AT&T and TWC can merge, Lucifer is back on Netflix, and Minecraft on Netflix (really!). All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest DJ Wooldridge.
CordKillers: Ep. 224 – Forty Percent of Ten is Four
Recorded: June 18 2018
Guest: DJ Wooldridge
- AT&T, Time Warner, and the Future of TV in the Mobile Era
– U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that AT&T’s proposed purchase of Time Warner is legal. Judge Leon did not impose any conditions on the merger. The merger will combine Time Warner’s HBO, Turner Networks and the Warner Brothers film studio with AT&T’s ISP and pay TV services like DirecTV. The deal was officially closed on June 15.
- Expect AT&T’s ‘WarnerMedia’ to expand HBO’s budget
– The bulk of TimeWarner’s operations (HBO, Turner, Warner Brothers films) will be put in a new division of AT&T called Warner Media, run by AT&T exec John Stankey. In an interview with Bloomberg, Stankey implied they’ll spend more money on programming. HBO has a 2.5 billion content budget compared with Netflix’s 8 billion. The $15 skinny bundle mentioned by Randall Stephenson in testimony is expected to launch in a few days with Turner networks as the anchor.
- Comcast makes $65 billion offer to steal 21st Century Fox away from Disney
– Comcast officially made an offer to buy parts of 21st Century Fox TV and Film. The all-cash offer is $35 per share totaling approximately $65 billion, higher than Disney’s stock-based $52.4 billion deal. Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, and Fox Sports are not part of either offer. Comcast was also waiting for the AT&T-Time Warner deal to be resolved.
How to Watch
- Oprah will make stuff for Apple’s big, ambitious TV plans. But what are Apple’s TV plans?
– Apple announced Oprah Winfrey will create original programs that “embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.’ Apple didn’t say if Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, and financial details were not disclosed. Apple also said the deal wouldn’t affect OWN, Winfrey’s own television network she launched in 2011 and has contract through 2025. Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Durant.
What to Watch
What We’re Watching
- Terry Gilliam Has Lost the Rights to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
– A couple months after Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote premiered at the Canne film festival, a French court ruled Terry Gilliam does not own the film. Paulo Brancho’s Alfama Films won the court case, requiring Giiliam to pay $10,000 in damages. Brancho intends to sue the film’s production crew and Cannes.
- Netflix to bring Minecraft: Story Mode to service – but not traditional games
– Netflix will stream TellTale Games’ interactive story, Minecraft: Story Mode. Netflix also says TellTale will make a Stranger Things game. We joked about this last week and now…
- MoviePass Is Looking to Launch Family Plan Within a Month
– MoviePass announced last week it has passed three million paying subscribers and believes it needs two million more to break even, which it expects to get by the end of the year. MoviePass claims to account for 5% of the US box office. Parent company Helios and Matheson’s CEO, Ted Farnsworth told CinemaBlend that MoviePass has a family plan and bring-a-friend plan in the works, though neither would hav discounts.
- MoviePass Reps 40% Of ‘Gotti’s $1.67M Opening As Critics Slaughter John Travolta Mob Pic
– MoviePass says that its users accounted for 40% of the ticket sales for the box office stinker “Gotti,” which the service also invested in. MoviePass is really having it each way–getting movies made, promoting movies, and selling the tickets (all in a roundabout way).
- Plex’s grid guide gives cord cutters a traditional TV look
– Plex introduced a tradition grid guide for live TV channels. It’s available on the Web for Plex Pass subscribers and will come to other platforms eventually.
- Android malware is infecting Amazon Fire TVs and Fire Sticks
– Unsurprisingly, users of Fire TV devices who sideloaded apps to watch copyright-infringing video have been infected with malware called ADB.miner that mines cryptocurrency for whoever made the malware. A factory reset should get rid of the malware, or the Amazon app store app Total Commander will let you find and uninstall the malware directly, though it may not fix any changes made to your system.
Dispatches from the Front
I have a Legal/Ethical question for you. Last week I went on a road trip and I wanted to load up a bunch of movies on my laptop. There were a few movies I wanted and I didn’t want to pay the $15-$20 to purchase so I could watch them offline. I also didn’t want to pirate them either.
I kind of stumbled upon a middle ground. I found several sites offering digital codes from 5 to 10 dollars. I used paypal so I didn’t give them my actual credit card info and with Movies Anywhere I was able to add the movies to my library and download them on the Vudu to Go app. It worked great.
My question is, where does this fall on the Legal/Ethical dilemma? These are probably codes that came with physical media that are being resold. I’m sure this is against the terms of service, but is this the same as me giving buying counterfeit goods?
What are your thoughts?
Just wanted to chime in with some non-specific notes as I’ve worked in the IT area of a bank processing card transactions. Technically the kiosk could be coded to reject the MoviePass transactions by either looking at the description of the transaction or the routing number or processor. The kiosk should contain fields defined for the ISO-8583 standard. I have seen terminals at stores coded to avoid certain cards if they deem them as being high fraud potential. The data can tell you everything.
Thankfully I’m out of banking IT and all I can say is “Kids, if offered, don’t do it.
Hope that helps.
I’ll leave to you guys to debate whether The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones are better books or movies, but one that is not arguable is The Wizard of Oz.
The book is both bizarre and gruesome. The Wizard filling the Scarecrow’s head with a mixture of sawdust and pins, so he will be “sharp” and the high magical creature body count, including the Tin Woodsman decapitating many, are just 2 of the things that makes it not really a very good book.
The movie on the other hand, is brilliant and was nominated for 6 and won 2 Oscars.
Thanks for a great show.
Last night was the first big storm of the season. Severe Thunderstorm, Tornado, and Flash Flood Warnings were issued all evening. I tuned in to the local TV channels, via antenna, to keep track of storm progress. When I moved to the basement to check the storm shelter (in case it would be needed) I tuned into one of the same local channels via my streaming TV provider on my tablet. The streaming version was a full two minutes behind the broadcast. Here in the midwest that is a serious issue during storms. My old cable TV provider was a couple of seconds behind, but not minutes.
Just as troubling were the “emergency notifications” coming via text that were 30 seconds or more behind the NOAA weather radio alerts. No reason for me to go back to cable, since I have good OTA coverage. But, it could be a consideration for some.
For just this reason alone, broadcast radio and TV is vital in emergencies. In our rush to sell off all of the spectrum to cell phone and other industries, let’s not forget that in an emergency it’s the broadcast infrastructure that seems most robust.
Thanks, I enjoy the podcast”
2018 Summer Movie Draft