Years and Years (of Pay TV Industry Predictions)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by NashGuy, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Jul 16, 2019 #21 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    1Q 2021: Showtime absorbs Starz with an eye to become the “new HBO”

    Starz and Starz Encore cease to exist as either streaming services or linear cable TV channels, with nearly all of their on-demand libraries absorbed into an enlarged Showtime service, which increases its direct-to-consumer standalone monthly price from $11 to $13. Nearly all current Starz series will continue on, rebranded as Showtime Originals. Showtime unveils a new redesigned app featuring 4K HDR plus live streams of their only four remaining linear channels: Showtime, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Showcase, and Showtime Movies. But Showtime says they remain committed to letting their customers access and view their content however they prefer, including through a range of third-party apps as add-on subscriptions via Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, Hulu, the NBCU SVOD, HBO Max and, of course, their own CBS All Access. The standard monthly price for Showtime distributed through cable operators and third-party digital distributors increases to $14. When added to a CBS All Access account, though, Showtime is priced at only $10.

    With recent feature films from their corporate sibling studios Paramount and Lionsgate, plus extended output deals with STX Studios and Amblin/DreamWorks/Participant, the service boasts a decent slate of theatrical films, although not too much in the way of superhero/comic book-based movies. On the contrary, Paramount’s recently announced prestige label, Paramount Signature, focuses on serious adult dramas that vie for Oscar nominations while Lionsgate’s new “indie” division aims to cultivate lower-budget auteur films. Showtime now offers slightly more hours per week of original premium content than the core HBO brand (though certainly not the broader HBO Max service). Showtime positions itself as the only remaining pure “premium” service aimed at the wealthier half of US adults, with a "snob-appeal" focus on edgy, taste-making originals plus a steady stream of new, quality feature films. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, the service sees itself as a higher-quality complement to more mainstream fare from CBS All Access, the major broadcast networks, and most of the content on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.

    1Q 2021: Charter launches Spectrum X1 TV

    Charter announces that they have deepened and extended their cooperation with Comcast on their shared mobile phone service platform (Xfinity Mobile / Spectrum Mobile) and also agreed to redistribute Comcast’s national OTT cable TV service X1 TV to their own Spectrum broadband subscribers under the white-label brand Spectrum X1 TV. It features all the same channel packages and pricing as the OTT X1 TV service but Spectrum broadband subscribers under a minimum one-year commitment who add Spectrum X1 TV to their account score up to 3 free X1 4K HDR streaming boxes for use with the service (one box for each line of service: broadband, mobile, home phone), a free one-month trial, plus the convenience of unified billing. X1 4K HDR boxes could be ordered directly from Charter at a 1/3 discount versus the standard retail price. Customers were also assured that Spectrum broadband would always remain data-cap free for anyone with Spectrum X1 TV on their account.

    Analysts said that the move shouldn't have been so surprising in retrospect. Back in spring 2019, Charter's CEO went on the record saying "I'm sort of indifferent" about whether or not Charter's broadband customers chose to also take their Spectrum TV service. Cable TV subscribers at that point were no longer even "a material driver" of Charter's business. The growing consensus among industry observers now was that only companies owning major sources of video content would continue to package and offer their own pay TV services.

    At the same time, Spectrum announces a six-month transition period to deprecate their traditional QAM-based Spectrum TV service (although it ultimately got extended three additional months beyond that). At the end of the period, they would eliminate all HD channels, some basic cable channels, and all add-on premium, sports or specialty channels. All that would remain on their traditional TV system would be a Basic (locals only + C-Span) package, a small Spanish-language package, and an Expanded Basic package containing most, though not all, of the non-premium channels that had constituted their Silver package. All channels, while SD, would be presented in their original aspect ratio, either 16:9 widescreen or 4:3 standard. None of the three packages would include “TV everywhere” streaming privileges. Customers already in possession of a Charter DVR could retain it (for the same ongoing monthly service fee) for use with the traditional SD-only TV service if they chose to stay on it. All new subscribers to the service would immediately be offered only one basic digital adapter and basic remote or one CableCARD at no additional charge. Additional adapters and remotes for extending service to additional TVs were offered for $5/mo each. The traditional SD-only service would not be actively advertised, only shown as an option on the Spectrum website and official rate card.

    1Q 2021: Comcast announces deprecation of their QAM TV system

    Shortly after Charter’s similar announcement, Comcast reveals that by the end of 2021, the only channels that will remain available on their traditional QAM TV system will be SD versions of channels in their Basic and Extra packages. Customers will be able to keep their current hardware, including DVRs, but for the roughly 20% of customers NOT on IPTV-compatible devices (modern X1 boxes or streaming devices with the Xfinity Stream app), they will lose access to all HD channels, as well as any channels beyond the Extra package. New customers signing up for traditional QAM TV will exclusively be given basic digital adapters and remotes or CableCARDs. Comcast says that customers overwhelmingly prefer their new IPTV TV packages, with 4K HDR, cloud DVR, access to apps and a voice remote. Deprecating their QAM TV system will allow them to upgrade their network and devote more bandwidth for faster broadband performance.

    1Q 2021: Netflix has peaked in the US?

    Netflix announces their financial results for 4Q 2020. While their reported figures are still seen as generally positive, analysts note that the company no longer provides subscriber numbers for the USA or any other individual company but rather focuses on their global subscriber count. While that number continued to rise, many on Wall Street suspect that Netflix ended 2020 with slightly fewer US subscribers than they started the year with, due to the all the increased competition from new SVODs Disney+, HBO Max, NBCU, Apple TV+, and Discovery, plus increased growth at Hulu and CBS All Access.

    Analysts continue to worry about the company’s debt load and loss of popular licensed content such as Friends and The Office, which have migrated to new competing SVODs. Netflix has to increasingly focus more on foreign markets for growth, such as Brazil and India, where they are forced to charge lower average subscription prices. Their international push also means that a growing slice of their budget for Netflix original content is devoted to non-English-language series and movies aimed at the tastes of those international audiences.

    1Q 2021: TiVo exits the market for retail CableCARD DVRs, announces new ATSC 3.0 OTA DVR

    Following the announcements by Charter and Comcast, it was immediately obvious that there would be little market for sales of new CableCARD DVRs from TiVo or any other company, given that Comcast and Charter together accounted for nearly 3/4 of the total number of US cable TV subscribers who could use a CableCARD with their service.

    So TiVo and Arris, who had anticipated the moves for months, announce that they will immediately cease manufacture of new retail DVRs containing CableCARDs, although TiVo assures customers that they will continue to sell and deliver ongoing DVR service on a monthly, annual and lifetime basis to all existing TiVo units in the field, as well as provide the same level of customer support, including honoring warranties, that they had always done.

    To blunt the negative news on the cable DVR front, TiVo also announces that they will release an advanced new OTA DVR featuring hybrid ATSC 3.0/1.0 tuners, plus a range of popular Android TV apps via the Google Play Store, in late summer 2021.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  2. Jul 16, 2019 #22 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    3Q 2021: Verizon announces that their FiOS TV service will completely shut down at year-end

    After two years of successfully selling YouTube TV to FiOS broadband customers (while seeing just as many customers completely cut the cord on cable TV or switch to competing services like AT&T TV), Verizon decides that the time is right to turn off the lights on their own FiOS TV service (which had never even been offered to customers on their newer 5G Home broadband service). FiOS TV customers are given nearly six months to transition over to YouTube TV or another service with the help of Verizon customer service, then pack up their FiOS TV hardware and return it.

    3Q 2021: AT&T and DISH strike a deal for DirecTV

    Since launching AT&T TV nationwide in 4Q 2019, AT&T had given little marketing attention to their satellite TV service, DirecTV. Starting at the time that AT&T TV launched, DirecTV had exclusively offered to new customers the same set of channel packages offered on AT&T TV, although with somewhat higher prices to account for the expensive “free” professional installations and bulky hardware DVRs. (And unlike the contract-free AT&T TV service, DirecTV still required a 2-year contract for new customers to qualify for free installation and a slightly discounted first-year rate.) AT&T had aggressively worked to transition all of their DirecTV satellite TV customers who also had AT&T home broadband service over to AT&T TV. Meanwhile, bundling discounts for DirecTV were only offered to AT&T Wireless customers whose home address could not access AT&T internet service. The only active marketing that was done for DirecTV had been to rural dwellers, mainly via direct mail and radio.

    DirecTV’s subscriber count had already seen steep declines prior to the introduction of AT&T TV; afterward, as expected by the company, the fall-off accelerated. DISH satellite TV, meanwhile, also continued to suffer subscriber losses from cord-cutting, although its numbers weren’t nearly as bad as DirecTV’s.

    So AT&T and DISH jointly announce a plan for AT&T to spin off their DirecTV business into a separate company in which AT&T will retain 51% majority ownership and DISH will buy a 49% minority stake, with an option to purchase the remainder of the company in 24 to 30 months, based on a fair market third-party valuation at the time. Under the co-ownership arrangement, both brands will be maintained, each with their separate channel packages based on DISH’s and AT&T’s separate existing network carriage contracts. DISH will assume full operational control of both services, with the ability to deliver any channel package, whether DISH or DirecTV-branded, over either company’s satellite fleet, to either company’s rooftop dishes and receivers. AT&T will retain exclusive pricing control over DirecTV service during the period and retain access to current customer contact information (to also be shared with DISH) for purposes of marketing their other services. AT&T will also retain responsibility for marketing and new customer acquisition for DirecTV, while DISH will handle actual installation services, plus ongoing billing and customer support. Because billing for DirecTV will be uncoupled from AT&T’s billing system, there will no longer be any bundling discount between DirecTV and any other AT&T service. The AT&T name and logo are also removed from all DirecTV branding and references.

    As part of the deal, HBO Max is made available as part of DISH. HBO had left DISH nearly three years earlier. An HBO Max 4K linear channel is offered on both DirecTV and DISH showcasing the best content in 4K and 4K HDR from throughout the service. This channel was exclusively created for and distributed via satellite TV on the reasoning that many satellite TV subscribers do not have fast enough home internet service to support 4K streaming (which is how HBO Max is typically accessed). AT&T also renews their network carriage contract with DISH for their WarnerMedia basic cable channels (e.g. TBS, TNT, CNN, etc.) at favorable rates for DISH. The DirecTV brand will remain the exclusive satellite TV distributor of NFL Sunday Ticket during the upcoming 24-30 month period.

    The deal receives no pushback from either the FCC or the DOJ. Wall Street cheers the deal as a way for AT&T to unburden themselves from a declining business that is mismatched to the rest of their more growth-oriented corporate portfolio.

    4Q 2021: Showtime absorbs Epix, Sony absorbs MGM

    Epix had been initially created in 2009 by three film studios who had walked away from renewing their output deals with Showtime after negotiations broke down: Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. The service launched featuring only those studios’ recent and library films but in time offered a modest slate of original series, documentaries and comedy specials too. Then in 2016, Paramount and Lionsgate sold their ownership interests to MGM, a studio that made hardly any new films any more. After CBS’s acquisitions of Paramount and Lionsgate, the handwriting was on the wall for Epix. They lost almost all of their new and library theatrical movies. They tried to expand their originals line-up in 2020-21, but, despite some critical acclaim, found fewer and fewer subscribers willing to pay $6 per month for the service. Getting dropped by certain third-party distributors had also hurt their subscriber count significantly.

    In 4Q 2021, MGM was broken up and sold off piecemeal. The private equity groups who co-owned MGM had been considering a sale for over a year. Sony Pictures acquired the MGM film library while Epix (as an ongoing service, with ownership of certain titles in the Epix Originals library) was sold to CBS for a bargain price. CBS shut the Epix service down three months later, offering all current Epix subscribers a one-month free trial of Showtime. All Epix originals were absorbed into the Showtime library, with some current Epix series continuing on, rebranded as Showtime Originals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  3. Jul 16, 2019 #23 of 373
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    They have FTTH in ex-FiOS areas, and a mix of FTTN and a little bit of FTTH here in CT. Fiber can be quite profitable if the telcos are willing to spend money to make money. I think we'll continue to see cherry picking here and there. The problem is that they have Vantage TV (MPEG-4) in CT on FTTN/FTTH, FiOS TV in CTF, and Vantage TV (HEVC) in the Carolinas. What a nightmare for less than 1 millions subscribers.

    True. But HBO does, along with all the other major premium channels. I guess we'll see if they keep HBO or pull it.

    Some may spend as much on OTT, but everyone I've heard talk about this stuff is complaining about their bill and wants to spend quite a bit LESS on TV, and these are people with well-paid salaried jobs. The big challenge is going to be how to navigate all of this content, and we're farther from a solution there than ever. People are spending more time now just trying to figure out what the heck they want to watch.

    You think it takes until 2021 to get an ATSC 3.0 TiVo? You are pretty pessimistic on both TiVo and ATSC 3.0, but then again there might be reason to be on both fronts....

    I don't think AT&T is going to spin off DirecTV for one reason, and one reason only. DirecTV is what gives them the massive scale they have for negotiating programming, and they need to ride out the decline for at least 5 or more years in order to keep their total subscriber numbers up as they build up a base of AT&T TV subscribers on IP. Once they have AT&T TV up to scale, they will, over time, transition all of their fiber and higher-tier FTTN/FTTB customers over to AT&T TV, both inside of and outside of their ILEC footprint. They still have a lot of FTTN and DSL customers, however, for whom bundling with DirecTV makes sense due to bandwidth limitations. Over time, I think they will cherry pick most of those customers for overbuilding with fiber, but there still may be a sizable chunk that they want to keep on DirecTV but don't want to build out with fiber. They also have fixed wireless customers that they need to bundle with DirecTV, both within and outside their ILEC footprint.
     
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  4. Jul 17, 2019 #24 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You're right. If anything, I'm probably being overly optimistic on how long Frontier and/or their own Vantage TV will survive.


    Well, I do believe that non-sports fans will see their average total pay TV expenditures go down at least modestly in the coming years. Beyond that, I would say that complaining about one's cable TV bill is one of those things that folks like to do, like how here in Nashville we all like to complain about the traffic, the rate of growth, the hellishly hot summers, etc. But just because folks *talk* about wanting to cut expenses doesn't mean that they'll actually make the sacrifices to their entertainment menu (as they see it) in order to realize those savings.

    Well look, broadcast industry cheerleaders for 3.0 are saying that 3.0 won't have its big "coming out party" until fall 2020. (Supposedly 3.0 will be lit up on towers in 40 markets across the country by year-end 2020 but a well-connected source of mine is skeptical about that.) Frankly, I don't think there would be enough consumers to even WANT a 3.0-capable TiVo until 2021. And given that the new TiVo Edge DVR for ATSC 1.0 should hit next month, that would mean a nice 2-year window before the follow-up model. Sounds right to me.

    Yeah, but if you carefully read my prediction, it posits that AT&T will sell a minority share of DTV to DISH in 3Q '21, with DISH having the *option* to buy out the remainder around the start of 2024. And during that interim period, DTV would have to stick to the same channel packages being sold for AT&T TV. So basically, AT&T would still have the scale of all those subscribers on both AT&T TV plus DTV when it comes to negotiating carriage contracts through roughly the end of 2023. (While the cable networks might *think* that DISH would buy out the rest of DTV at the start of 2024, and thereby fold in those subs into DISH's own packages, they wouldn't *know* for sure that would happen because DISH would have the optionality.) I admit that I don't know the standard length of AT&T's network carriage contracts, but it seems feasible that they could have contracts in place covering AT&T TV through maybe 2025 by the time they sold out the remainder of DTV to DISH in early '24. And frankly, once we get past 2025, will linear cable channels matter that much any more?

    For DSL 1.0 customers, sure, keep them on DTV satellite. But did you know that the subscriber count for that tier of internet service from AT&T is down to only about 500k? As for the FTTN and FTTH subs, nope, they'll aim to aggressively move them over to AT&T TV.

    The future of fixed wireless home broadband service is 5G, whether from AT&T or any other provider. It'll be plenty fast enough to run AT&T TV (and/or HBO Max) on multiple concurrent screens throughout the home.
     
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  5. Jul 17, 2019 #25 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    1Q 2022: Netflix offers cheaper ad-supported plan

    Netflix restructures their plans and pricing in the US to include a new 2 simultaneous stream plan for $8/mo that includes ads (as well as 4K HDR). While ads do not appear in Netflix Original movies, theatrical movies, or children’s programming, a limited amount of targeted ads appear in all other content.

    1Q 2022: The “skinny live” cable channel bundle emerges: locals + sports + news

    Following rounds of two-way negotiations between each possible pair among media powers Disney, Comcast/NBCU, AT&T/WarnerMedia, CBS, Fox, Sinclair, and PBS, a new standard cable channel package appears featuring major local affiliates of the big broadcast networks, plus national sports and news channels, including RSNs, but nothing else except for whatever content is owned by whichever company provides the package. So, for instance, Hulu with Live TV offers a package including the base Hulu on-demand service plus live locals for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, Telemundo, and PBS, plus all the channels owned by Disney (including ESPN and SEC Network), plus NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC News Now, Golf, Olympic Channel, CNN, HLN, Turner Sports (formerly TNT), CBS Sports Network, CBSN, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox News, Fox Business, and Sinclair-owned RSNs and Stadium. Similar packages are offered in the OTT apps run by Comcast/NBCU, AT&T, and CBS, with their own base library of channels/content included too.

    These packages, including forced targeted ads in on-demand/cloud DVR (but removable for an upgrade fee), typically run about $55/mo.

    1Q 2022: ESPN goes totally OTT

    Disney announces that their main ESPN package — all the live sports and related content aired on their ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, SEC Network, and ESPNews linear channels — can be purchased as a standalone OTT streaming service inside the ESPN app for $17/mo. The existing ESPN+ live service, focusing on less popular games/sports, can still be added for another $5/mo. Bundling discounts apply for customers who also subscribe to Hulu and/or Disney+.

    2Q 2022: Cox launches Cox X1 TV

    Cox follows in the footsteps of Charter and largely throws in the towel on their own cable TV service. Cox had been the first cable operator to license Comcast’s X1 technology platform for use with their own cable TV packages, under their own Contour brand. But as subscribers dwindled and content costs rose, the service was no longer profitable enough for Cox to continue operating, so they announce that it will shut down at year-end. Effective immediately, the only TV service actively marketed will be Xfinity X1 TV, which they white-label as Cox X1 TV, with an offer of free X1 4K HDR boxes for new subscribers who bundle it with Cox broadband, with all streaming done on the service zero-rated against Cox’s 1 TB data cap. Some customers on the existing Contour TV service will be able to keep their current Contour set-top boxes and use them with Cox X1 TV if they choose to do so (for a small monthly rental fee), while others will need to return them for an X1 4K HDR box, or instead use the free Cox X1 TV app on their own devices.

    The old Contour TV service ceases to be sold at all, although Cox’s QAM-based TV Starter basic service continues to be offered. As had been the case for years, TV Starter features only local channels, in both HD and SD, and can only be accessed through the use of a Cox-issued basic digital adapter and remote or a CableCARD. Cox had never supplied their own DVRs or full-featured set-top boxes for use with TV Starter.

    4Q 2022: HBO ceases to exist as a standalone service

    HBO’s final legacy distribution contract with a major cable operator expires, after which the operator is given no choice but to distribute HBO Max if they wish to distribute any channels or services at all from WarnerMedia. For the preceding two years, HBO (and its associated HBO Go app) had continued to be available as an option from a dwindling number of cable and telco operators around the country. Some had preemptively struck a new distribution deal with Warner to instead distribute HBO Max rather than HBO while others had waited it out, remaining on their existing contracts that allowed them to distribute only HBO. Most of those, though, had felt the need to cut the price of HBO as an a la carte option down from $15 to about $12-13 per month due to competition from HBO Max as a much larger standalone service priced at just $16.
     
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  6. Jul 17, 2019 #26 of 373
    wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Netflix stock drops more than 10% as earnings show huge decline in new subscribers
    7/17/2019, 7:15:11 PM · by Red in Blue PA · 13 replies
    Marketwatch ^
    Netflix Inc. shares plunged more than 10% in the extended session Wednesday after the video-streaming giant badly missed projections for new paid subscriptions. Netflix NFLX, -12.40% reported the addition of just 2.7 million paid subscribers globally in the second quarter, far short of what Wall Street and the company expected. Analysts were looking for global paid streaming subscriber additions of 5.3 million, according to FactSet, on domestic additions of 350,000 and 4.8 million internationally. Netflix had projected 5 million new customers.
     
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  7. Jul 17, 2019 #27 of 373
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    I'm not surprised there are few global financial issues in play, Netflix depends heavily on international expansion. They won't be the last streamer to have this problem.
     
  8. Jul 17, 2019 #28 of 373
    wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    I agree, but they have made a dramatic change in their business model which chased a lot of customers (including me) away...
    1. Raise prices
    2. Shrink library
    3. Replace classic content with controversial home grown programming
     
  9. Jul 17, 2019 #29 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yup. See my post #21 above, 1Q 2021: Netflix has peaked in the US?
     
  10. Jul 17, 2019 #30 of 373
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    You're definitely over-estimating how long Vantage TV lasts, and you may well be over-estimating how Frontier itself lasts. It's on the express train to bankruptcy/insolvency.

    Except that most of these folks are in apartments and don't have kids yet. I strongly suspect that the next time they move, many of them won't move their TV service with them.

    TiVo customers will want a 3.0 DVR as soon as 3.0 exists, if and when that happens.

    For older, more rural customers, yes, I think linear will still matter to a certain extent, but that part is a salient point. That being said, I think AT&T has to keep D* for much longer than 2025 in order to keep the scale that they want. D* also has a huge number of commercial subs that are very profitable, and D* would likely be a profitable enterprise if it just serviced commercial accounts. I think AT&T will have D* for quite a long time.

    No. You're looking at it wrong. You need 25mbps or more to deliver reliable IPTV service. You're just looking at ATM-based DSL connections, which is basically irrelevant. They have millions of U-Verse IPBB connections that are 5kft or more from the VRAD/IRAD/CO and are running at accordingly slow speeds, as low as 0.8mbps. Whoever the heck is subscribing to that train wreck of a connection could well be 18kft or more depending on wire gauge in rural areas. For example, my parents could get 12mbps pair bonded IPBB ADSL2+ from Frontier (AT&T built), but they are about 11kft from their VRAD/xbox. Probably most of sub-broadband speed IPBB customers are at 18mbps or 12mbps, which would typically range from 4kft-5kft or more depending on wire gauge and condition. In theory, 12mbps could be available well over 12kft depending on wire gauage and condition.

    Just because it's IPBB/FTTN doesn't mean it's fast or running over lines that are in good condition. It just means that there is an IRAD or VRAD somewhere with a 2gbps fiber connection, and it's switched on an IP network. VRADs can serve 100mbps VDSL2 to a customer within about 1kft, while simultaneously serving 6mbps ADSL2+ to another customer at 13kft.

    Performance Characteristics | AT&T Broadband

    For whatever reason, they took the IPBB 300 and 500 tiers (G.Fast) off of there, but I digress.

    Even if they upgraded the B30 FWI system to 5G, it's still only a 10x10, so even if they could crank it up to 150 or 200mbps shared with a whole bunch of customers, that doesn't scale for video. If they added CA from the mobile network, now they're dipping into their mobile spectrum, and that's not a replacement for cable TV either. There's a reason they started it with a cap of 160GB, which they have slowly raised up (430GB now I think?) In urban areas, yes mmWave 5G will have plenty of bandwidth for video, but not FWI.

    The bottom line is that you're way overestimating the bandwidth that some areas of AT&T's network actually has. If AT&T doesn't have DirecTV to service these customers with, and doesn't build fiber out to them, then they will be forced to use DISH or wherever DirecTV ends up.

    Very interesting prediction surrounding Netflix. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually do ads, as Hulu is proving that they are extremely lucrative.
     
  11. Jul 17, 2019 #31 of 373
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Classic what, younger viewers don't watch that.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2019 #32 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Ha! How many TiVo OTA DVR fans do you think there are, man? Not that many.

    Nah. It's not about whether DTV continues to be somewhat profitable. It's about whether or not the level of profitability and, more importantly, the future projections for the satellite TV business, bring the stock price up or weigh it down. Trust me, DTV is going to become an increasingly heavy anchor on AT&T's stock price. Wall Street will reward AT&T for cutting it loose for some up-front cash (or maybe some of that spectrum that DISH has been hoarding).

    Um, no, you're looking at it wrong. If you've got internet fast enough to stream Netflix or YouTube, you've got internet fast enough to stream AT&T TV or HBO Max. Period. AT&T TV can and will be delivered to many customers exclusively in the form of variable bitrate unicast streams (just like Netflix and YouTube). If I'm AT&T, and I know I'm giving you an IP pipe that's fast enough to stream any kind of 720p video, I WANT YOU TO STREAM MY VIDEO, NOT MY COMPETITORS' VIDEO.

    I've lived in AT&T Uverse country since that service started and I don't think I ever recall them selling an internet tier rated below 12 Mbps (other than the 5 Mbps tier for low-income folks). And 12 Mbps is PLENTY fast for AT&T TV. Heck, they can crank out one live 720p stream in HEVC on a 4 Mbps connection, probably.

    AT&T will either abandon those areas as an internet service provider (and let them take TV from whomever) or they'll come through with some form of fixed 5G wireless, perhaps using their AirGig technology. And if they do that, what are they going to bundle in for TV service? AT&T TV and HBO Max.

    Here's the rule for the not-too-distant future: If you're a big mainstream subscription TV service, you gotta offer it two ways: without ads for more money, with ads for less money. Now, if you're more of a niche/luxury TV service -- I would categorize Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+ and Showtime that way -- then you can choose to just be ad-free.
     
  13. Jul 17, 2019 #33 of 373
    ptrubey

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    The future is fiber for urban and suburban. While the big telcos and Google have gotten bogged down in places, the overall direction is still clear. Fiber will continue to be installed, and at an accelerating rate. Some rural will get fiber, and the ones that don't get it will be serviced by SpaceX's 10,000 satellite Starlink or Amazon's equivalent (1 Gbps links).

    5G will have its hands full just servicing mobile customers. It won't be used for fixed wireless in any great number. Rural isn't going to get 5G since the density is too low, and when there is enough density for 5G, there will be fiber (you need fiber in place for 5G cell antennas anyways).

    BTW, I have a feeling that the transition from linear TV (channels) to streaming shows will be fast and brutal. No one under the age of about 22 watches traditional TV anymore. They only stream shows and movies. The content creators will be in the drivers seat, not the streaming companies. If you have a streaming service, you better start making your own original content. That is what draws people to Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Netflix. Unique must watch content that you can only get on those services.
     
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  14. Jul 17, 2019 #34 of 373
    ptrubey

    ptrubey Member

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    Oh, and will there even be OTA TV in 5 years? Cellular and WiFi have been crowding out TV, forcing broadcast to give up valuable spectrum. At some point broadcast TV will be forced to shut down.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2019 #35 of 373
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Five years it will still be around, ten years..the crystal ball becomes cloudy. Or as a famous oracle would put it..
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Jul 18, 2019 #36 of 373
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Nothing beats fiber but it's expensive to deploy. AT&T just finished their big fiber-to-the-home deployment sprint, in order to meet a condition imposed on them for their DirecTV acquisition a few years back. Verizon has been fairly loathe to extend their FiOS fiber footprint in any dramatic way the past few years. Going forward, we'll still see some more fiber deployed but it'll mostly just be in those spots where fiber needs to roll out for mobile or fixed 5G deployment anyway -- low-cost pick-up homes, in other words.

    As far as your projections about 5G not covering rural areas, I think you're thinking only of the uber-fast millimeter wave 5G signals, which will only travel a couple city blocks. That kind of 5G, yeah, it's only got to hit isolated spots in certain high-traffic urban and suburban cores. But 5G can travel over long-range signals too, like all that 600 and 700 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile has. (AT&T has quite a bit too.) No, it's not gonna deliver multi-gig speeds but it'll still be at least a little better than 4G LTE on that same spectrum. And, yes, that's the kind of 5G that T-Mobile (and I suspect AT&T and maybe Verizon) will use to deliver fixed 5G home internet to some rural and suburban homes.

    Low-earth orbit satellite broadband from the likes of SpaceX Starlink and Amazon Project Kuiper? Yeah, that could be a game-changer for folks in the sticks. But I doubt that the price/quality ratio of the service will make it attractive to anyone who can't get broadband via cable, fiber, or fixed 5G. It'll target two markets: businesses who need ultra-fast connections (e.g. stock traders between NYC, London, Tokyo, etc.) -- they'll be charged mega-bucks -- and then those in spots that can't get anything else much (e.g. rural dwellers, ships, airplanes, etc.).

    Live sports, news, and local channels (which are mainly watched for live sports and news) are what's keeping the linear TV channel system alive. And that's not going to go away overnight. The media powers-that-be will have to get all their assets shifted over and priced right via OTT direct-to-consumer subscription services first. And even then, there's a pretty powerful ingrained cultural habit of watching linear channel TV, at least for folks born before 1990. So the transition will take awhile. But yeah, we'll get there eventually.
     
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  17. Jul 18, 2019 #37 of 373
    wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    The impact of Amazon's Recast is not reflected in this growth.

    For the record, in 2019, as in every other year, the top rated shows are on broadcast television.

    My prediction is that change will continue to underwhelm.
     
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  18. Jul 18, 2019 #38 of 373
    Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Or a 68' 442 of 67' Firebird!
     
  19. Jul 18, 2019 #39 of 373
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Prime is like an Amazon version of a Costco membership and streaming is only a part of it, so the numbers can't be directly compared. TV antennaes without dvrs (dvr numbers are way behind antennae sales) is no indicator they are used to any degree unless everyone is watching live. Live ????
     
  20. Jul 18, 2019 #40 of 373
    ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    What needs to be factored in is that "local" stations own rights to local broadcasts of some of the stations mentioned. There are franchise laws that protect that ownership.
     
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