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16 Feb

Fox Sports Will Start To Broadcast 4K Contents On DirecTV

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4K On DirecTV

Fox Sports failed to offer the broadcast of Super Bowl LI in 4K Ultra HD, even though they had recorded the match in 4K with over 2 million cameras. However, Fox Sports has now shifted their focus towards the implementation of 4K sportscasts and it will begin the broadcast from February 17, on DirecTV.

The officials from Fox Sports recently announced that the broadcast would begin with the California-Stanford basketball game. Reports indicate that the 4K game broadcast will be available to viewers on channel number 106 on DirecTV packages. Note that channel 106 is actually the dedicated 4K content channel of the cable service provider.

Both DirecTV and Fox had previously announced that they are planning to offer UHD sportscasts for a number of events such as the college basketball and football games, along with many other major sports events from FIFA, the NASCAR Rally, and Major League Baseball.

The next 4K broadcast of Fox and DirecTV after the California-Stanford game will be the basketball match between UCLA and University of Washington, which will be played on March 01, 2017. Reports from several reliable sources claim that this game will also be available to the viewers in HD resolution.

DirecTV has been trying hard to continue the expansion of live 4K content since the cable service provider launched three dedicated channels for this format. DirecTV launched a 4K network on their channel number 104, which was dedicated to “nature documentaries” and the original programming from Audience Network. In addition to that, the channel 105 features short-form documentaries and 4K pay-per-view movies while the channel 106 offers the broadcast of many live events in 4K.

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Fox Sports Content

The senior vice president of field and technical operations at Fox Sports, Michael Davies told that Fox is trying to introduce new technologies into their broadcast and the 4K broadcast is actually a part of this strategy. He also added that Fox offered a Wisconsin to offer a “different kind of VR experience” during the Big Ten Football Championship game between Wisconsin and Penn State.

“While live VR is important, you need to give the viewer something else to do,” Davies said. “We think that the audience will come for the live VR, but they will stay for some of the other things they can do with it.”  Reports indicate that the 4K broadcast on DirecTV will attract more customers towards it, and this would be one of the best cable deals, that a subscriber can enjoy with DirecTV packages.

15 Feb

Comcast To Offer Immersive Viewing Experience Of The Oscars

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Watching The Oscars

In a recent announcement, Comcast Corporation confirmed that they are collaborating with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC Television to offer an “immersive” viewing experience of the Oscars telecast to their Xfinity X1 subscribers.

Comcast had earlier teamed up with both these parties last year in order to provide expanded coverage and content of The Academy Awards to their Xfinity X1 customers. Reports indicate that the Oscar ratings in Comcast households were approximately 39% higher when compared to non-Comcast homes during the broadcast of the event.

The 89th Oscars event will be held on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood and it will be aired live to the viewers at 07:00 p.m. ET on ABC. With that, Comcast Xfinity subscribers would have access to over 1,500 hours of content this year. Additionally, they will also be able to catch the live stream of red carpet and backstage activities of the Oscar event with enhanced extras and voice commands.

In a recent statement, Daniel Spinosa, Comcast Cable General Manager of Movies, Pay-Per-View, and Commerce said that, “This year’s The Oscars experience is another example of X1 enabling us to collaborate with content partners to build innovative and immersive viewing experiences around their programming. The Oscars is an iconic and beloved event watched by millions of Americans across the country and we’re excited to further expand our partnership with ABC and the Academy to enhance the experience for X1 customers.”

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Immersive Viewing Experience

Apart from the best cable deals, Comcast also delivers the best internet services to their Xfinity X1 customers and this is the reason why more subscribers are drawn towards Comcast’s offerings. The officials from Comcast have also stated that their Xfinity X1 customers will be able to enjoy plenty of features and some of them are as follows.

  • “The Oscars: All-Access” digital stream that includes footage from both backstage cameras and red carpet will be available to customers during the broadcast of the event.
  • New voice commands, which will help customers to easily find the Academy Award winning movies from previous years.
  • An abundant library of over 700 Oscar winning films will also be available to customers in the On Demand collection. In addition to that, Comcast X1 customers can also access the web clips and highlights related to the Oscar nominees of this year.
10 Feb

Estrella TV Signs Multi Year Carriage Agreement With Dish

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Estrella TV On Dish

A recent announcement made by the officials from Estrella TV confirms that the Spanish language broadcaster has signed a multi-year carriage agreement with one of the leading cable service providers in the country, Dish Network. However, both the parties refused to give an insight into the terms of this recent deal.

LBI Media, the parent company of the Spanish language broadcaster Estrella TV, noted that the multi-year agreement with Dish Network was a part of the broadcasters plan to expand their distribution and presence in the United States. LBI Media also noted that Dish subscribers will be able to access an watch the contents of the network on the cable provider’s DishLatino Clasico packages and on America’s Top 200 package.

This recently signed agreement with Dish Network has considerably boosted the national distribution of Estrella TV. The company claimed that more than 40 million homes in the United States would be able to watch the contents offered by the network.

LBI Media stated that the agreement with Dish Network “significantly expands Estrella TV’s distribution influence and bolsters Estrella TV’s growing presence in the Hispanic television market, consolidating Estrella TV as one of the leading Spanish language television networks in the U.S.”

In a recent statement, the Vice President of DishLatino said, “We are proud to be the leader in delivering TV entertainment in Spanish and English, and as a result, we are always looking for new ways to enhance the experience for our customers. Because of this agreement, the majority of DishLatino customers can now enjoy Estrella TV’s line-up, including its popular game shows and comedies.”

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Estrella TV Shows

The senior vice president, distribution and affiliate sales, LBI Media, Cathy Lewis Edgerton said, “Hispanic audiences in the US are demanding new entertainment programming. Estrella TV Network has been betting on a counterprogramming strategy since its inception in 2009 before it was a trending topic among Spanish language television networks. This agreement with Dish corroborates the importance of Estrella TV’s programming in the U.S. Hispanic market.”

America’s Top 200 package is one of the most popular Dish Network packages and it offers customers access to more than 24 popular channels for just $69.99 a month. Some of the most popular channels included in this package are Fox News, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, History, ESPN, and CNN, and the addition of Estrella TV will surely attract more customers to the offer.

07 Feb

Bars In Greater Lafayette Area Experience Game Blackouts

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NBC And FOX Network

Many local bars were not able to watch the first game of the World Series last year, as they were greeted with a black screen on their television due to the dispute between the cable service provider and channels. However, they were able to catch the actions of the remaining matches when the cable provider entered into a carriage agreement with the channels.

Many bar managers and owners believed that they would not have to face any blackouts in the future. However, DirecTV has proven these bar owners wrong, as bars in Greater Lafayette area regularly experienced game blackouts since the beginning of World Series on both NBC and FOX network affiliates.

A major portion of bars usually subscribe to DirecTV as their cable provider. This is because DirecTV is the only cable service provider that offers full National Football League package to businesses. However, the recent blackouts have disappointed them all.

The owner of Bobby T’s Pub, Robert Turner said, “If you’re a sports bar you have to have DIRECTV because they have exclusive rights to the NFL package. They have a monopoly on the ticket.” Turned added that the bars were filled with people to watch the blacked-out game.

Turner and other bar owners stated that when they reached out to DirecTV for complaining against the blackout of the games, they replied that the blackout was a result of ongoing contract negotiations between the provider and local channels. However, a recent statement made the communications representative of DirecTV, Tamara Rader, stated that the blackout of games were actually due to technical issues.

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“We are currently unable to provide the FOX signal to these customers due to technical issues. We expect to resolve those technical issues soon,” Rader said. Commenting on that, the general manger at Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria, Kristine Brower said that there are no patterns to which games are being blacked out and there is even no notice, which indicates that the games are being blacked out.

“It’s been totally random. The World Series game was the first time. Three weeks later there was a Sunday night football game. And this past Sunday it was the 4:30 p.m. football game. We had no heads up,” Brower said. However, reports from several reliable sources indicate that DirecTV is determined to solve the issue and to end the blackout of the games in a few weeks time.

06 Feb

Dish Network Consolidates EchoStar DBS Assets

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Dish Network Assets

Dish Network recently said that they have reached an agreement with the EchoStar Corp. The agreement is made consolidate its Direct Broadcast Satellite operations and assets. Dish Network said that the deal would give them end-to-end control of their OTT service. The agreement will transfer some of the EchoStar assets operations and assets to Dish.

In a statement, Dish Network said that the deal would involve the transfer of some of the assets and operations of EchoStar, which also include the EchoStar Technologies hardware and software development group, its managed fiber network that is spread across the nation, its regional and national uplink business, and its OTT development team to Dish. The transfer will be done in exchange for Dish Network’s 80% economic interest in Hughes Retail Group. Hughes Retail Group houses the satellite broadband business of Dish in the form of a tracking stock.

Dish Network will also get EchoStar’s 10% stake in Sling TV, wireless spectrum licenses that cover 4 markets in 28 GHz and some of the real estate properties. Sling TV was launched by Dish network in 2015 and currently the service has about 900,000 customers. Dish Network will continue to market their satellite broadband services under the dishNET brand to their rural users.

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OTT Development Team

This deal is made eight years after Dish has split itself to two different units, EchoStar for the equipment side and Dish Network for the satellite pay TV service. Recently, EchoStar said that they would stop making standalone Slingboxes. Slingbox was the pioneer in video place shifting device and Sling Media has stopped making Slingbox devices, but they will continue selling the remaining inventory. Users who are interested in getting a Slingbox can buy one before the stocks end or get one from online outlets that still sell them.

“With this transaction we will vertically integrate all the elements that define our customer experience – one team will deliver the full Dish and Sling TV experience end to end,” Dish president Erik Carlson said in a statement. “Not only do we gain full control of product development roadmap for DBS and Sling TV but we also anticipate achieving operational efficiencies.”

It is expected that the transaction will be closed by the first quarter of 2017.

03 Feb

Taylor Swift Partners With AT&T To Host A Pre-Super Bowl Event

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Pre-Super Bowl Event

Lady Gaga has already started preparing for the Super Bowl 51 halftime show, which will be held on February 5, 2017 during the opening match of the Super Bowl. However, another popular name in the music industry, Taylor Swift recently revealed her plans to headline a show on her own.

The telecom giant AT&T has already guaranteed that they will support Taylor Swift for this initiative. Reports indicate that over 100 million viewers will tune in to their television to watch the opening game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. Taylor Swift and her sponsor, DirecTV, are all set to attract music lovers by hosting a new pre-Super Bowl event just a day before the Super Bowl. The event will be hosted on the same city.

The Editor-in-Chief of the Hollywood Life, Bonnie Fuller told FOX Business that she doesn’t feel the Swift’s event “as a play to steal Lady Gaga’s thunder.” However, she added that this is a good marketing strategy from AT&T and Taylor Swift.

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AT&T Plans

“I think she, AT&T and DirecTV are smart to capitalize on the massive interest in the Super Bowl to film a concert, and celebrities like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Aaron Rodgers, Lea Michele and Peyton Manning, will be in their seats cheering for Gaga as well as Taylor,” Fuller said. “Taylor Swift will absolutely give a blowout performance at her Taylor Swift Now concert, but she won’t have the benefit of being seen live in front of over 100 million viewers, like Lady Gaga.”

Reports also indicate that the tickets for the event hosted by Taylor Swift are free and they were distributed through different AT&T campaigns and promotions. Taylor Swift recently tweeted on her official Twitter account saying, “This is gonna be fun,” and also posited a picture of a football jersey with her lucky number 13.

An AT&T representative said, “We have a long history–this is the 12th annual event DirecTV has hosted during the Big Game weekend. Unlike other events this weekend, there is no streaming or live broadcast of this special, its invitation only.” The officials from AT&T added that the clips of this event will be made available to viewers on Taylor Swift’s new channel right after the show. AT&T launched the channel just a few weeks ago.

24 Jan

Dish Network Found Guilty In A $20.5 Million Case

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Lawsuit Against Dish

A recent ruling from the Jury at the Middle District of North Carolina Court in Greensboro held the telecom company, Dish Network responsible for making telemarketing calls to over 51,000 people, whose telephone numbers were listed under the National Do Not Call Registry. The jury also asked Dish Network to pay a penalty of $20.5 million for the same.

The chief plaintiff of the class-action lawsuit was the retired director of the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, Thomas Krakauer. This lawsuit actually originated from a complaint, which was made in the year 2014. Reports indicate that a Dish dealer, who is currently inoperative, made the telemarketing calls to customers. However, the Jury asked the telecom provider to pay a $400 per violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The Jury consisted of ten members and the trial lasted for about 5 days. At the end of the trial, the Jury had the choice to allocate a penalty from $0 to $500. An attorney with Bailey & Glasser, John Barrett highly praised the efforts and commitment of Krakauer for sticking with the lawsuit for the last two and a half years.

In a recent statement, Krakauer said that, “This case has always been about enforcing the Do Not Call law and protecting people from nuisance telemarketing calls. I am thrilled with the jury’s verdict, and thrilled we were able to win this enforcement action.”

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National Do Not Call Registry

Reports claim that approximately 18,000 class members were registered to the lawsuit against the leading telecom company. Around 51,000 phone calls out of the total 1.6 million phone calls strictly violated the TCPA. The telemarketers are advised to not call the residential numbers, which are under the Do Not Call list for two or more than two times a year.

However, Dish Network showed their disappointment with the recent verdict and they stated that they would consider further legal action to revoke the ruling. The attorneys, who represented Dish Network in the Court, were John Ewald, Elyse Echtmann, and Peter Bicks.

“Dish thanks the jurors for their service, but respectfully disagrees with today’s verdict and is evaluating its legal options. Regardless, Dish has long taken its compliance with telemarketing laws seriously, has and will continue to maintain rigorous telemarketing compliance policies and procedures, and has topped multiple independent customer service surveys along the way,” a Dish spokesperson said.

23 Jan

AT&T Is Determined To Offer A Great Viewing Experience At Hotels

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Great Viewing Experience

The telecom giant AT&T is determined to transform the in-room entertainment for lodging guests and hotels through the DRE (DIRECTV Residential Experience) with DIRECTV CINEMA. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T will offer features such as interactive program guide, hottest new Pay Per View releases, premium content and select DVR features to customers in addition to the existing DRE features.

This means that guests will be able to access the entire content library of popular networks such as SHOWTIME and HBO. In addition to that, the telecom industry also stated that they are planning to add the contents from Encore, Starz, Cinemax, and other major networks in the near future.

However, guests will not have to login, authenticate, or subscribe to an account in order to enjoy this exciting offering from AT&T. Guests will be able to watch whatever they want, whenever they want. That too, on the best screen available to them (on the hotel room HDTV).

The vice president of commercial DIRECTV sales for AT&T, Doug Eichler recently said, “We are excited to put control of the latest and greatest content and technology in the hands of hotels and their guests. Properties with DRE have an advantage because they can offer their guests some of the comforts of home.”

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DirecTV Cinema

DIRECTV CINEMA with On Demand offers an incredible viewing experience to guests. The provider does this by using an on-premises video storage and caching server. Guests will be able to enjoy numerous other benefits through this server such as significantly reduced cost of long-term high-speed internet access and minimize guest Wi-Fi usage through video streaming.

In addition to that, AT&T will also offer On Demand Equipment and DIRECTV CINEMA to the hotels, who have currently subscribed to the DRE for zero additional charges. AT&T also noted that the properties, who subscribe to the DRE, would be able to offer guests customized TV messaging, express checkout, and a complete folio review.

AT&T’s DRE is currently available in more than 4,500 hotel locations in the country and it includes some of the properties managed by Starwood, Hyatt, Best Western, and others. Reports indicate that AT&T is also planning to expand the DRE to several other locations in the United States in the upcoming months.

18 Jan

AT&T Refuses To Sign An Agreement With WISC-TV

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AT&T Channel Agreement

WISC-TV was removed from the channel lineup of AT&T U-Verse a few days ago. Reports indicate that WISC-TV had made multiple offers to the cable provider in order to resolve the dispute and to make their contents available to AT&T U-Verse customers. However, the media giant AT&T responded that they are not willing to accept any of these offers.

The vice president and general manager for WISC-TV, Tom Keeler said, “After rebuffing our many attempts to find a fair solution, one of two things is clear. The enormous, multi-billion dollar company AT&T either hasn’t bothered to notice a relatively small number of subscribers in one Midwestern market or they don’t place any value on our local station.”

As a result of this dispute, AT&T U-Verse customers were not able to access the contents of WISC-TV and CBS. This means that AT&T U-Verse customers will miss the News 3 local newscasts and many other popular programs such as the NFL playoffs, NCIS, 60 Minutes, and The Big Bang Theory.

However, officials from WISC-TV stated that the contents of the channel will be available to all the viewers in South Central Wisconsin over the air, but users will need an antenna for that. They also added that they expect a fair payment from cable companies, as they are using the contents offered by the station to make huge profits.

The parent company of WISC-TV, Morgan Murphy Media, was able to sign agreements with many cable service providers in Wisconsin over the last few weeks, although the company has failed to reach a settlement with AT&T. Officials from WISC-TV claimed that AT&T has refused to pay a fair settlement to the station.

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DirecTV Subscribers

Keeler said, “We can’t simply hope that AT&T suddenly wants to play fair. Unfortunately, we have to recommend viewers switch providers since there seems to be no desire for AT&T U-verse to come to an agreement.” He also added that the contents offered by the station would be available through all other cable providers in the region.

On the other hand, AT&T representatives said that the local station is demanding a bigger settlement fee and that is the reason for the blackout of these channels. Officials from AT&T also added that they are trying to reach a fair settlement agreement with the local station.

11 Jan

News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting Seek Help From Viewers To Prevent DirecTV Blackout

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DirecTV Blackout

News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting is one of the largest local station groups in the United States and they are currently on the verge of a potential blackout on AT&T’s DirecTV. The station group currently urged their viewers to “help us spread the word about DirecTV’s latest war against viewers”. This request from the local station is in order to prevent the blackout of their channels on DirecTV Now.

According to their webpage: “Unfortunately, consumers can be held hostage if a powerful cable or satellite company refuses to reach a fair deal with a local station.” The webpage also had a banner saying, “Save My Local Station”. The group also noted, “It is simply unfair to you. After all, you pay your cable bill in-full each month why should your cable company get to provide you less than a full slate of channels you pay your hard earned money for.”

News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting group owns a number of stations in small markets such as California, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Idaho, Texas, Oregon, Missouri, and Colorado. The local station is also offering the contact information of DirecTV to their viewers and they even urged them to post their beefs with the cable service provider on social media platforms.

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Save My Local Station

In addition to that, the station group also explained about the retransmission consent agreements between them and DirecTV on their official website. They also asked the customers to support the stations group in their dispute against the pay TV provider.

“It’s true that at the end of the day, this is a business negotiation between two companies,” officials from News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting said. “It is our preference that our viewers never have to get involved. But when cable companies refuse to reach fair deals with local TV stations it threatens the entire community.”

“We’re family-owned News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting. For over 100 years, our company’s first priority has been to you, our viewers. We value honesty and community, and we promise to stand up for fairness for you… and for us,” they further added.

“Too often viewers get caught in the middle of these negotiations and too often you don’t get the truth. You know that’s not how we do business,” News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting said. However, reports from several sources indicate that negotiations between the two parties are still going on.

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