Digital Daily Dozen 12/3/15

Black Caucus Members Tell FCC AllVid Would Be Disaster (Broadcasting & Cable)  

Cable operators have an ally in Rep. Yvette Clarke and 29 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus when it comes to opposition to turning the sunset of the set-top integration ban into the sunrise of an AllVid proposal. The legislators have written FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to tell him that proposal would be a disaster for minorities.   

TV Must Go Digital to Get the Kids Back  (Broadcasting & Cable- Commentary) 

To look at all the headlines about declines in kids’ television ratings, one might well conclude that young America has stopped watching TV entirely. While that’s far from true, their attention has indeed fragmented across a variety of social media and digital entertainment channels.  

NCTA Waves Goodbye to Set-Top Integration Ban (Broadcasting & Cable) 

The FCC is still kicking the tires on proposals for a software-based successor, but its ban on integrated set-tops is due to expire Dec. 4 per a congressional mandate. To mark that passing, NCTA took to the blogosphere to remind everyone that the sunset of the ban did not end cable’s support for the CableCARD hardware solution.   

TV’s New Dilemma: Do Digital Dollars Point To a Diminished Future? (Hollywood Reporter)   

“Stop putting precious content on these platforms,” argues an analyst as Disney, Time Warner and others debate the pros and cons of lucrative streaming deals. “R.I.P. Network Television: 1948-2015.” So said writer-producer Chuck Lorre on a Nov. 19 vanity card that flashed at the end of his CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.   

CBS, Fox: Our NFL Broadcast Deals Are Exempt from Antitrust Review (Hollywood Reporter)    

A judicial panel in Louisiana will help sort out the dozens of antitrust lawsuits brought over the way NFL games are packaged for telecast. A decision will be made on whether to consolidate the proposed class actions, and if so, where the disputes will be adjudicated.     

Seeso, NBCUniversal’s Subscription Service for Comedy Nerds, Is Here (Recode)   

There’s definitely an audience that will pay for niche content delivered over the Web. For instance: Crunchyroll, Otter Media’s anime service, says it has 750,000 people paying at least $7 a month. And there are presumably some people who are willing to pay for Seeso’s mix of re-runs and some new originals.   

DirecTV to Offer Live 4K Broadcasts in 2016 (Reviewed) 

Over the past couple years, 4K TVs have gone from fantasy to reality, but the same can’t exactly be said for 4K content. Netflix, Amazon, and Ultraflix are the only places to reliably get 4K movies and TV shows, and 4K Blu-ray discs are still over the horizon. But that could all be set to change, thanks to DirecTV.   

Google: No, We’re Not Snooping on Students With Our Chromebooks, Apps (Recode) 

In a blog post, Google claimed it had done nothing to invade the privacy of students using its laptop educational software, pushing back against accusations from a top advocacy group. The response comes as the EFF filed a complaint with the FTC, asking the agency to probe Google for breaking its own privacy commitments.    


Republican lawmakers have tucked an anti-net neutrality rider into a government spending bill that would block the FCC from enforcing its open Internet rules. The provision is just one of many riders in the financial services appropriations bill currently being hashed out by House and Senate negotiators.   


The FCC’s new net neutrality rules have created enough legal uncertainty that AT&T has paused plans to offer some new services, AT&T Senior Vice President Bob Quinn said. He didn’t provide any details. There’s no way AT&T would have been able to first offer something like T-Mobile’s Binge On video streaming plan.   


The UK’s digital spy agency, GCHQ, has admitted for the first time in court that it hacks computers, smartphones, and networks in the UK and abroad. GCHQ’s use of hacking has been an open secret since the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, but a legal case brought by Privacy International has confirmed the agency’s methods.   

How Hollywood Gossips About Netflix’s Hidden Ratings (Vulture)

Almost every artistic endeavor in Hollywood comes attached to a ranking of some sort, a numerical report card that allows the town to declare said project a success or failure — and then gossip about it endlessly. The one exception to this Tinseltown truism: Netflix. 

Net Neutrality Goes On Trial (The Hill) 

The strongest U.S. Internet regulations ever written will face their day in court on Friday. Internet service providers like AT&T are hoping to have the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit strike down the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, just as it did to a pair of prior iterations of the rules.