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Tegna Invests In Skype-Based Talk TV Platform Video Call Center

Talk Center America 1

This is an interesting deal for the TV company that was known as Gannett until last week. (That name moved to newly spun off newspaper and digital company that includes USA Today.)  Tegna just became an investor in Video Call Center (VCC), a technology platform from inventor and former analyst Tom Wolzien that makes it possible for broadcasters to juggle Skype video calls as easily and inexpensively as radio stations handle phone calls. The announcement comes one year to… Read

Business

Cinedigm Invests In Shout! Factory Planning Online Channel Revamp

shout-Factory TV

Here’s a deal that should interest fans of TV oldies including Father Knows Best, Secret Agent, Newhart, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Twilight Zone — and catch the eye of investors concerned about Cinedigm’s cash flows. The shows run on Shout!Factory TV, a video streaming channel that’s  due to be revamped by year end following Cinedigm’s new minority investment in Shout! Factory. The agreement extends their DVD and video distribution deal. The companies’ announcement… Read

Business

Charter Vows To Invest In Broadband And Jobs If It Gets Time Warner Cable

Charter Time Warner Cable

Charter’s campaign for its planned acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks went mainstream today: The cable company outlined to the FCC a collection of services it would introduce and terms it would accept to serve the public interest — including strict adherence to net neutrality restrictions. In conjunction with that, two minority controlled programmers endorsed the $56 billion TWC deal and $10.4 billion one for Bright House. Charter says it would… Read

Business

Netflix Shares Are Up Following Stock Split News, But Carl Icahn Is Out

Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor, speaks during the World

How long will Wall Street’s love affair with Netflix continue? There are mixed signals today following the streaming video company’s announcement of its 7-for-1 stock split. Shares rose 3.7% in early trading to an all-time high of $706.24. The stock split announced last night is designed to make the shares more affordable for average investors. By giving holders six additional shares for each one that they own, they’ll lose nothing while the price of the stock drops from… Read

Business

Thumbs Up From Wall Street Make Facebook More Valuable Than Wal-Mart

Facebook logo

Are “Like” buttons worth more than “everyday low prices”? Wall Street thinks so.  Facebook shares are up 3,6% in afternoon trading, and touched a new high of $87.91, after the company  introduced several new ad formats it plans to use on mobile phones. The news contributed to an $8.4 billion rise in Facebook’s market value. That means the social network company’s worth nearly $240 billion — passing Wal-Mart at $234 billion. It pushed Wal-Mart off the list of the 10 most… Read

Business

Showtime Will Become The First Premium Service On Hulu

Showtime

CBS was the only Big 4 network that didn’t join the Hulu joint venture. But that hasn’t stopped the company from letting the streaming service offer its new Showtime stand-alone online package.  The 9 million subscribers who pay $7.99 a month for Hulu will be able to add Showtime for $8.99 a month when it launches in early July — ahead of the July 12 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. The agreement announced today makes Showtime the first premium service on… Read

Business

You’ve Got Merger: Verizon Completes Acquisition Of AOL

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12:  AOL's New York headquarters are seen on May 12, 2015 in New York City.  Verizon announced today that it is buying AOL for $4.4 billion.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

That was fast. AOL now belongs to Verizon a little more than a month after the telco giant announced its $4.4 billion purchase agreement. Holders of 60.37% of AOL shares tendered their stock for $50 a share. Now that AOL is no longer publicly traded, other owners will have a right to make the exchange for the same price. AOL went public in 1992, teamed up with Time Warner in 2001 — one of the nation’s greatest corporate disasters —  and was spun off in 2009. AOL shares… Read

Business

FCC Wants AT&T To Pay $100M Fine For Slowing “Unlimited” Data Speeds

Federal Communications Commission Set To Vote On Net Neutrality

This would be the largest fine in FCC history. With two GOP members dissenting, the regulators said that they want AT&T to pay $100 million after “misleading its customers” about their mobile data plans. Specifically, the FCC charges that the AT&T didn’t make it clear to customers who had “unlimited” data plans that transmission speeds would be throttled to 512 kbps after they used more than 5 Gb during the month. "Consumers deserve to get what they pay for," Chairman Tom… Read

Business

WWE Shares Flex Muscles As Analyst Projects A Spike In Online Subs

Daniel Bryan

World Wrestling Entertainment lost a lot of fans on Wall Street last year when its WWE Network streaming service failed to live up to subscriber expectations. But it’s lifting itself off the mat, and becoming a favorite among analysts who now see its continued growth as evidence that specialized online video services can thrive — and take a bite out of traditional television. This morning BTIG’s Brandon Ross joined that growing group. He initiated coverage of WWE telling… Read

Business

Cablevision’s Jim Dolan: 25% May Cut Cable TV Cord Over Next 5 Years

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14:  Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden & NBA Governor, James L. Dolan speaks to the media at a press conference to announce Mike Woodson as the interim head coach of the New York Knicks following the resignation of Mike D'Antoni at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Maybe it’s time to stop calling them “cable TV” companies. “Connectivity is our No. 1 product now; it is no longer video,” Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan told an investor gathering today. “That is a significant change to our model.” It isn’t just because his Long Island-based company now has more broadband subscribers than TV ones. “We expect a reduction in the big bundle offering,” he said in an interview with Guggenheim Partners Executive Chairman Alan Schwartz — who’s a… Read

Business

Sony Brings Streaming Service To California, Claims To Offer A La Carte

playstation_vue

Sony said today that it is expanding its OTT service PlayStation Vue to Los Angeles and San Francisco starting tonight and will offer a la carte channels across the country next month. Andrew House, head of Sony Computer Entertainment International, said at the company’s E3 press conference that PlayStation users will be able to sign up for individual channels in July, meaning they can say “no thanks” to programming tiers that tend to drive pay TV subscribers bananas. “We… Read

Business

Derek Jeter’s Players’ Tribune Raises $9.5M From NEA And Thomas Tull

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Former New York Yankee players Derek Jeter looks on the Tomodachi Charity Baseball Game on March 21, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Former New York Yankee Derek Jeter’s media ambitions are scoring in financial circles: His outfit, The Players’ Tribune — which handles athlete-produced text, audio, and video content — says today it fielded $9.5 million in Series B financing from a group that includes Legendary Entertainment’s Thomas Tull and New Enterprise Associates, the largest venture capital firm. Players’ Tribune says in an SEC filing that it hopes to sell another $5.5 million of its equity. The… Read