FX Networks CEO John Landgraf talked recently about the company's strategy of airing limited series and exploring a future with short-form animation. Landgraf also discussed competing with platforms such as Netflix and series that missed the mark with viewers, saying, "It's hitting a fastball with a fraction of a second; it's something that just can't be done perfectly every time."
AT&T's DIRECTV Now surged to 328,000 subscribers in the two months after it launched, but growth was flat in March, sources say. CEO Randall Stephenson says the company has pulled back on marketing since experiencing that rapid growth and that the service now costs $60 per month, compared with its initial promotional price of $35 per month.
Altice USA and Viacom have reached a content distribution and advertising deal that will bring Viacom networks including MTV and Nickelodeon back to Suddenlink after a two-year absence. The deal also includes the renewal of Viacom networks on Optimum systems.
The Oregon House of Representatives has approved a bill that would charge companies interest on outstanding tax debts. Comcast is in an eight-year dispute with the state over its "central assessment" methodology, which was developed for railroad companies in the 1800s.
Shipments of HDR TVs will grow to 245 million by the year 2022, ABI Research forecasts. Sony, Samsung and other manufacturers are incorporating HDR into their Ultra HD TV sets, while some manufacturers are gearing up for the development of 8K TVs, which are expected to slowly enter the market in 2020.
TV offers so many choices now that networks need to focus on bringing their viewers quality content and not just one popular show, says A&E and Lifetime General Manager Robert Sharenow. Consistency and "leaning into what your brand is best known for" are the keys to success, Sharenow says.
Facebook has signed deals with creators including ATTN, BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Group Nine Media to create original content for its upcoming video service, sources say. The social media network will reportedly focus on 20- to 30-minute scripted shows, as well as shorter-form episodes that last up to 10 minutes.
Last month, attendees at The Near Future in Washington, D.C. were treated to talks from world-renowned technology, innovation, and business experts who presented on how technologies of the future will one day change how we live, learn, work, and play. They brought on stage the latest in virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and artificial intelligence and shared how these technologies are already transforming the world around us. Learn more.
Just two out of 20 municipal networks are making enough money to cover the costs of development over a period of 30 to 40 years, per a recent study. Eleven of 20 don't make enough to cover operating costs, 90% will not make enough money to cover costs during the bond period, and five of the nine that could recover costs would take a century to do so, the study found.
Cable One's decision to put broadband ahead of video was a smart one, as revenues and margins have grown since the company adopted the strategy, says President and CEO Julie Laulis. Almost 60% of the company's revenue comes from business and broadband, and 75% of its customers can get speeds of 1 Gbps.
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