Cordkillers 77 – We’re Pirates on Moon

How TV won, lost, and coexisted with the Internet all at once. What Hulu’s partnership with Showtime means.

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CordKillers: Ep. 77 – We’re Pirates on Moon
Recorded: June 29, 2015
Guest: None

Intro Video 

Primary Target

  • How Television Won the Internet
    – -NYTImes Michael Wolff “How Television Won the Internet”
    – People spend more time watching TV than they spend on the Net
    – Glut of traffic on Net drives down ad rates
    – TV moving off advertising to pay model
    – Half of broadcast and cable’s income is non-advertising based.
    – Netflix bills itself as a disrupter of television — except that it is television, paying Hollywood and the TV industry almost $2 billion a year in licensing and programming fees.
    – Yahoo just cut its first big sports deal. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook says that his company’s future is video. Just last week, BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post announced their new TV plans.
    – A premium product that people pay attention to and pay money for. Credit cards, not eyeballs. 
  • OTT and TV Will Coexist, and It Will Be Beautiful 
    – ReCode: OTT and TV Will Coexist, and It Will Be Beautiful
    – Dermot McCormack, President, AOL Video and Studios
    – “History has shown the new does not supplant the old, but is instead the catalyst for change and evolution. “
    – TV tell stories. They can be told across screens
    – “Imagine finishing an episode of a TV show, and turning to your tablet for a related short that fills in a key plot point. — – Then you open Snapchat to see what happened offscreen at the pivotal moment from another character’s point of view. Later on, you’re sitting at your desk and you get a FaceTime call from the protagonist foreshadowing what’s to come in next week’s episode”
    – OTT will shape the development of TV, and (eventually) seamlessly combine with it to become something bigger and better than the sum of its parts.”
  • Years Of Pretending Netflix Cord Cutting Wasn’t Real Is Biting The Cable Industry In The Ass
    -TechDirt Karl Bode “Years Of Pretending Netflix Cord Cutting Wasn’t Real Is Biting The Cable Industry In The Ass”
    – FBR Capital Markets claims Netflix will have a larger 24 hour audience than any broadcast net iun US by end of year
    – 2 hours of viewing per subscriber per day. a 2.6 rating on par with ABC and NBC
    – Choose between Netflix and a cable or satellite TV subscription, 57% picked Netflix, with 43% opting for pay TV, according to a survey FBR conducted with ClearVoice Research in April. 

Signal Intelligence

  • Showtime Becomes The First Premium Service To Be Offered By Hulu 
    – Showtime purchased through Hulu will be $8.99 a month
    – Hulu subsidizing the difference between that and normal $10.99
    – Showtime shows will be available in Hulu app
    – Please note: At launch on Hulu, you will be able to watch live only on the web at

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front
Hey guys, this one is for Bryan!

Bryan, as one of your bosses at the UK office of Cordkillers, I’d like to hereby give you permission to use the BBC IPlayer to watch on demand content guilt free!

It’s a common misconception (that I’ve even heard before on Cordkillers) that UK citizens pay their TV Licence Tax to either own a TV, or to watch On Demand services like the BBC Iplayer. This is not true. People pay for the licence to watch LIVE TV as it’s broadcast.

This is shown on the Iplayer itself as when you try to watch live content, you get a popup that asks you to confirm if you have paid for a licence – you don’t get this for On Demand content.

I think it’s important to point out this distinction A.) So you don’t get more guilttrippy emails and B.) Because I’m sure there are many UK Cordcutters like me who don’t watch live TV and exclusively watch On Demand services like the Iplayer who could be saving £120 per year.


Your boss,


(Link to the BBC guide that explains this below)–devices-and-online-top8




Howdy boys,

Just wanted to share some recent observations I’ve made comparing television series rollouts on Netflix to a normal weekly schedule.

Recently, I watched the Game of Thrones season 5 and my wife watched Orange is the New Black season 3. I really think I got the better experience. Watching Game of Thrones weekly gave me two and a half months of entertainment. I enjoyed watching the episodes religiously each Sunday night, reading the reactions and reviews (especially on Spoilerin’ Time), speculating about what might happen next, and talking about it with friends during the week. She finished the OitnB season in 2 days, and that’s all she gets out of it.

Of course, she could have watched one episode a week, but there’s no way to keep the entire internet on that schedule. While I’ve binge-watched series on Netflix, such as Battlestar Galactica, the only new series on Netflix I’ve ever really gotten into was Daredevil, and I can only imagine how much better the experience would have been watching weekly along with the entire world rather than in a few days all by myself.

Now, there’s a simple way Netflix could satisfy both those that want to binge-watch the whole season right away and those that want a weekly viewing experience. When a new season debuts, people could select if they want all the episodes available right away, or on a standard weekly schedule that is the same for everyone, or on their own schedule they can set up themselves.

Just my 2 cents! As always thanks for the show and I’m glad to support it!

Andy in Taylor, Tx




Having just completed Sense8, I feel compelled to share this [spoiler free] assessment.

Marketing this series was always going to be tough and dropping names like The Matrix into the promo material probably did more harm than good. It is like expecting to see Star Wars and getting 2001: A Space Odyssey instead.

In many ways, this seems like a refinement of what the Wachowskis tried to do with Cloud Atlas. Sense8 is heavy on mood, location and atmosphere, which all feel very “now”. The fantastical elements exist only to further the personal stories of these eight people who should have nothing in common but share hopes, fears and dreams despite being worlds apart.

Not all the subject matter makes for comfortable viewing and some of the emotional notes may hit a little close to home (well, for me at least) but if you can buy into the conceit, it is profoundly rewarding.

This is most decidedly NOT for everyone but a Netflix Original in the truest sense.

I can’t help but think that the global, inclusive nature of this show helped it find a home at Netflix, which itself is increasingly trying to be all things to anyone with an Internet connection, wherever they might be in the world.

Graham “Goucham-in-the-chat-room” Elliott

2015 Winter Movie Draft

It’s Spoilerin’ Time 76

Movie Draft Update, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Silicon Valley Season 2, True Detective (201)

01:23 – Movie Draft Update                                                                                                                              

04:25 – Inside Out

11:34 – Jurassic World

16:06 – Silicon Valley Season 2

27:44 – True Detective (201)

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Cordkillers 76 – Hulu, It’s Better Than Hulu

PlayStation overplays the a la carte hand, Roku’s ads get in your head, what Bill Simmons should do.

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CordKillers: Ep. 76 – Hulu, It’s Better Than Hulu
Recorded: June 22, 2015
Guest: Fraser Cain

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • Hulu Plus changes to just Hulu
    – Hulu officially changed the name of Hulu Plus to Hulu
    – So now if you’re watching the free version which used to be called Hulu it is still called Hulu
    – But if you’re watching the paid version of Hulu which used to be called Hulu Plus it is now also called Hulu
    – This was done to eliminate confusion.

Gear Up

  • Roku And Innovid Roll Out Interactive Video Ads, Including SMS-Based Reminders To Watch
    – Roku and Innovid partnering on interactive ads
    – Games, quizzes, videos
    – Personalized using data (location, demograpchis)
    – CBS (CBS News, CBS Sports, CNET, GameSpot), Vevo and Crackle are early partners
    – Roku SDK will now include Innovid as part of the Roku Ad Framework
    – Results in extended time spent with ads. Doubled the preroll
    – Soon can extend ad across devices. Movies times sent to smartphone for instance by SMS
    – Reminders about show airings

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

It’s the story of Steven Quartz Universe, an 11 year old boy whose parents are Greg Universe, a former rock musician who now runs a carwash and lives in his van, and Rose Quartz, an immortal alien hero who protected the Earth for thousands of years before giving up her physical form to bring Steven into the world. It follows Steven as he tries to grow into his mother’s legacy and join The Crystal Gems, Earth’s protectors (who are also his three moms). The series is the creation of Rebecca Sugar, who was responsible for the best episodes (and songs) of Adventure Time before she left that show to create this one.

The first 35 episodes are available on Hulu Plus and all eps to date can be bought from the major online marketplaces.




I was a little disappointed at how negative you guys were about Tivo adding streaming access through web browsers on local computers. Ok, I get it, I’d also like to be able to open my laptop on vacation and bring up my recordings. Who knows, maybe they’ll add that, but for now I’m happy that I can at least do that within my own home.

Sterling, VA





First review of TiVo Online: not only does it make you login to your tivo account AND your cable company account, it just plain doesn’t work. Not tonight, not here. I’ve been waiting to stream a video I know is on my TiVo, the latest Big Bang Theory, for like 10 minutes so far. Silly spinning wheel is all I get. I don’t see this becoming a habit quickly.





Just a Sling tv tip.

As we know Sling TV offers ESPN and ESPN2. You can download the ‘Watch Espn’ app and login with the Sling TV credentials and watch ESPN3 programming.

I was able to watch the NBA finals on ESPN3 too.

Ryan in Iowa 


2015 Winter Movie Draft

It’s Spoilerin’ Time 75

Movie Draft Update, Orange is the New Black (301), Game of Thrones (510), The Shield (603)

00:29 – Movie Draft Update                                                                                                                              

04:22 – Orange is the New Black (301)

14:45 – Game of Thrones (510)

37:40 – The Shield (603)

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It’s Spoilerin’ Time 74

Movie Draft Update, Mr. Robot Feedback, Game of Thrones (509), Sense8 (Eps. 101-104), The Shield (602)

00:47 – Movie Draft Update                                                                                                                              

03:30 – Mr. Robot Feedback

06:29 – Game of Thrones (509)

21:00 – Sense8 (Eps. 1-4)

32:58 – The Shield (602)

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It’s Spoilerin’ Time 73

Movie Draft Update, Kung Fury, Game of Thrones (508), Tomorrowland, Mr. Robot (Pilot), The Shield (601) 

00:39 – Movie Draft Update

06:33 – Kung Fury

11:12 – Game of Thrones (508)

18:33 – Tomorrowland

25:02 – Mr. Robot (Pilot)

33:50 – The Shield (601)

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Cordkillers 73 – I Like No Ads

HBO Now is really popular but too expensive, AT&T wants to let people pay for your data, and what made Mad Max so good.

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CordKillers: Ep. 73 – I Like No Ads
Recorded: June 1, 2015
Guest: Roberto Villegas

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • AT&T wants to choose which online video services count against data caps 
    Cogent, Dish, Free Press, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Public Knowledge asked the FCC to prevent exemptions to data caps.
    – ATT asked FCC to clarify it is allowed to provide data cap exemptions to companies for a fee
    – Open Internet Guidelines (not yet in force) do not prevent such exemptions
    – FCC instead opted to observe and “determine whether data caps are being used to harm competitors and consumers”
    – ATT has not struck any such deals for at home broadband. There is a deal to integrate Hulu into ATT U-verse.
    – ATT’s own streaming video service counts against data caps.
    – AT&T Sponsored Data exists.
    – Wireless advertising that doesn’t count against data cap
    – AT&T’s caps are 150GB per month for DSL subscribers, 250GB per month for U-verse, 500GB or 1TB for GigaPower, with overage fees of $10 per additional 50GB.

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Apple Subscription TV Service Won’t Be Announced Next Week
    – Apple will not announce a new TV service at WWDC next week. But les Moonves says CBS is still in negotiations and the only holdup is money. That is all!
  • Nvidia launches its Shield set-top box for Android TV — with optional 500GB hard drive
    – Nvidia launched its Shield set-top box with a Tegra X1 processor that bundles Android TV in with the ability play games from the GRID, Nvidia’s cloud service for $200 at 16GB or $300 at 500 GB. Oh and it has voice control and 4K support too. 
  • Netflix Tests Teasers For Original Programming, But Has No Plans To Run Third-Party Ads
    – So you may have noticed trailers before or after your Netflix shows. Netflix spokesperson Cliff Edwards told TechCrunch “We’ve had originals teasers at the end of shows for a while. Some members of seeing tests at the beginning of shows. As you know, we test many things over the year, many of which are never universally deployed.” OK. CLIFF. But does that mean Netflix is going to put ads in someday HUH? To which Cliff responds: “Our policy around ads is unchanged. We have no plans to support third-party ad units.” OK Cliff. You win this round.
  • Lenovo unveils a $49 Chromecast competitor
    – Lenovo has a Chromecast-like device except it’s shaped like a hockey puck, not a dongle and costs $49. It works with any Miracast or DLNA device. Arrives this August.
  • Rogers, Shaw face Netflix head-on by making Shomi available to everyone
    – Canadian fans were very excited to tell us that Shomi, the Netflix-like service owned by the Rogers and Shaw cable companies in Canada, is now available to everyone, not just Rogers, Shaw and Bell customers. This starts sometime between June and September and the price stays C$8.99.
  • TiVo profit, revenue beat estimates on subscriber growth
    – TiVo had better than expected quarterly revenue and profit rose by 8 cents a share. Net revenue rose 7.2% Subscriptions rose 27% to 5.8 million in the 3 months ending April 30. So those of you who say we never report good news for TiVo. There you go. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

I can personally attest that you absolutely can continue with the chicken challenge threat seemingly indefinitely, at least with Comcast. I have both bluffed as well as legitimately threatened to cancel service and have always been given a good enough deal to keep me on board. I have had free HBO for almost 4 years, occasionally call up and get free Showtime, and constantly keep my package rates around $100 for their fastest internet plus basic cable. I do the math every 6-12 months and it is still not financially worth cancelling cable, at least as long as they keep bribing me. Granted it is a pain to sit through the torture of Comcast customer service, but I have accepted that until we have more competition in the market.

Regarding re-opening movie rental stores and the inability to rent movies that may are only available for purchase on Amazon, Vudu, etc, I have an exciting new service for you: Netflix. If you want to watch new movies before streaming is available they are very often available through the Netflix DVD service (yes I am one of those few who still have this service). This applies even more to older movies which may be difficult to find streaming – Netflix’s DVD rental service has pretty much any older movie or TV show you can possibly think of available.




Dear killers of cords,

Last week’s program contained a message from a listener/viewer who sang the praises of the Acorn channel. Please permit me to share a different view of Acorn.

My dear, sweet, gray-haired, cord-slashing mother was the recipient of a Roku box from yours truly for Christmas in 2009. She almost immediately switched to streaming-based content and hasn’t looked back.

As a fan of PBS and British programming, she also became one of Acorn’s early subscribers. At the end of last year, though, she concluded that most of the Acorn content she wanted was also available to her through Netflix and Amazon Prime — so she canceled the account.” Suffice to say Joseph then details how the charges kept coming depite her efforts to cancel. So his point is be vigilant about charges when you cancel a service.




What it do Killers,
I’m definitely interested in an expanded Spolierin’ Time show with picks, recommendations, maybe even Spolierin Time specific guests (love to see some Film Sack or Auto Pilot crossover bits). I’d also appreciate more technical and how to stuff. 



One thing you might consider is separating the funding for Spoilering Time from the regular Cordkillers. I do not mind getting billed for both, but some people may not want to pay for Spoilering Time. You should give your Patreons the option to fund one or the other or both. I do know if Patreon can handle that kind of separation or if a separate Patreon page would have to be set up for Spoilering Time. It might be a gauge to measure support for spoiling.




On keeping with shows, like them or not. Personally I think you are doing it right. Be clear why you are loving a show, or clear on why you are dumping it. Watching you make that decision, discussing it, and creating conversations with the community about it, is where the value is. Don’t throw good time after bad.




Hi guys,

I’m listening to you talk right now. Here are a few thoughts from a Patreon supporter:

I like what you’re doing with the timer, but I think shouting “extension” is dumb. Just extend it. As Brian pointed out, sports TV does this. When they do, they *actually* just blow the countdown clock all the time. Watch an episode of Pardon the Interruption sometime with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN as an example. It’s great.

Thanks for a great show.



2015 Winter Movie Draft

  1. Amtrekker: $427,551,427
  2. GFQ: $416,963,546
  3. Frogpants: $334,997,492
  4. Night Attack: $105,742,219
  5. DTNS: $54,588,173
  6. Cordkillers: $37,084,164

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