Cordkillers 116 – The Moose in the Room (w/ Chris Mancini and Fraser Cain)

Canada cuts the cord because its cable is cheaper, NFL comes to Twitter, and is Tom Waits a stunt casting? With special guests Chris Mancini and Fraser Cain.

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CordKillers: Ep. 116 – The Moose in the Room
Recorded:  April 11 2016
Guests: Fraser CainChris Mancini

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Cord-cutting soars in Canada
    – Convergence Consulting Group report
    – 190,000 Canadians dropped traditional TV in 2015 +80% yoy
    – Cable subs last grew in Canada in 2012
    – Canada decline 1.5% bigger than 1% decline in US
    – Majority HH still subscribe ti TV (11 mm)
    – Netflix subs in Canada rose 58% from 2013-2015 (4.9 mm)
    – Canadians pay less on average for cable but more for Internet than US

Signal Intelligence

  • Twitter reportedly wins streaming rights for NFL’s Thursday Night Football
    – Twitter will stream 10 Thursday Night Football games “to a global audience” in 2016 for free without authentication.
    – Paid around $10 million acc. Bloomberg’s source (beating out Verizon, Yahoo, Amazon)
    – NFL evp media said didn’t take highest bidder.
    – Twitter gets a small portion of ad inventory
    – CBS and NBC paid $225mm for 5 Thursday games each — Verizon has rights to stream to wireless phones
    – Twitter video will be embeddable. Include pregame Periscope streams from players and teams
    – Available on Xbox app and possibly partnered w/ Google and Yahoo
    – Twitter CFO Anthony Noto (formerly of the NFL) told Bloomberg wants to do other sports, politics and entertainment.
    – Twitter claims 800mm audience when counting non0logged-in people
    – Thursday night games attracted 17 million viewers last season.
    – NFL’s biggest broadcast contracts end in 2021
    – Yahoo streamed Oct. 25 game from London (paid $20mm)

Gear Up

  • Roku’s new $50 stick fits a quad-core CPU in a smaller frame
    – Roku introduced an updated $50 Streaming Stick.
    – Quad-core CPU, dual-band MIMO antenna, and the ability to stream audio over Wi-Fi to a smartphone.
    – Does not support 4k video only 1080p.
    – The stick is available for purchase and will ship near the end of the month.
    – Roku is also rolling out OS 7.1 today available on all devices within 6 to 8 weeks. 

Front Lines

  • It’s going to cost you more to ‘Netflix and Chill’ from next month
    – Netflix will raise all subscribers prices to $9.99. Netflix guaranteed the original pricing plan for customers in May 2014. Netflix users in the UK will begin to see an increase of 50p later this month, with prices going up to £7.49.
  • Starz launches $8.99 per month streaming service
    – Starz is making an app for iOS and Android and selling access for $8.99 a month. The same app will be accessible to existing subscribers. Users can get “virtually unlimited” downloads of shows and movies. The premiere of Outlander will come on the app April 7 two days before the premiere. 
  • Hulu is now a channel on Optimum cable boxes
    – Cablevision’s Optimum TV service has added Hulu to channel 605. Customers can subscribe through Hulu or Cablevision. 
  • Layer3 TV’s Crazy Plan to Take on Comcast and Reinvent Cable
    – A company called Layer3 plans to compete with cable companies by offering traditional cable but with better tech. The company will deliver a better picture by using fiber and HEVC (H.265) video, and one hour appointment windows. It’s set-top box will be simple to install and include Internet options like Amazon and Netflix. The channel guide prioritizes channels based on your interests not channel numbers. Level3 is coming to Chicago first in the next few months for $80-$150.
  • Verizon Buys More Mobile Video by Investing in DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV
    – Verizon has purchased a 24.5% stake in Awesomeness TV, which is majority owned by Dreamworks. Hearst also owns 24.5%. It looks like Verizon will use Awesomeness content for its G090 mobile video service in a new subscription tier. AwesomenessTV runs YouTube channels for itself, Dreamworks and Seventeen magazine, and produces a sketch comedy series on Nickelodeon. Parents ask your kids. 
  • Plex on the web gets smarter with media searches
    – Plex updated its Web interface. Search finds everything across multiple categories as you type. Improved navigation includes more prominent discovery features and better mouse and touch controls.
  • HDR is TV’s next big format war, and Samsung and Sony could find themselves on the losing side
    – CNET has a great explainer up on the latest video format war. This time its two implentation of High Dynamic Range or HDR video in 4K.  Here’s the short version. There are two HDR implementations, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Samsung and Sony support HDR10. LG and Vizio support both. Amazon and Netflix stream in both. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

HighTechBill tweeted us about this excellent Cord-cutting guide from ChannelMaster!


Before Star Wars Episode VII came out to own, I decided I would just buy it digitally until the new box set comes out after episode 9. There wasn’t a need to have a physical DVD when I could own it through Amazon or Google. However, I recently replaced my laptop and iPad with a Surface Pro 4. I love to watch movies on the plane when traveling. However, what I found is that neither Amazon nor Google will let me download a movie I own onto my Surface, because it is a computer and they don’t have apps like they do for the iPad where they can control the content. This being said, I opted to buy the physical DVD + Blue Ray + Digital HD version of the movie. I wanted to share this story because this was a rare occasion for me where the physical DVD was the better option for me and fortunately it comes with a digital copy. I am getting to watch what I want, where I want, and sort of on the device I want – but it’s not completely there yet. Would love to hear of any better suggestions for this scenario or any similar frustrations!

Love listening to the show every week!




I have the feeling that I emailed you about this before but possibly not for this podcast.
Anytime people talk about users agents, bots or digital butlers automatically doing useful things for you, I am reminded about Hyperland an early 90s TV show written and presented by the late great Douglas Adams.
It is a bit too pre-internet and there’s too much “CD-Roms will fix everything!” which makes it feel out of date. However Douglas Adams makes some interesting predictions especially about how you will be able to get additional information about shows and skip between interesting things.
He is joined in the show by a digital assistant played by Tom Baker. They previously worked together when Douglas Adams wrote for the classic series of Doctor Who (the Douglas Adams co-written story, City of Death is a wonderful intro to classic series).

You can find Hyperland on YouTube (Tom’s wife works for YouTube) and while you are there look up the South Bank Show profile of Douglas Adams from 1992 and feel sad.




re: redbox: Think you guys might have missed the point about them going digital. If they bring the same price wars to digital as they did against brick and mortar it could shake things up quite a bit.
Brian seems to think that the reason redbox customers use them is for the physical content. I use them for the incredible price point. Why spend 5$ on Google play when redbox costs a buck? I recently spent 5$ on a YouTube rental for Spotlight because the vending machine only has so many titles. I’m guessing digital could erase that problem as well.
Thanks for the show!!

– Erick



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