pay tv penetration

With a dizzying amount of video content now available on multiple platforms, busting through the noise with a one-fits-all sledgehammer to promote shows hardly cuts it anymore. These days, programmers want consumers to find them more organically. And when it comes to entertainment discovery, that may require a higher level of contextual intelligence. “The time to act is now to better compete with emerging threats… and more importantly drive revenue,” said IDC research director Greg Ireland during Cablefax’s webinar on Thurs, sponsored by Rovi. For consumers, context could mean the difference between finding a show (and falling in love with it) and simply getting lost in the clutter. And in the end, the more consumers that find content they want, when they want it, the higher the ratings and ad revenue. Let’s say someone searches for “financial crisis” within a navigation menu. Does that call up movies like Margin Call and Too Big Too Fail (probably what they were looking for) or does it just call up everything with “financial crisis” in its title or description? The former is of course preferable. Daren Gill, Rovi product vp, advanced search and recommendations, urged operators to “optimize for very different situations” by combining metadata, Big Data about the consumer and, of course, contextual elements such as time of day or device used. “Understanding that context allows you to add a level of dynamic and a level of intelligence to the user experience,” he said. Social media can play a big role here, with Rovi’s own extensive field tests suggesting that recommendations based on what consumers have recently posted on Facebook and Twitter has a “much higher engagement in terms of clicks and what was watched” than basing them on what their friends are watching or discussing online. In the end, it seems context matters. And really, is that any surprise? To listen to a recording of the entire webinar, click here. – Michael Grebb

Reviews: “Private Violence,” Mon, 9p, HBO. By telling the stories of a survivor and an advocate, this compelling documentary touches many salient issues surrounding violence against women. Chief among them is the guilt that often invades women who have been battered, physically and mentally. Despite a tremendous beating by her spouse, Deanna Walters insists initially, “I feel like it’s my fault.” Fortunately advocate Kit Gruelle is an experienced hand, helping Walters regain confidence and training police to spot signs of abusive relationships, particularly when fear and unjustified guilt silence female victims. — “30 for 30: When The Garden Was Eden,” Tues, 9p, ESPN. This excellent doc series often examines sports through a social lens or focusses on a particular athlete, season or game. “Eden” instead pens a love letter to a team, the N.Y. Knicks, and several great seasons of the early 1970s, when its diverse roster included future Hall of Famers, a senator, a basketball commissioner and a bench player who’d become the winningest coach of all time, Phil Jackson. While many themes could have been treated more deeply, Eden in the end is a nostalgic tribute to a very special team. — “American Dad!” premiere, Mon, 10p, TBS. The dysfunctional Smiths move to TBS from Fox. They’re not the Griffins, but new eps provide plenty of grins. – Seth Arenstein

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Verizon Adds 5G for Prepaid

Verizon’s Prepaid Unlimited customers will now have access to the provider’s 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Nationwide networks.

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