Tag Archives: DirecTV

DVR Competition Heats Up

As live TV viewership is declining seemingly by the day, the focus of US pay TV providers has shifted from beefing up their channel packages to creating and improving their DVR options.  Cablevision, a main cable provider for New York City area, recently announced its improved DVR recording capabilities, allowing customers to record 10 programs at once.  (By the way, bhaalu by Right Brain Interface has no limit for simultaneous recordings.)

This new development, alongside increasing storage to 75 hours of HD programming, is part of an effort to combat similar features offered by other providers, says Steve Donohue:

“In addition to helping Cablevision compete with the Verizon Media Server which the telco is developing with Arris, Cablevision’s network DVR gives it a product that tops the recording capabilities of DirecTV’s Genie DVR, which has five tuners, and Dish Network’s Hopper, which can record up to six programs simultaneously thanks to its Primetime Anytime feature.”

viewing-share

Source: TechCrunch

Although live TV still accounts for 52% of all viewing time in the US, that number drops to 41% for people 18-34 years of age, according to recent studies.  This makes cable/satellite providers tremble in their boots – as it should.  That age group is a key market that sets the trend for future consumer behavior, and they can pose a real problem for pay TV providers should they decide that their subscriptions aren’t worth the money.

DVR services may be the new style of pay TV subscriptions, as live TV air times are conflicting more and more with viewers’ daily schedules.  Right now, customer loyalty to TV providers is hanging by a thread, so maybe its time for some new blood to move into the market.

Referenced from FierceCable, bgr.com, and TechCrunch

Hulu Deal Falls Through

DirecTV-HuluRemember when we wrote that DirecTV was supposed to put pen to paper on a deal to acquire Hulu by the end of last month?  Big news: the deal, which would have given DirecTV the online presence it desperately needs, has been called off by Hulu owners 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal and Disney in a joint press release last Friday.  This is the second time Hulu’s co-owners have canceled acquisition proceedings for the company in two years, as they did the same thing in 2011 (although the group of owners then had different members).

In these most recent dealings, DirecTV is said to have offered just over US$1B (S$1.26B) for the OTT platform, which Hulu’s owners were supposedly prepared to accept.  However, they have obviously had second thoughts, and are now planning on infusing US$750 million (S$950 million) of their own funds in an effort to realize Hulu’s potential.  

Jim O’Neill thinks that said potential, and not necessarily an inadequate offer from DirecTV, was the driving force behind the decision to axe the deal:

“The easy answer, but not necessarily the correct answer, is that the price being offered just wasn’t enough…The right answer may be more that the triumvirate finally realized they had a plum in their hand.

[Hulu]‘s got cheap, fresh content coming in from its three owners, 4 million paid subscribers, and a lot of potential. It just hasn’t been realized by anyone other than its original CEO, Jason Kilar, who tried and tried again to tell his bosses what a great company he’d made for them.”

Hulu sits in a distant third place behind American OTT providers Netflix and Amazon, and this fresh supply of cash from its owners is certainly a step in the right direction.  However, Netflix dishes out more than US$2B (S$2.5B) per year to both buy and create new content, and Amazon reportedly spends about half that.  Furthermore, Hulu’s owners have made it clear that their new funding for the company will not be a yearly expenditure, so it seems that the company’s management will continue to be a step behind its competitors.

Referenced from theConvergence.tv and allthingsd.com

DirecTV Lands Hulu Deal

directtv-huluAfter a fierce bidding war that included the likes of Yahoo!, AT&T, Verizon, and other major players, DirecTV seems to have come out on top.

A deal for the company to acquire online video provider Hulu is apparently in its final stages and is reported to be worth more than US$1B (SG$1.3B).  This comes after multiple offers two years ago from many of the same players, with the highest bid coming from Google at US$4B (SG$5.06B), which was ultimately rejected.  The new deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this month.

PandoDaily’s Michael Carney says DirecTV is the best fit for Hulu for two reasons:

“First, DirecTV is one of a select few companies with the resources and wherewithal to absorb Hulu and retain or increase its value. Second, Hulu fills a gaping hole in DirecTV’s offering in a way that it would be hard pressed to achieve by other means.”

The “gaping hole” Carney refers to is DirecTV’s lack of any substantial online presence.  With this new acquisition, the company will finally be able to hold a candle to its competitors in the online forum, and perhaps much more. Hulu Plus topped 3 million paid subscribers at the end of 2012 and raked in US$695M (SG$879M) in revenues during that year.  Depending on how DirecTV uses their new acquisition, it could be looking at huge profits in the coming years.

Referenced from PandoDaily.