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But lately, we’ve been getting restless. And as we watch cable’s traditional TV content spread roots to new platforms like VOD, online, mobile and… who knows what’s next… we find ourselves wondering how we can help you make better sense of it all. So we have embarked upon an effort to significantly expand our coverage of the ever-changing content business—from new metrics and advertising platforms to the very heart of how content owners are reaching their targeted audiences in new and more innovative ways. To complement our coverage in the Daily, we’ll soon launch a new premium service called CableFAX Content Business. In it, we’ll bring you all of the CableFAX analysis and news coverage you have come to expect, along with snapshots of the metrics and statistics that are driving the industry.

We’re also working hard to build strong databases covering cable programs and the people who make this industry so great. It will take time, but we want to create a user-generated community of cable junkies who can help each other stay abreast of new developments and opportunities, among other things. This is only the beginning. As CableFAX Content Businessgrows over time, we will be calling upon you to be our partners, our enablers, and our eyes and ears on the ground as we go forward with this exciting new product designed to decipher the increasingly confusing landscape.

The following is just a sampling of what you’ll get in CableFAX Content Business. Find out more at www.cable360.net/ccbwww.cable360.net/ccb. Let’s see what we can build together!

 

Trend Analysis

The demise of the cable industry’s "Pivot" mobile service has certainly raised questions about whether consumers truly want to get their wireless fix from a cable company eager to sell them the "quad-play." But now that some of the same cable players have reframed their wireless ambitions under the Clearwire banner, it seems clear that mobile video remains a big part of cable’s future. Pivot never even approached creation of a "mobile set-top" that extended cable service into the wireless realm. But Clearwire’s reliance on speedy WiMax technology offers a much better chance to do so. And macro trends suggest that mobile video—eventually supported by advertising and marketing messages—must remain a big part of the conversation over how to monetize cable content assets.

Consider This

It’s undeniable that wireless is fast becoming a video-capable medium. Blame Apple and partner AT&T, whose iPhone juggernaut has heightened expectations and forced other mobile carriers to push suppliers to build more feature-rich mobile devices. And that’s a big deal for content owners and their advertisers. "The ability to tag users with location, demographics, and behavioral data complemented by devices that support rich media to avoid having their role in the advertising value chain made obsolete must continued to push forward," says Julie Ask, vp at JupiterResearch, which just predicted consumers will spend $2.2 billion on mobile messaging, display ads, and search via mobile technology by the year 2012. Meanwhile, Analysys Research projects that revenue from mobile media and ent services in the US will grow more than 110% by 2012, to $6.6bln, with overall video services expected to account for 36% of mobile media rev. And a 2007 comScore study found that 67% of respondents who expressed interest in subscribing to mobile video said that they would view sponsored ads to get free content. Some content owners aren’t waiting: The Weather Channel, for example, late last year launched an ad-supported mobile video portal, with weather-report clips updated every half hour. How much would Best Buy pay to target an ad to an out-and-about, tech-savvy consumer watching a news clip on a GPS-enabled mobile device while sitting two blocks from a retail store?

What’s more, Verizon and AT&T are already using Qualcomm‘s "MediaFLO" service to offer one-way streaming content from several cable TV networks such as Comedy Central and CNN right to mobile handsets. (Verizon launched its mobile TV service last year; AT&T launches mobile TV this month). And both just spent billions to stake out beachfront property in the 700-MHz wireless band (ironically, the former home of broadcast TV signals) to create super-fast 4G networks that will enable millions of video streams to bounce from device to device via WiMax and other wireless broadband technologies. Verizon’s winning bid for the "C block" of the 700-MHz spectrum is especially interesting because the government—heavily pressured by Internet powerhouse Google —placed strict openness requirements on that spectrum. Google can now license its "Android" open-source mobile platform to myriad device makers eager to build video-capable 4G devices.

As the telcos build out these 4G networks over the next few years, it’s obvious why big cable operators sitting on $2.4 billion worth of AWS spectrum they won in 2006 under the SpectrumCo banner are now looking to do something with it. That means even more wireless bandwidth out there—and even more potential revenue for content owners looking to create original content and/or repurpose linear and broadband fare for the mobile universe. Imagine a market flooded with wireless-enabled, video capable devices from cell phones to clock radios to… household appliances. Video will be everywhere. And content owners are in a great position to attach marketing messages to every piece of video tailored for the expanding universe of video-capable devices.

The Takeaway

The death of Pivot won’t affect mobile video growth or opportunities for content owners. Wireless bandwidth will continue to expand as advanced wireless technologies proliferate, driving more feature-rich devices that in turn drive more consumer demand and usage. Reasonable people can disagree about the level of urgency to do mobile deals, considering mobile video’s nascent state. But isn’t it better to think ahead than be caught unaware when this stuff finally does become ubiquitous?

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…OK, So What Else Will You Get?

That was just a quick sample from CableFAX Content Business‘ Trend Analysis section. But it’s only a small part of the overall picture. In addition to thoughtful analysis of content trends, you’ll also get daily news about ratings, metrics, advertising trends and other aspects of the ever-changing content business. You’ll hear about new platforms and what content is performing best on each one. In our Campaign Tracker section, you’ll get quick and convenient rundowns of marketing campaigns surrounding new and returning cable shows. And, of course, our Data Points section will give you important snapshots of linear TV, VOD and online performance—all while the Ad Tracker section will give you a sense of where those vital advertising dollars are flowing.

Meanwhile, expert columnists will keep you on your toes with thought-provoking essays. And our evolving databases of cable’s people and shows will be an important resource that will only get better over time.

Best of all, CableFAX Content Businesswill focus on the cable side of the business. We’ll ask how cable can do a better job gaining more ad share, improving performance vs broadcasters and leveraging assets such as VOD and broadband to increase viewership. The multiplatform world has made your job tougher than ever. Let’s figure it out together, and seize the opportunity!

The Daily

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O’Rielly Says No White House Conversations on his Positions

Michael O’Rielly appeared before the House Communications subcommittee Thursday in what may have been his last as an FCC commissioner.

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