AT&T Improves High Speed Internet Access in Southern Dallas

In order to help businesses and residents in low-income areas become connected to an essential tool that is growing more essential by the day, AT&T will expand GigiPower Internet to parts of southern Dallas, Texas. Carried through a fiber-optic network, this high speed internet allows speeds of up to 1GB (gigabit) per second.

More from the Dallas Morning News:

[Dallas Mayor Mike] Rawlings said he sees high-speed Internet as a key way to improve the lives of longtime residents and attract young professionals who are already moving there.

“If you talk to citizens that live in southern Dallas, if you talk to small businesses about what can be better in southern Dallas, Internet access is always up there in the top list,” he said.

He said the AT&T announcement shows that large companies are paying attention to southern Dallas — an area that the mayor has touted as ripe for opportunity as part of his “Grow South” initiative. 

“I’m thrilled to see southern Dallas finally breaking through,” he said. “It’s got to be a cost of doing business if you want to do business in Dallas.”

AT&T North Texas Vice President and General Manager Hardmon Williams III will speak on Tuesday. An AT&T spokesman declined to talk about the project before the announcement.

AT&T GigaPower is already available in other cities and parts of the Dallas area. AT&T launched the ultra-fast service two years ago in University Park and Highland Park, parts of Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding suburbs such as Allen, Irving and McKinney.

The FCC’s priority in recent years has been to increase high speed internet access for low-income households and small businesses in low income rural and urban areas. This AT&T initiative falls in line with that particular point of view.

NBC Sports Considers More Streaming Avenues

NBC Sports, bringing the NHL and other sports leagues and events to both broadcast and cable TV, is also trying to get into the streaming market. The group has set up a division called Playmaker Media and will be trying to convince individual teams and leagues to stream their events through a new platform.

More from Sports Business Daily:

“There’s a real business here, but it’s also strategic for us,” said Rick Cordella, NBC Sports senior vice president and general manager of digital media. “We want to keep our partners closer to us and work with them not only from a rights fee perspective but from a digital point of view, too.”

For media companies like ESPN, NBC and Turner, these moves to set up their own streaming companies are signs of how TV networks plan to approach the next round of sports rights negotiations, many of which will occur early next decade. The idea is that these networks would use their streaming services as an added deal point to convince sports leagues and conferences to cut deals with them.

“Five or 10 years ago, there wasn’t a big demand for this kind of service,” Cordella said. “I know [MLBAM] had been there. But it seems like today, everyone’s putting more content online. Everyone’s announcing an OTT initiative. We can be a partner in that.”

Stand-alone streaming tech units also have proved to be good business. MLBAM’s tech unit brought in $100 million in revenue last year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. TV network executives want to get into that business.

Playmaker Media will be getting its first trial by fire later this year streaming summer Olympic events. If that turns out well, they’ll have a good position to negotiate from to lock down their current leagues—particularly the NHL and the English Premier League—as well as go after new partners.

St. Louis County’s Rural Residents Closer to High Speed Internet Access

Though part of the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area, towns like Wildwood in the west have many rural residents whose isolation from larger neighborhoods and urban and suburban centers have them out of the loop when it comes to service from high speed internet providers. Because there is no existing infrastructure, and very few residents in certain areas, it is not cost-effective for internet providers to build in access for these homes, leaving them with little choice when it comes to home internet service.

That might change, as Wildwood is working on a deal with St. Louis County to allow an internet provider to use emergency communication towers to provide wireless internet access for these residents.

More from KMOX:

“If we get access to those towers and we can get the St. Louis County Council and [County Executive] Steve Stenger behind it, I think we’re pretty much good to go,” Mayor Jim Bowlin told KMOX.

The St. Louis County Emergency Communications Commission recommended that request be approved at its meeting Thursday, it now moves on to the full County Council. If approved, more information on how to sign up will be released closer to a mid-summer rollout.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

NBA Conference Finals Broadcast and Cable TV Schedule

NBA Conference Finals Broadcast and Cable TV Schedule

The NBA Conference Finals matchups are set, with the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the favorite Golden State Warriors beginning tonight, and the Eastern Conference matchup between the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors beginning tomorrow. Here are the schedules and broadcast and cable TV listings for both series:

Western Conference Finals – Warriors (1) vs. Thunder (3)

1 Monday, May 16 Oracle Arena (Warriors) 9 p.m. ET TNT
2 Wednesday, May 18 Oracle Arena (Warriors) 9 p.m. ET TNT
3 Sunday, May 22 Chesapeake Energy Arena (OKC) 9 p.m. ET TNT
4 Tuesday, May 24 Chesapeake Energy Arena (OKC) 9 p.m. ET TNT
5* Thursday, May 26 Oracle Arena (Warriors) TBD TNT
6* Saturday, May 28 Chesapeake Energy Arena (OKC) TBD TNT
7* Monday, May 30 Oracle Arena (Warriors) TBD TNT


Eastern Conference Finals – Cavaliers (1) vs. Raptors (2)

1 Tuesday, May 17 Quicken Loans Arena (Cavs) 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
2 Thursday, May 19 Quicken Loans Arena (Cavs) 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
3 Saturday, May 21 Air Canada Centre (Raptors) 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
4 Monday, May 23 Air Canada Centre (Raptors) 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
5* Wednesday, May 25 Quicken Loans Arena (Cavs) TBD ESPN
6* Friday, May 27 Air Canada Centre (Raptors) TBD ESPN
7* Sunday, May 29 Quicken Loans Arena (Cavs) TBD ESPN

Enjoy the games!

*If Necessary

NHL Conference Finals Cable TV Schedule

The NHL Conference Finals matchups are set, with the winners of these two series set to face off in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks, both teams who have reputations of playoff letdowns, will face off, with one team guaranteed to shed its Finals drought. In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Cup in 2009, face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both series are likely to go to seven games, with plenty of overtime action along the way.

Here are the times and cable TV listings for both series:

Eastern Conference Finals

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 1: Lightning at Penguins Fri. May 13 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2: Lightning at Penguins Mon. May 16 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3: Penguins at Lightning Wed. May 18 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4: Penguins at Lightning Fri. May 20 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5: Lightning at Penguins Sun. May 22 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 6: Penguins at Lightning Tue. May 24 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 7: Lightning at Penguins Thurs. May 26 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN


Western Conference Finals

St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

Game 1: Sharks at Blues Sun. May 15 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2: Sharks at Blues Tues. May 17 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3: Blues at Sharks Thurs. May 19 San Jose 9 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4: Blues at Sharks Sat. May 21 San Jose 7:15 p.m. ET NBC
Game 5: Sharks at Blues Mon. May 23 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 6: Blues at Sharks Wed. May 25 San Jose 9 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 7: Sharks at Blues Fri. May 27 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN

Enjoy the games.

Cable TV Coming to Youtube

Streaming video as competition for traditional cable TV providers is getting a big boost, as Youtube, the Google-owned streaming video giant, is getting into the cable TV game. Youtube has already overhauled its technical infrastructure in order to get ready for the release of the paid subscription service, called “Unplugged,” in 2017.

More from Bloomberg:

YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc.’s main Google Internet business, is pursuing subscriptions for premium video to complement the largest ad-supported video site in the world. YouTube introduced its first paid subscription service, Red, last fall. Unplugged would bring more premium content onto YouTube’s web service and mobile apps, grabbing more viewing time and generating more non-advertising revenue.

YouTube has been working on an online cable package since at least 2012, one of the people said, but these plans have taken on new urgency in the past few months. Christian Oestlien and Jonathan Zepp are among top YouTube executives working on Unplugged, the people added. Apple Inc. and Inc. are working on similar proposals, while Dish Network Corp. and Sony Corp. have already introduced online TV services.

YouTube’s interest in a live TV package has been reported in the past, but this the first time the name and details of the plan have emerged. YouTube declined to comment.

“We aim to provide more choice to YouTube fans — more ways for them to engage with creators and each other, and more ways for them to get great content,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, wrote in an letter to Alphabet shareholders last week. “We’ve started down this journey with specialized apps like YouTube Kids, as well as through our YouTube Red subscription service.”

The rollout of the service is not yet determined, though it’s estimated that it will cost consumers around $35 a month. Whether it will be one large bundle of channels or a series of “skinny” bundles of fewer channels relating to a certain theme (such as a Comedy bundle featuring Comedy Central and other similar channels) is also yet to be determined.

Stay tuned to the TV, Internet and Phone blog for more info on this as it develops.

NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Second Round TV Listings

The second round matchups for the Eastern Conference are finally set, with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Atlanta Hawks in a rematch of last year’s conference finals and the Toronto Raptors facing the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers are heavily favored in their series, and all the way through to the Finals, while the Heat/Raptors matchup is an interesting one. Here are the schedules and broadcast and cable TV listings for the games, via

(1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks

Game 1 (at CLE): Monday, May 2, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 2 (at CLE): Wednesday, May 4, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 3 (at ATL): Friday, May 6, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 (at ATL): Sunday, May 8, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5 (at CLE): Tuesday, May 10, TBA, TNT  
Game 6 (at ATL): Thursday, May 12, TBA, ESPN 
Game 7 (at CLE): Sunday, May 15, TBA, TBA

(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (3) Miami Heat 

Game 1 (at TOR): Tuesday, May 3, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 2 (at TOR): Thursday, May 5, 8 p.m., ESPN
Game 3 (at MIA): Saturday, May 7, 5 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 (at MIA): Monday, May 9, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 5 (at TOR): Wednesday, May 11, TBA, TNT  
Game 6 (at MIA): Friday, May 13, TBA, ESPN 
Game 7 (at TOR): Sunday, May 15, TBA, TBA 

Enjoy the games!