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Cordcutting

Cordcutting

HBO’s New Tactic for Promoting Game of Thrones? Courting Techies

Sure. (Photo: Hashgram)

As HBO drums up promotion of the upcoming season of Games of Thrones, the premium cable network is trying a different approach: cozying up with the digerati. (Historically, HBO has greeted the Internet much Night’s Watch would approach a horde of White Walkers.)

Last week, the cabler held elaborate Games of Thrones-themed events in techie hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle–home base to Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Netflix prone to disrupting the archaic television distribution process. Read More

Cordcutting

Deliver Us from Re-Runs! Netflix Nabs Rights to First-Run Disney Movies

Can you feel the MAGIC? (Photo: flickr.com/cdharrison)

Good news if you’re sick to death of movies that weren’t that great when you first saw them in the mid 1990s: The Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix has landed a plum deal to show Disney movies earlier than any other subscription TV service, to the tune of seven months or so after they leave theaters. Usually the deal goes to a premium outfit like HBO; Starz has the rights until 2015.  Read More

Cordcutting

No Cable, No Problem: Where to Watch the Presidential Debates For Free

(Photo: The Atlantic)

If you’re into bloodsports, there’s another way to watch Obama v. Romney tonight. Aereo, the Barry Diller-backed startup that lets you live-stream network TV, just offered New Yorkers two hours of free viewing tonight from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m–and free viewing for both subsequent presidential debates. Users don’t have to input their credit card information, but they do have to own a Mac since the service still only works through Safari browsers.

For those of you outside Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field, there are a number of other options. Read More

Cordcutting

Over the Aereo: Killer Diller Just Might Help Viewers Cut the Cord At Last

Picture 64

The sun was still setting when The Observer rounded the corner under The High Line for IAC’s Internet Week closing party, co-hosted by Aereo, a provocative new startup that will allow users to view broadcast content on their computers, smartphones and tablets. Off the drab West Side Highway, the Frank Gehry-designed building shimmered like a landing dock for a space ship–as if the top could twist off and whir its way into the atmosphere. Will Arnett and Wilmer Valderrama walked the red carpet. Dolled-up in pale pink, Allison Williams (the Miranda to Lena Dunham’s Carrie) took Barry Diller’s elbow as she navigated the crowd.

As the origin myth has it, Mr. Diller’s transformation from a Hollywood mogul to Internet soothsayer for this new digital era started with an Apple PowerBook. “No question that his relationship with his little screen, which is irritating to everybody in the room, has altered his life,” his closest confidante and now wife Diane von Furstenberg told The New Yorker some years back.

It was the early ’90s—right around the time Rupert Murdoch refused to make Mr. Diller a principal at Fox, the fabled fourth network Mr. Diller pioneered when competitors insisted that three would do just fine. Read More

Cordcutting

Testify! Barry Diller Tells Congress to Rewrite Net Neutrality Laws So They Don’t Favor Broadcast and Cable Companies

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IAC/InterActive Corp chairman Barry Diller testified before the Senate Commerce Committee today about the future of online video. We can’t believe someone thought this was a legitimate question in the era of Netflix and Hulu, but the hearing was actually called “The Emergence of Online Video: Is it the Future?” Then we remembered who was asking.

“Incumbents have the means and incentives to engage in economic and/or technical discrimination against online video distributors,” Mr. Diller told lawmakers, referring to our cable and broadband overlords. To level the playing field, he said, “I think you need to rewrite the [Telecommunications] Act of ’96. It’s overdue given the Internet. And it needs revision.” Congress, he added, should “prevent cable and telecommunications companies from leveraging their dominance in existing markets” to control emerging technologies. Read More

Cordcutting

Here’s Hoping Some of Hulu’s New Shows Are As Good As ‘Battleground’

Screen Shot 2012-04-20 at 1.26.46 PM

Earlier this week, the New York Times chronicled Hulu’s trajectory from an upstart streaming video service into something more in the vein of a traditional TV network with its own original programming, much like its corporate masters. Of course, that change has been in the works since January. But as Hulu and Netflix face increasing difficulty in convincing TV and cable stations to hand-over programming in a timely manner, they’ve put more of an emphasis on creating its own content to fill that gap. Read More

Cordcutting

Oops: Boxee Says Unimpressive Numbers Were Just A Twitter Fail

Boxee bought?

So how’s that cordcutting revolution coming? In a post yesterday, GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers pointed out an @Boxee tweet with some less-than-stellar figures. Replying to a question regarding active users, the company revealed they’re at 2 million total users–only 200,000 of them Boxee Box users. If true, that would leave an awful lot of people holding onto that discontinued PC client.

Only it’s not true, as those numbers are apparently outdated. Upon reaching out for a comment, Betabeat was informed by Boxee’s Liz Dellheim via email that it was all the intern’s fault: Read More