Cordkillers 96 - It’s Wizards

Pay TV losses growth again, Time Warner might buy part of Hulu, ABC’s wacky plan to avoid viewers.

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CordKillers: 96 - It’s Wizards
Recorded:  November 16 2015
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • Hulu reportedly wants to sell part of itself to Time Warner
    - Hulu in talks to make Time Warner (HBO, Turner) owner of 25% (alongside equal shares from existing 3 nets Fox, ABC, NBC)
    - Hulu valued at $5 billion
    - Peter Kafka from Recode’s sources say discussions haven’t gone very far
  • TV Networks May Contemplate Change to Hulu Licensing
    -On licensing of shows to Hulu
    -21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch during latest earnings call:
    “Look, I think our commitment to Hulu is self-evident. We’ve invested a lot in it. We continue to license to it, where it makes the most sense for our creative partners and us to do so. But also, we want to grow our app distribution, as well. And I think we’re seeking to license rights to distributors of all kinds, if it’s on the right terms.”
  • TV Programmers Push Netflix for Promotions, Branding
    - One thing nets want is more cross-promo. Hulu gives them that. Now Netflix too
    - How to get away with murder has a 4-second glamor shot of Viola Davis and ABC logo
    - ABC logo on icon in menu as well
    - FX gets logo on some shows on Netflix as well

Gear Up

  • CAST makes TV social as it tries to out-stream the Slingbox
    - Kickstarter for CAST by GENII (through Jan. 9 2016)
    - Hub, smartphone app, wifi camera, HDMI dongle
    - Send what’s accessible on the Internet to another CAST user (up to 6) limited to “a normal circle of family and acquaintances”
    - Chat along with cameras
    - $299 for box $399 for hub September 2016
    - “a wireless home video system and console that smartifies all of your home devices”
    - DIGITAL!
    Thanks to folks who’ve pointed out similar services.
    - When done online it brings in a central server which makes the legality question different.
    - When broadcast from your own doc, like sling box….

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys, I'm about to add to the physical media vs. digital content argument. I bought the DVDs for the first season of Rick and Morty to give as a give to a friend of mine, and when they opened up the case to play one of the disks, a "The Good Morty" religious tract dropped out. If you're familiar with Chick Tracts, then you know exactly what this looked like. Digital is great for some things, but it can't yet replicate such a great gag as having a faux religious tract packaged along with the content. And when I posted a pic the tract on Facebook, a bunch of my friends immediately posted that they were now ordering the DVDs because of it, so I just boosted sales of the DVDs (and hopefully increased the odds of there being a 3rd season, you're welcome, America).

I'll still probably continue to buy mostly digital content, but I'm certainly not going to overlook physical media for certain items. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to order my own copy of Rick and Morty on DVD.

- Tucker


Hey Brian and Tom

I was listening to your conversation about the possibility of removing a few minutes of commercials from TV shows and increasing the amount of time that we have for content. If we could eek out 3 to 5 more minutes for content by reducing commercials we might see a resurgence in those classic TV theme songs.

- Steve from




Brian, Tom and Bryce,

I, along with many others, have a bone to pick with the CBS executives and their decision to make the new Star Trek series only available on their app. That bone is: their app sucks.

In the pioneering days of cord cutting, people tolerated bad UI's, repetitive commercials and endless buffering, but I feel the cordcutting community has moved beyond that now. We're being asked to pay for more and more, and rightfully so. But if I'm going to be $6/mo I expect something to work just under the high standards set forth by Netflix. CBS All Access has a long way to go to catch up to this standard.

Am I happy they're looking to the web for the future? Yes. Am I happy to pay for their content on the web? Yes. But only if they can provide it in a way that doesn't frustrate and me and send me back to Netflix to rewatch Firefly yet again simply because I know it will work.

Thanks for all that you do!

- Melissa from Lincoln, NE





Hi Brian and Tom, 

As you probably know in Australia we have a single cable television provider - Foxtel. Compared the US it seems pretty good value EXCEPT when it comes to sports. For US sports in particular we are very poorly serviced. For example Foxtel is showing 3-4 NBA games a week on their EPSN channel. 3 to 4!!!! A week!!! And some of those aren't even live! This is versus the 13-15 games that are actually played.

So, after the Rugby World Cup (Go the All Blacks hey Tom!) I cancelled my $25 per month sports package and signed up for a $27.90 NBA League Pass. So I am paying MORE money per month for ONE SPORT, as opposed to LESS money for MORE SPORTS. Madness? No. It is what I want. When I want it. On whatever fricken' device I please.

I would much rather pay $25 a month to each sport that I am interested in watching (or at least have the choice of watching) than to pay a "cheap" $25 for a limited selection that I can only watch on one TV in the house (Foxtel has Foxtel Go which is a streaming service, but it is not HD and streaming is inconsistent at best).

Sporting codes, take my money - it's just sitting here doing nothing...

- Ben




Just to add my 2 cents about Plex.

I was using Plex to watch the episode of Cordkillers where you discuss the legal uses to which Plex can be put.

One aspect of the change in the media landscape is that more and more content is not behind DRM. Folks such as yourselves that put stuff out and want your niche to get access in any way possible. Most of what I watch these days is that sort of thing, and Plex is a great service for doing just that.

You know these things, I'm sure. But since much of the media I want to watch, when I want, where etc. is video like you produce, Corkillers should reference Plex as a tool to achieve that goal.

BTW, the Plex channel is excellent.

- Scott




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