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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Hillary Clinton Wants Every Home to Have High-Speed Internet by 2020

Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton wants every home in the United States to have access to high-speed internet, and she has a comprehensive plan for how to make that happen. Here’s more from IT News:

Currently 30 percent of American households do not have a broadband connection, particulary amongst low income homes.

Clinton has pledged to continue the broadband rollout, aiming to achieve speeds “sufficient to meet families’ needs”. She said a Clinton government would consider a full range of technologies to complete the program, including fibre, fixed wireless and satellite.

A statement issued by her campaign said Clinton strongly supports the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules requiring broadband providers to treat all data equally, rather than giving or selling access to a so-called web fast lane.

She will increase research and development budgets of the National Science Foundation and similar entities and will launch an initiative to train up to 50,000 computer science teachers, the statement said.

“Hillary believes the government has an important role to play in laying a foundation for broad-based innovation and economic growth – by reducing regulatory barriers to entry, promoting healthy competition, and keeping the internet free and open,” it said.

While there are plenty of benefits to this plan, a cynical look at it could reveal that Clinton is proposing this and other parts of her tech agenda in order to engender support from the tech sector in Silicon Valley. As yet she has only received a total of $2.7 million from Silicon Valley, as opposed to the more than $13 million Obama received in his re-election campaign in 2012.

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NBC to Provide Most Live Olympic Broadcast and Cable TV Coverage Ever

NBC and its related networks have covered the Olympics for years, with the major constant complaint about the networks’ coverage being that it doesn’t show enough in the way of live sports. NBC has responded to this complaint by saying that this Summer Games will feature the most live coverage of any Olympics that has ever happened, with 6,755 hours over many channels, most of them on cable TV. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • NBC – Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Beach Volleyball, Diving, Gymnastics, Swimming, Track & Field, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball Gold Medal Games
  • NBCSN – Team USA Soccer, Team USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games, Track & Field, Archery, Boxing, Cycling, Fencing, Field Hockey, Judo, Open Water Swimming, Rugby, Shooting, Soccer, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling
  • Bravo – Tennis
  • CNBC – Basketball, Volleyball, Archery, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Rugby, Water Polo, Wrestling
  • Golf Channel – Golf
  • MSNBC – Men’s Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Rugby, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • USA Network – Women’s Soccer, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Men’s Basketball, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • NBC Universo/Telemundo – Mexican National Team Soccer and Various Sports with Spanish Language Coverage
  • Specialized Channels – There will be specialized channels for basketball and soccer

Enjoy the games, and thanks to Awful Announcing for the information.

Cable TV Has Social Media Appeal

The old standard of Nielsen set top boxes as a proper gauge of the audiences watching TV is going by the wayside. Now, social media can be a much better gauge, with the amount of people posting on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms giving a real impression of how large—and interested—a program’s audience might be. While cable TV ratings have been going down due to cord cutting and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, six of the top ten most tweeted about shows were on cable TV.

More from Multichannel News:

AMC’s veteran zombie thriller The Walking Dead (pictured) was on average the most tweeted series on television for the third consecutive year, averaging 435,000 tweets per episode and besting the 387,000 tweets averaged for Fox’s highly-rated series Empire, according to Nielsen.

HBO’s Game of Thrones, USA Network’s WWE Monday Night Raw, FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel, MTV’s Teen Wolf and VH1’s Love & Hip Hop all finished among the top 10 most tweeted TV shows during the season, which covers the period of Aug. 31, 2015, to May 29.

Live sports are also drawing a lot of attention on Twitter, and measuring by tweets can be a great gauge of how many eyeballs are on the games with how many people watch in sports bars or at parties. For example, Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game in April generated more than four million tweets.

Cable TV isn’t dead yet. And Twitter shows that to be true.

High Speed Internet Expansion in Alaska

The state of Alaska seeks to bring high speed internet service to all of its rural communities, allowing far-flung areas to remain in contact and up to speed with the rest of the state and the rest of the United States as well. Now, ten new communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Norton Sound areas will have high speed internet by the end of the year from GCI.

More from ADN.com:

The broadband service — GCI’s Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska or TERRA network – provides high-speed data streaming that the company says will allow high-quality video conferencing in schools and health care settings.

The technology for the project is being developed through Ericsson, a technology and communications company that has worked with GCI for 10 years.

Under the latest expansion, Buckland, Kiana, Noorvik, Selawik, Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain, Stebbins and St. Michael will have access to high-speed telecommunications through TERRA by the year’s end, GCI said.

They join 72 other rural communities from Akiachak to Unalakleet that already receive the service, according to GCI.

Check back often to the TV, Internet and Phone Blog as we cover rural expansion for high speed internet in the USA.

Copa America Cable TV Schedule

The Copa America soccer tournament has been a ratings hit for Fox Sports 1, with the match between the United States and Paraguay last Saturday setting a high water mark for soccer ratings on the channel. The quarterfinals are upcoming, with eight teams remaining, games starting today. Here is the schedule and TV listings (all times Eastern) for the Copa America Quarterfinal matches, via CBS Sports:

QUARTERFINALS
MATCH DATE LOCATION TIME TV
Match 25 Thu., June 16 USA vs. Ecuador CenturyLink Field 9:30 p.m. FS1
Match 26 Fri., June 17 Peru vs. Colombia MetLife Stadium 8:00 p.m. FS1
Match 27 Sat., June 18 Argentina vs. Venezuela Gillette Stadium 7:00 p.m. FX
Match 28 Sat., June 18 Mexico vs. Chile Levi’s Stadium 10:00 p.m. FX

FS1 airs on channel 219 on DIRECTV; FX is channel 248. Enjoy the games.

Stanley Cup Ratings Down for NBC Sports Group

The Stanley Cup Final between the NHL’s Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks and eventual Cup winners the Pittsburgh Penguins experienced a steep ratings drop from last year’s Chicago-Tampa Bay series, with the six-game series averaging a 2.3 rating and 3.9 million viewers, down 23% in ratings and 21% in viewership from last year’s championship series.

Last year’s Final featured a major market team, the Chicago Blackhawks, winning their third title in six years, and that major market presence could be the reason for the steep decline this year, without a major market team in the mix. Though it did not fare as well as last year, it was the highest rated Final without an Original Six (Bruins, Blackhawks, Canadiens, Red Wings, Rangers, Maple Leafs) in 15 years. From Awful Announcing, here are the top local markets for Stanley Cup Final viewership:

  1. Pittsburgh — 31,7
  2. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose — 7.0
  3. Buffalo–5.8
  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul — 4.2
  5. Denver — 4.1
  6. West Palm Beach — 3.9
  7. Boston — 3.7
  8. Sacramento, St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham — 3.6 (tie)

Ratings across the entire playoffs—on NBC on broadcast TV and CNBC, NBCSN and USA on cable TV—were down this year as well.

Innovators Want High Speed Internet in Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian Region in general have suffered major setbacks with the decline of the coal industry, leaving many jobless. A new initiative, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) wants to bring high speed internet infrastructure to Eastern Kentucky in order to make the area more attractive for startup companies and other technological ventures, creating a “Silicon Holler”.

More from the Washington Times:

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says 34 percent of houses in rural Kentucky can’t access internet service without the minimum federal broadband standard download speed of 25 megabytes per second. Leaders hope to change that by bringing cable and high-speed network poles to the region.

Officials further hope high-speed internet can help supplant lost coal jobs. The group Bit Source employs former coal miners and teaches them to code.

Coal production in the area is at its lowest point since the Great Depression, so changes do need to be made. Will high speed internet access be a quick cure-all? Probably not. But it couldn’t hurt.

ESPN Sees Cable TV Ratings Victories

Cord cutting is hurting a lot of cable TV networks. One of those hurt most has been the ESPN family of networks, owned by Disney/ABC, as ESPN charges the most from cable TV providers to be carried as an offering, and when they lose subscribers, they are losing more dollars than other cable TV empires. There is some good news for the Worldwide Leader in Sports, though, as through the first five months of 2016, ESPN is leading the ratings in many key demographics preferred by advertisers.

More from Awful Announcing:

In primetime, ESPN is number one in cable among the 18-34 age group, males 18-34, the overall 18-49 demographic as well as men 18-49 and men 25-54.

Its second in cable after Fox News in households and in the overall cable audience.

Next, it ranks first in both broadcast and cable in the men 18-34 age group and first in cable in the 18-34 demo, 18-49 group, men 18-49 and men 25.-54.

ESPN has certainly had plenty of live sports in the first five months to attract viewers including the College Football Playoff National Championship, NFL Wild Card Playoff, college basketball, Australian Open, MLB and the NBA Playoffs.

And it looks forward to the summer which includes NCAA Championships in baseball and softball, Euro 2016, Wimbledon, the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby which has done well for ESPN throughout the years and for the first time, the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game.

Does this mean live sports is still the key to getting people to watch live television? It seems to be the case. ESPN airs on channel 206 on DIRECTV.

Free DVR Service Available with Charter Spectrum TV

Charter Communications is now the second-largest cable TV provider in the United States, serving areas in 26 states. The recent upgrade to Charter’s services, Charter Spectrum, has improved Charter TV, Charter Internet, and Charter Voice in a number of ways. In addition to adding more high-definition channels and On Demand options for the largest HD lineup from any cable TV provider at all price points, Charter Spectrum TV now allows customers to get free DVR services for up to 4 televisions in their homes.

Charter Spectrum DVR allows TV watchers to automatically record single shows, set series recordings so they’ll never miss an episode of their favorites, stop, pause and rewind live TV. Charter Spectrum DVR allows you to store your favorite recorded movies forever to watch over and over again, skip commercials on broadcast shows you record, and a lot more that makes TV watching more convenient than ever before.

Charter Spectrum DVR, free as an addition, is available with Charter Gold TV (featuring the most HD channels overall, including all the available premium channels), Charter Select TV (the basic package featuring basic cable channels at an affordable low price) and Charter Spectrum Silver TV, which splits the difference between Select and Gold.

NBA Finals TV Schedule

After a long regular season and some hard fought playoff rounds, the NBA Finals matchup is finally set, with the favorites in both conferences reaching the finals for a rematch of last year’s matchup, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. While much of the playoffs was aired on cable TV, the Finals will be on ABC (in conjunction with ESPN, as both are owned by Disney), with the Warriors and their record-setting regular season owning the home court advantage.

Here’s the schedule, via ESPN.com:

  • Game 1 – Thursday, Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 2 – Sunday, Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 3 – June 8, Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 4 – June 10, Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 5* – June 13, Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 6* – June 16, Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. on ABC
  • Game 7* – June 19, Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. on ABC

Though they set records in the regular season, the Warriors had some trouble with the Oklahoma City Thunder in their Western Conference Finals matchup, having to come back from being down three games to one in order to keep their hopes for repeating the title alive. The Cavaliers had a much easier road to the finals, losing only two games in the first three rounds. Unlike last year, the Warriors will have to deal with a Cleveland team that’s at full strength and firing on all cylinders. It should be a hard fought series. Enjoy the games.