Posts tagged: comcast
We wondered how many subcribers might have been affected by the blackout created by the KAYU, DISH Network snafu that was settled over the weekend.
Roughly 103,000 is the number we came up with, thanks to the folks at SNL Kagan, a communications and broadcast media information aggregator. The number is certainly a bit lower than that, as some DISH subscribers likely had other options (such as a cable connection or a digital antenna to get signals).
Based on third quarter 2012 numbers, DISH had 103,429 subscribers in the Spokane TV market.
That's up from 3Q 2010, again using numbers provided by SNL Kagan. Here's the three-way subscriber numbers:
2010 2012 (both measured in 3Q)
Comcast 100,000 106,311
DirecTV 69,000 76,478
DISH 102,000 103,429
Comcast's numbers are entirely in the Spokane metro area. DirecTV and DISH subscribers extend from North Idaho all the way over to central Washington.
Also worth noting is that both DirecTV and DISH ran into problems over retrans fees with Northwest Broadcasting, which runs KAYU. The important thing is that there are no retrans fees paid by cable for its ability to carry local station signals.
The reason is that the cable giants, like Comcast, give local stations access to some channels at little or no coast, in lieu of retrans fees. Hence, you never see the locals like NW Broadcasting locked in battles over money with Comcast.
You probably heard the disputing parties in the KAYU-DISH blackout finally reached an agreement over the weekend: KAYU-28, Spokane’s Fox affiliate, was off the Dish network since late November over a dispute involving retransmission fees.
Terms of the deal to end the blackout were not disclosed.
But what is clear is both companies ended up with a black eye in the minds of many customers. We did a quick email blast to angry customers who were upset enough to contact KAYU GM Brian Brady last week. Here's a short sample of how those customers told us they feel about what happened to them.
Viewer Carol Nelson's take: “Once the snow's gone, we'll be looking into antenna options so we aren't caught in the middle again. We shouldn't have to leave home in order to watch network programs!”
And, Donald Rowland doesn't pull any punches: “Still, a very bad business practice, to torture the paying customers! SHAME on both companies for doing this! Now that the Seahawks are done, I have no further need of KAYU-28 along with many of the area advertisers. May they reap what they sowed!”
And here's a blast from Stephen Fisher, M.D.: “I believe that reasonable and responsible men and women are always able to reach a fair and equitable solution of any situation. Our business behavior is mirroring our political behavior and our behavior in many of our other institutions. Those who suffer are those (the two businesses) serve. Apparently, those in positions to make decisions have misplaced their moral compasses.”
Customers in Portland and Seatle will be the first to try out a joint marketing effort between Verizon and Comcast.
The companies announced Monday that Comcast will sell wireless bundles for cable customers looking to buy a new smartphone or add a new phone and data plan. The companies said they expect to roll out the deal to other cities later.
The initial Comcast promotion will provide a prepaid Visa card, up to $300 in value, for customers who sign up for the Verizon-Comcast bundled service. A press release said there are some restrictions: to qualify a customer must be signing up for a new Xfinity Double Play or Triple Play package.
And the customer must be a new Verizon Wireless customer purchasing a qualifying smartphone or tablet data plan; or an existing Verizon Wireless customer adding a new line of service or upgrading their service with a new smartphone or tablet, both with a new two-year customer agreement.
Customers will receive the prepaid Visa cards by mail.
Details are here: www.comcast.com/wireless.
We saw a press release from the Washington Attorney General's office today. It said Rob McKenna and several other state AGs have formally agreed to the U.S. Department of Justice settlement that allows Comcast to merge with NBC Universal.
What we're not sure about is whether any of the states raised any issues that weren't already addressed by consumer groups, media companies and public interest entities.
The release sent by the McKenna office doesn't list any one or two major points that the AGs collectively made a big deal out of.
Today was also the day the real decision took place, in Washington, D.C., when the FCC formally gave its approval to the media merger, which will create a mammoth conglomerate with a trove of media content, along with the nation's largest cable system (not to mention being one of the nation's biggest Internet service providers, providing the system that is the primary way many will get entertainment and news).
A full summary of the agreement is at FCC.gov.
One of the several key points in the approval required that localism become a major focus for the merged media company. That agreement says: “To further broadcast localism, Comcast-NBCU will maintain at least the current level of news and information programming on NBC’s and Telemundo’s owned-and-operated (“O&O”) broadcast stations, and in some cases expand news and other local content.
NBC and Telemundo O&O stations also will provide thousands of additional hours of local news and information programming to their viewers, and some of its NBC stations will enter into cooperative arrangements with locally focused nonprofit news organizations. Additional free, on-demand local programming will be made available as well.”
We believe that means we'll see a gain in local news and information programming from stations like KHQ and from the local government-public access channels provided here by Comcast.