German viewers can watch the Disney Channel on the go with a new app the children’s and family channel has launched for smartphones and tablets. Read the story »
Even as cable giant Comcast tries to get bigger by absorbing Time Warner Cable, its own revenue grew in the last quarter to $16.8 billion, up 3.5 percent from last year, and net income hit $1.99 billion. The most important number for a subscription business though is how many customers it has, and through a traditionally slow quarter, it managed to slow the loss of total "customer relationships" to 25,000 from 66,000 for the same period last year -- although my friend Ryan Block recently found out how difficult ending that relationship can be. More of the customers that remain are picking up internet and phone services, as it has over 21 million high speed internet subscribers alone. You can check out the numbers yourself right here, I'll be tuning in for the earnings call in a few minutes to find out if it has any new response to the recent customer service controversy, net neutrality and its battle with Netflix, or an update on the $45 billion TWC acquisition.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
The Czech commercial broadcaster TV Barrandov is looking into the possibility of launching two more channels. Read the story »
Morgan Stanley is now the second largest shareholder in Spain’s Prisa. Read the story »
The International Olympic Committee is considering the launch of a dedicated Olympic TV channel. Read the story »
The Ukrainian DTT operator Zeonbud wants to consult with the National Council on TV and Radio over the latter’s decision to cancel a requirement for it to encode its signals. Read the story »
Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform Watchever is now also available on Blu-ray players and home cinema systems from Sony in Germany. Read the story »
BBC Worldwide is adapting its business model, reducing its dependency on DVD, and developing relationships with video-on-demand services. Read the story »
Türk Telekom ended the second quarter with 1.9 million Tivibu (IPTV, web TV, mobile TV and smart TV) subscribers, or 44% more than a year earlier. Read the story »
While a bunch of the hype surrounding the Destiny beta is how great developer Bungie's latest shooter looks running on the PlayStation 4, gamers on last-gen hardware have been playing through the weekend too. Based on the video that Digital Foundry put together (embedded below), the PlayStation 3 version expectedly doesn't stack up next to its current-gen counterpart, but it doesn't look terrible, either. If I were to describe it in one word, it'd be "softer." The tech-centric outlet notes that while the levels themselves remain the same the overall shape and size, set dressing like foliage and rocks are less dense (and in some cases, completely missing), and lighting is less complex as well. Most impactful, possibly, is the PS3 game's native resolution. While the PS4 version runs at a native 1920x1080, or 1080p, Destiny on Sony's previous console is running at 1024x624 (sub-720p) -- roughly 30 percent the total pixel count of its current-gen cousin.
Yup, it's summer. In case the weather wasn't a tipoff, you can tell from Syfy's slew of made for TV movies hitting the screen, including this week's shocker Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. The headlining monsters were already made for previous movies, so maybe this time the filmmakers used their budget on good actors, a decent script or better special effe...on second thought probably not, but if you're curious you can watch the whole thing right now on Netflix. While we're still checking out other shows in the genre like Extant and The Strain, there are other options. ESPN has a documentary on cycling great Greg LeMond airing Tuesday night, while CBS Sports is bringing highlights from a huge sports tournament you've probably never heard of: The Commonwealth Games. The Roots drummer/bandleader Questlove is producing a new show on VH1 called Soundclash that mixes up different bands on one stage -- we'll give it one shot as the first episode on Wednesday features Fall Out Boy, T.I. and London Grammar. Check after the break for a list of what's new this week plus a few trailers, and drop a note in the comments if you see any highlights we've missed.
It looks like that (pending 2 years for existing customers) price hike hasn't greatly affected Netflix's popularity, as it announced today that it has 50 million customers altogether. About 36 million of them are in the US, and Netflix specified that's about to launch in more European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg) in September. Its profit also more than doubled this quarter, up to $71 million from about $30 million in the same period last year. The only real change mentioned for customers is that it's about to start distributing in-store gift cards this fall, so you can give the gift of Netflix or join without having to pay online with a credit card. The company's focus of course is how it's building up a library of exclusive content, and it says Orange is the New Black quickly became the most watched series in every Netflix territory when season two launched. Upcoming shows include Sense8 from the Wachowskis and the Daredevil series it's making with Marvel, and it's cast a number of big names for those shows already like Vincent D'Onofrio, Naveen Andrews and Rosario Dawson -- now that Netflix scored 31 Emmy nominations this year they clearly have a tough act to follow. The company's earnings chat will start in a few minutes, check after the break to watch it live and see a few more notes about its current status.%Gallery-slideshow206508%
First, the good news: At its Television Critics Awards, Fox just announced the details of its plan to put every episode of The Simpsons online for streaming (also, Louie and Fargo have been renewed). Simpsons World will launch in October and let fans browse episodes, create their own playlists, search for/share clips and more. Before that, the FXX cable channel will run "the longest TV marathon in history" by airing the full 25-season / 552 episode run (just for reference, the first HD episode is S20E10, from 2009) in one shot, 24 hours a day, plus The Simpsons Movie, from August 21st until September 1st. The bad news? To access more than just clips, you'll need a subscription with a participating cable provider. Simpsons World will live both on the web, and through the FXNow app on iOS, Android, Xbox and other smart TV platforms. From those in attendance, like Max Follmer of Brief, the app sounds very well put together, and will let fans do things like follow along with the script as it was originally written and immediately share quotes.
German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have resumed the transmission of their main TV channels on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite system (13° East). Read the story »
Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), the regional affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD serving federal state Saarland, has commenced offering its TV channel as a live-stream on the internet. Read the story »
Jan Kees de Jager is to become the new CFO of the Dutch incumbent KPN. Read the story »
It's easy for someone in your home to interrupt your Chromecast stream and play something of their own, but you can always retake control... right? Well, don't count on it. Analyst Dan Petro has built the Rickmote Controller, a proof-of-concept device that hijacks Google's media stick to play everyone's favorite Rick Astley video (and theoretically, any media) on loop. The Raspberry Pi-based box simply floods the Chromecast with WiFi disconnection requests, kicking the adapter into its setup mode; after that, it's easy for the Rickmote to make its own connection and deliver non-stop '80s pop.
Source: Bishop Fox
Before Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS was the speedy internet service everyone wanted in their neighborhood. The arrival of 1Gbps connections, a slowed rollout, and an ongoing battle with Netflix that's slowing streams to a crawl has slightly dulled the cachet, but it's still one of the fastest providers out there. Now it's getting even faster, but Verizon isn't boosting download speeds again -- those will stay the same as customers get matching upload speeds on every plan. On the fastest tier (previously 500Mbps down / 100Mbps up), speeds will increase by 5x to 500Mbps, and most customers will see their speeds double. New customers can get the symmetrical speeds right away, and they'll roll out to existing customers throughout the fall. To go immediately to the front of that list FiOS subscribers can sign up for the MyRewards+ customer loyalty program, which is free, and pretty much just requires inputting your birthdate.
[Image credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Verizon]