Nick Diaz is one of my favorite fighters in the UFC. Hear from Diaz and those closest to him as they describe the person he is, where he comes from, and what drives him. Diaz faces Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 this Saturday.
AT&T’s Randall Stephenson plans to lean on DirecTV relationships to strike new media deals.
AT&T may be the next big player to throw its hat into the online video ring.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of the wireless company, plans to take advantage of the relationships that DirecTV, which AT&T is in the process of buying, has built up with media companies so its customers can get video on their smartphones and tablets.
“Our customers are demanding video to be delivered across any device,” Stephenson said on an investor conference call Tuesday discussing AT&Ts quarterly results.
AT&T is just the latest company to entertain the idea of offering so-called over-the-top video, or content delivered over an Internet connection instead of a traditional cable line. The shift underscores a further separation between media companies and traditional pay-TV providers, as companies explore new business models. This is good news for cord-cutters, or consumers who have shunned a cable TV subscription in favor of just Internet or broadband service.
Dish Network’s Sling TV, which offers a bundle of a dozen cable channels for $20 a month, is seen as the first to break through with a credible alternative to cable TV service. But it won’t be the last. Verizon has said it will launch its own over-the-top service later this year.
Now AT&T is joining in on the mix.
AT&T hopes to strike new deals through its pending $48.5 billion acquisition of satellite TV provider DirecTV, which will give the carrier 20.3 million subscribers to add to its own 5.7 million U-Verse TV customers. More important, it will give AT&T the relationships and clout it needs to negotiate more online content deals for its customers. Stephenson said he expects the takeover to be completed in the first half of the year, and added that mobile television is a top priority.
Stephenson also talked about Otter Media — AT&T’s joint venture with the Chernin Group to acquire, invest in and launch online video services — as a way to deliver online content.
“I expect customers to walk out the door with content on their mobile device,” he said, noting that he’s looking at multiple channels and channel lineups that could be delivered to tablet, smartphone and broadband customers. “Stay tuned.”
Beats Studio Wireless – vs – Sony Extra Bass Wireless
Packaging: Beats Win. The packaging is second to none.
Bass: Sony win (duh)
Over-all Sound: Beats Win
Style: Beats Win
Beats Studio Wireless ChillReport Score: 9/10
Sony Extra Bass ChillReport Score: 7/10
SpaceX, the space exploration startup helmed by ex-PayPal founder Elon Musk, has confirmed that it has raised $1 billion in new funding, in a round including Google and Fidelity, who join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jervetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity get a ownership stake just shy of 10 percent in exchange for their investment.
Google was considering a sizeable investment in SpaceX, with a valuation of more than $10 billion (which is in keeping with Google and Fidelity getting less than 10 percent ownership for their combined $1 billion contribution). The investment was said to be aligned with Google’s plans to make Internet connectivity more accessible on a global scale.
The Information originally reported that Google was investing in SpaceX in order to support a satellite project specifically aimed at broadening Internet availability. Musk has discussed the project, which is being run out of a newly opened Seattle office, as involving hundreds of micro-satellites that will operate in very low orbit, offering faster communication vs. traditional satellites, and helping to pave the way for future Mars missions.
Google’s Project Loon is also striving to increase the availability of Internet connectivity, using a network of high flying balloons to network hard-to-reach areas. Musk’s plan has a couple of differences, though the projects actually share a lot in common: SpaceX’s design calls for satellites flying higher and faster than Google’s balloons, but the aims of casting off the limits of terrestrial networks still apply.
Amazon.com will begin producing and acquiring original movies for theatrical release as well as distribute them on its Prime video service.
Amazon is looking to create as many as 12 movies a year, with production starting later this year. The move aims to capitalize on the company’s recent success in producing television shows, help filmmakers who might otherwise struggle to produce their work, and possibly shake up the timing of how movies are distributed to theaters and other outlets.
Original movies would premiere on the Prime video service one or two months after their theatrical debut, Amazon said. It said it typically takes 39 weeks to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services.
Creative development at Amazon Original Movies will be led by independent film producer Ted Hope, Amazon said. Hope was a co-founder of the production and sales company Good Machine, which produced “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” among other movies.
Since its Golden Globe success last week, Amazon Studios has been busy announcing news. Last week, the production studio said it signed filmmaker Woody Allen to write and direct his first television series, and it announced a new slate of 13 pilot episodes for subscribers to watch.
Netflix wants to complete its global expansion within the next two years, the company announced as part of its Q4 2014 earnings release. Here’s how Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells put it in a letter to investors:
“Our international expansion strategy over the last few years has been to expand as fast as we can while staying profitable on a global basis. Progress has been so strong that we now believe we can complete our global expansion over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than we expected. We then intend to generate material global profits from 2017 onwards.”
In Q4 2014, Netflix added a total of 2.43 million subscribers abroad, and now has a total of 18.28 million members in its 50 international markets. Domestically, it ended 2014 with 39.11 million subscribers, compared to 33.42 million a year before that. Netflix ended the year with a total of 57.39 million subscribers, compared to 44.35 million at the end of 2013.
Netflix Beats The Street In Q4 By Adding 4.3M New Streaming Subscribers Worldwide.