support, marketing and PR, and other functions. Yet Twitter has never really developed a business model for capturing any of the value it helps create for other enterprises.

Instead, it has focused, Quixotically, on trying to achieve enough scale to compete with Facebook and YouTube for consumer-targeted advertising. But its difficult to use interface and at times inscrutable argot has limited Twitter’s appeal to the mass market and it has yet to persuade marketers that advertising on the platform delivers a meaningful return.

The reasons for Twitter’s misplaced focus are obvious enough. Silicon Valley VCs, to say nothing of Wall Street, prefer to invest in consumer-facing platforms over B2B utilities. B2B businesses tend not to scale rapidly and they don’t provide quick exits for VCs. So, under pressure from investors, Twitter has gone panting after Facebook, falling ever-farther behind.

As it is, Twitter will probably take what happened this week. Periscope’s live streams dominated news coverage of a major political event, crowding out Facebook Live. The publicity Periscope’s live-streams generated comes just as Twitter is gearing up to try to sell $50 million in consumer-targeted advertising in the NFL games it will live-stream in the fall and goes in hunt of additional live events to license.

It would be a strange irony, though, if evidence of what Twitter is best at became reason to pursue what it’s not.

Ad blockers are forcing biz model innovation 

Parks Associates warns that consumers might increasingly use ad-blocking solutions while streaming video if the digital advertising methods disrupt their viewing experience. So, service providers and media companies need to develop digital advertising models that are integrated and non-disruptive to the viewing experience.

Source: Ad blockers are forcing biz model innovation | Media Analysis | Business

YouTubers are expanding their fanbases—using books

A lot of YouTubers are getting book deals now, including many of the big names like Tyler Oakley, PewDiePie, Miranda Sings, and Shane Dawson. It’s easy to dismiss these books as money-grabs by publishers desperate to gain new customers or fame-grabs by YouTubers who want another thing to put their faces on. But these books aren’t all terrible. YouTubers have produced some interesting stories that are (believe it or not) best told via the written word rather than on video.

Source: YouTubers are expanding their fanbases—using books | Ars Technica

Mobile booms as increased availability of streaming content drives cord-cutting

Almost one in three of respondents cited rising prices as the primary reason they would cut the cord on pay-TV services, down more than 8% since May 2015. By contrast, a fifth of consumers said a key factor would be the ability to directly subscribe to the channels they want online, up 4% in the same timeframe.

Source: Mobile booms as increased availability of streaming content drives cord-cutting | OTT | News | Rapid TV News