Cordkillers Ep. 38 – Tony Stark in a Cubicle

Should the FCC allow Internet cable services? Did Amazon have its House of Cards moment? Is Roku sleazy?

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CordKillers: Ep. 38 – Tony Stark in a Cubicle
Recorded: September 29, 2014
Guest: Roberto Villegas

Intro Video 

Primary Target

  • FCC Proposes Defining ‘Linear’ OVDs as MVPDs
  • -Multichannel news has ‘multiple sources’ who say FCC
    – Preparing NPRM define an online video provider that delivers a linear stream of programming as an –MVPD, similar to a cable or satellite operator.
    – Would have access to programming through access rules but also negotiate retrans fees.
    – The FCC tentatively concluded that an MVPD has to have control of both the content and the transmission path .
    – That killed Sky Angel which suspended service when Discovery pulled out
    – New rules would remove requirement for transmission path
    – NCTA argues transmission path necessary. Argues this would be “regulation of the Internet”

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

  • As Roku grows, it’s moving towards pay-to-play for successful channels 
  • – Roku has 1800 channels. Open to anybody through an API and a few rules
    – Now calling popular channels and asking for revenue deals.
    – Sources told GigaOm’s Janko Roetgerrs they were pretty aggressive
    – Roku Stephen Shannon (Gm SVP content and services) says as revenue increases Roku has more sophisticated offerings which share revenue but increase promotion
    – Roku considers themselves an “Internet Services Company”
    – Margins on $50 boxes are not large

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys,

I’ve loved your show since the FR days.

So you have been talking about spoilers recently, and I have a question for Tom. You mentioned on It’s Spoilerin Time that Brian’s spoilers for the season finale of The Leftovers did not affect your enjoyment of the episode. Then later you discussed Mum, one of the most pivotal episodes of The Shield (amazing show!), and I’m curious if you would have enjoyed that as much if you knew what was going to happen. It sounds like you experienced the gut-punch from this episode that Brian felt when he watched The Leftovers finale. Of course enjoying an episode and having that “Holy s–t!” feeling don’t have to be the same, but I think there are certain scenes that have such an impact, it’s better not to know what’s coming. [And there’s another scene that you will eventually experience with The Shield that will make this one seem tame.]

Oh, and fun fact for Brian: the writer, or at least co-writer of Mum was Kurt Sutter, the creator of Sons of Anarchy (another great show).

Thanks guys. You rock.



 Hey guys, it’s your boss. Though it is my first time contacting you, I have been a listener since the days of a show that I think was called “RameFrate”

Literally days away from breaking down and signing up for the service, I decided, on a whim, to connect a coax cable to an empty outlet behind my TV to see if any channels were able to be received. When I did a channel-scan, however, I was shocked to find that I am receiving almost 80 channels for free. Granted most of these are music, shopping, and crappy old movie channels, but I am getting all of the broadcast stations based in Memphis, Sundance, AMC, SEC network, NFL network, and Fox Sports 2, most in HD. When I researched this, I found that many cable providers send a few unscrambled QAM channels out over any active line. Apparently, as long as I continue receiving internet service, these channels are both legal and free. The only drawbacks that I have found are a lack of a channel guide and channels sometimes moving around. All that I really wanted was the local broadcast stations in order to watch local sports programming, so this has saved me from signing up for TV service. I hope that this will be helpful to some of your listeners in the same way that it was to me. Thanks for a great show!





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