Welcome to the 39th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Brightcove’s Eric Elia, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. This week we convene a special roundtable to talk about one of our favorite subjects: cutting the cord to cable TV! We had hoped that a Comcast executive would join us, but he had to cancel at the last minute. Fortunately, we still had a stellar lineup of guests: Wall Street Journal’s Ben Schechner, NewTeeVee’s Ryan Lawler and Free Press’ Jenn Ettinger.
The big news of the week was that cable giant Comcast announced its own streaming service called Xfinity Streampix, which is only offered to cable subscribers. They either pay $4.99 per month for the add-on service or it’s free for people in the higher tiers of service. Will it keep people from cutting the cord and dumping Comcast? Also, Google has been laying fiber optic lines in Kansas City for a test run of a possible pay TV service. What does the search giant have up its sleeve?
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Here are some highlighted topics from the show:
1:20: Cord-cutting special trying to take multiple views
3:00: Eric tried to quit Comcast, but got an offer he couldn’t refuse
5:20: Why can’t we get just the channels and shows we want?
6:30: Call to cancel to get a better cable TV rate
7:10: Rundown of topics on the show
Roundtable discussion: Comcast Streampix
8:10: Special guests Ryan Lawler, Sam Schechner, Jenn Ettinger
11:20: Lawler: Not really a Netflix killer, but a way to keep people on cable
13:10: Ettinger: Cable companies lobby for policies that aren’t consumer-friendly
15:10: Eric: Too expensive for a competitor to lay their own cable to compete
Can we get shows on-demand?
18:00: Schechner: ESPN has contract that it has to be on all bundles
21:20: Still missing shows when you cut the cord
23:45: Disney has no interest in breaking apart the cable bundles
Google fiber plans
24:10: Could Google be a viable competitor to cable?
25:15: Apple, Google could buy media companies but won’t
26:10: What about original shows produced by Netflix, Hulu?
29:30: Many people don’t realize they can get HD broadcast channels over the air
Comcast Takes Aim at Netflix at WSJ
Comcast Takes Aim At Netflix With Streampix at Multichannel News
Cable Lifts Comcast+ at WSJ
What does Google Fiber mean for the future of TV? at NewTeeVee
When does sharing become stealing? at NewTeeVee
Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about cutting the cord:
Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+