Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
Mega-mergers are changing the landscape in the media and telecom industries in the United States. Get the scoop on what this means for cord cutters.
Just in time for Father's Day, we've also got some deals for the cord cutting dad in your life, a how-to on catching the FIFA World Cup, this week's must-see OTA TV and more!
As always, if someone you know is interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please forward our newsletter, or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email.
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS: Merger Madness Hits U.S. Media & Telecom Industries
This week has been quite eventful for the media and telecom industry in the U.S.
First, a judge approved the proposed mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner despite concerns that the new behemoth could result in consumers paying more for TV.
Then, buoyed by the Justice Department's seeming 'merger friendliness' Comcast made an offer for 21st Century FOX's assets, hoping to throw a monkeyrench in Disney's plans to snap up the film studio.
Last night, AT&T and Time Warner wasted no time in making things official. The Comcast-Disney-FOX showdown should be resolved by July as well.
And let's not forget Sprint and T-Mobile which are planning to file their merger application with the FCC on Monday.
If you're wondering why anyone but Rupert Murdoch should care, the folks at TechHive have a great breakdown on the potential impact on cord cutters. Long story short, it's going to make things in the streaming TV world a LOT more complicated, especially for Hulu (which is co-owned by Fox, Disney, and Comcast ... and now potentially AT&T via Time Warner).
This trend towards 'vertical integration' is further complicated by the end of Net Neutrality, in which mega corporations that now own the content AND the distribution path (whether broadband internet or wireless) can use concepts like 'zero rating' to gain advantage over competitors, reducing customer choice and potentially raising costs.
This is a familiar refrain for cord cutters in Canada, where three large companies own the rights to most of the content, as well as internet, phone, and TV services. 'The Big Three' (Rogers, Bell, & Shaw) have mostly restricted access to content from outside of traditional pay TV subscriptions, and prevented new services from providing alternatives. ... But Canadians at least still have Net Neutrality protections in place.
We'll keep you posted on this story as the myriad of potential outcomes develop. In the meantime, we'll be continue to be thankful that Over-the-Air TV can't be affected by the fallout from broadband caps, zero rating, or content ownership battles.
HOW TO: Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup as a Cord Cutter
The FIFA 2018 World Cup is on now, and it's kind of a big deal for soccer fans around the world. (Or ‘football’ fans, depending on where you’re from.)
Thankfully, you don’t need a pay TV service to catch the World Cup’s biggest games because they're being broadcast this year on FOX and Telemundo -- two channels that are available for free with an OTA TV antenna!
Get the full scoop on how to watch from the experts at CordCutting.com on the Tablo blog!
DEALS: Cord Cutting Gear Discounts for Dads
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
Along with continuing coverage of the FIFA World Cup of Soccer, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Historical drama miniseries Man in an Orange Shirt premieres - June 17 @ 9:00 p.m. on PBS
- Police drama Shades of Blue returns for season 3 - June 17 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- Bachelor spin-off The Proposal premieres - June 18 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CityTV
- A pair of game shows - The Gong Show and Match Game - return for their 2nd and 4th seasons - June 21 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CityTV/CTV
- New crime procedural Take Two premieres - June 21 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV
CANADIAN CORNER: Feds Task CRTC with Sales Tactics Probe
Reports of the use of aggressive sales tactics dogged Canadian telecom companies earlier this year. When a consumer rights group asked the CRTC to look into the flood of complaints, the regulator shrugged and pointed out that people should work with the country's telecom ombudsman, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS).
Apparently that wasn't good enough for the Federal government. Today, Industry Minister Navdeep Bains stepped in, tasking the CRTC with investigating and producing a report on the very complaints they previously ignored.
While it's a good step forward, those who follow the Canadian telco industry aren't expecting any real change to occur.
We'll have to wait and see...
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
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