Comparing OTT Services
Here at Broadband Bytes, we've often talked about the various OTT "cable replacement" products that are out there. Well, here's another article comparing the options from the website Tech Crunch.
As someone who has tried all of these services (and others), I can tell you that which is "better" is always going to be a matter of personal preference. None of these services are perfect; they all have shortcomings, missing channels, etc. But cord cutters continue to enjoy more and more choices as they look for an alternative to traditional cable TV or satellite services.
SCTE Training: All Things Fiber Optics
The Iowa Heartland Chapter of the SCTE has a great training scheduled in November, and we'd encourage municipals and other broadband providers to send their technical staffs to learn more about "All Things Fiber".
The training will be held on Tuesday, November 7th at IAMU in Ankeny and Wednesday, November 8th at Kirkwood Community College in Hiawatha. On each day there will be a morning session and an afternoon session; attendees need only attend ONE session at ONE location.
To make it even more convenient, two Iowa municipals - Cedar Falls Utilities and Muscatine Power & Water - are hosting remote sessions on Tuesday, November 7th. Both the AM and PM sessions that day will be "broadcast" live from Ankeny and shown at CFU and MPW via webinar.
Morning sessions at each site (live or remote) are from 8:30am to 11:30pm and afternoon sessions are from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
The training will be led by Ron Grigsby with RDG Telecom. Here's the scheduled agenda:
The cost is just $10 for SCTE members and $15 for non-members. Even better, the Iowa chapter can directly bill your organization for the attendees you send so no credit cards are required.
To register, CLICK HERE or go to http://www.iowaheartlandscte.org/events--training.html for all the details. Managers, you can click the link multiple times if you'd like to register multiple employees. We'd love to see a great turnout for this, our final training session of the year!
ACA: Stop Sinclair-Tribune Merger
The American Cable Association (ACA) is urging small cable operators to do whatever they can to help stop the merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media. Below is a message to ACA members from Matt Polka:
To our ACA Members:
ACA is encouraging its members to air an important PSA to stop the dangerous Sinclair-Tribune Merger – something that could adversely affect all of us. The Coalition to Save Local Media, the group that came together to fight the Sinclair-Tribune merger, is launching a new national advertising campaign to highlight how the merger would hurt consumers. The Coalition, which includes ACA as a member, is asking members to consider airing the new ad as a PSA in the next several weeks. This ad is already being aired by several NTCA members and two independent networks.
Iowa is a particularly egregious example of the harm that could be caused by Sinclair’s merger of Tribune. If the merger is approved, Sinclair-Tribune will own or operate 14 stations across nine Iowa media markets, including more than one station in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and Omaha. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the Chair of the Judiciary Committee that could hold a hearing on the merger. And that’s why it’s important for not only Sen. Grassley, but also all Members of Congress to see the harm to consumers that will result from this merger.
In general, the larger the broadcaster, the more market power it has to charge consumers excessive fees because of the ultimate leverage a broadcaster retains to black out its programming. If the Sinclair-Tribune merger goes through, the combined company would create the single largest operator of local broadcast stations in the country, owning or operating 230 stations and reaching 72 percent of American households. In many markets, Sinclair will own more than one station or own or operate a station for the first time in that market.
As shown below, Sinclair already charges the highest local TV fees in the nation. Sinclair increased its average monthly per-subscriber fees 43.8% in just one year alone. If the merger is approved, it will have even more unprecedented power to impose even higher ransom-like, anticompetitive costs.
The new Coalition to Save Local Media ads will educate viewers about what the Sinclair-Tribune merger means. It is important to educate consumers across the country, even where Sinclair will not acquire a new Tribune station or does not have a station in the market.
You can watch the Coalition ad, “Coming Soon” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTaah63L_7w&feature=youtu.be
If you are interested in airing the ad on your system, please contact Rob Shema of ACA at firstname.lastname@example.org for a broadcast quality version.
Thank you very much for your consideration! I truly appreciate it.
Yours most sincerely,
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.