Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about the pre-Super Bowl standoff between Roku and FOX and alternatives for cord cutters left in the lurch.
Also: Q&A on HDCP errors, short cuts including hot deals, must-see OTA TV, and more.
As always, if you know of someone who might need some insight or help with 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: FOX Takes On Roku In Pre-Super Bowl Spat
Some cord cutters are likely scrambling to prepare for Super Bowl Sunday as Roku announced late last night that it would be removing all FOX streaming apps starting today as their revenue sharing agreement is expiring.
Roku said it offered FOX an extension which they apparently declined. Meanwhile, FOX is calling Roku out, saying the app removal is “...a naked effort to use its customers as pawns.” Yikes.
Sadly, this development isn't entirely shocking. Amazon Fire TV, which happens to be Roku's main competitor, was named the 'preferred streaming partner' for FOX for this year's big game and has an ongoing streaming deal with the broadcaster. Getting into a turf war with its partner's biggest enemy will certainly help solidify that relationship.
Corporate showdowns in the form of carriage disputes used to be restricted to cable and satellite operators, but have increasingly moved into the streaming realm as we saw most recently with Roku and AT&T.
Either way, consumers are unfortunately left in the lurch.
Thankfully, there are alternatives for Roku users who were planning to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday including:
Were your Super Bowl Sunday plans affected by this 'streaming carriage dispute'? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: Why Do I Keep Seeing HDCP Error On My TV?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Rayna who asks, "I keep seeing an error on my TV when I use my Roku that says something about HDCP. It doesn't happen every time and when it does rebooting the Roku usually fixes it, but it's annoying. How can I fix it for good?"
Many cord cutters have experienced the HDCP error Rayna is running into with her Roku. The good news is that (most times) it's simple and relatively cheap to fix permanently.
HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection and it's a content protection feature of devices that connect to your TV via the HDMI port.
If the HDMI connection between your device and the TV isn't secure — either because the cable isn't seated correctly in the ports or the cable is damaged — you may see this error message pop up intermittently.
Disconnecting the cable from the TV and the streaming device and re-connecting it, or switching to a different HDMI port on the TV is often all that's required.
But if you keep seeing the error pop up, you may need to replace the HDMI cable. (The $5 ones available at most big box and electronics stores are just fine, so don't get sucked into paying more.)
Have a question about cord cutting that you'd like answered? Send us a note and you may see your question in an upcoming issue of Cord Cutting This Week!
SHORT CUTS: Tablo Adds Comskip to Mobile, Deals & More
Most weeks there's more news than we can cram into this email. Thankfully 'short cuts' delivers the cord-cutting news and deals we didn't have room for, including:
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
Aside from the Super Bowl, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Fast & the Furious franchise fanatics will want to catch the special The Road to F9: Fast & Furious Fan Fest - January 31st @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- J.J. Watt hosts and Luke Combs performs on Saturday Night Live - February 1st @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- The Masked Singer returns for season 3 - February 2nd at 10:30 p.m. ET (or later if the Super Bowl goes longer) on FOX/CTV
- Catch the special Survivor at 40: Greatest Moments and Players - February 5th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
- Watch teams of brick building enthusiasts compete on LEGO Masters - February 5th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Brooklyn 99 returns for season 7 - February 6th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC/CityTV
- Or check out the premiere of the newest 'Archie comics' spin-off Katy Keene - February 6th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Check out the series premiere of the sitcom Indebted - February 6th @ 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC
- The Sopranos' Edie Falco stars in the premiere of crime drama Tommy - February 6th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: Report Calls For Sweeping Telecom Changes
The independent panel charged with reviewing telecommunications and broadcasting legislation for the Canadian government dropped their report this week.
The 200+ page document contains a whopping 97 recommendations that if implemented could have sweeping and dramatic effects on the content Canadians consume and how they consume it.
Among other recommendations, the report calls for universal broadband access, requiring 'curators' like Netflix to create Canadian content, making the CBC ad-free, and overhauling the CRTC.
Reaction has been mixed. While there are legitimate concerns regarding the heavy increase in regulation the report is suggesting the government undertake, some recommendations could pave the way for a more competitive telecom sector.
We'll have to wait and see which, if any, of the 97 recommendations become law.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
If you know someone who may be interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please feel free to forward this newsletter to them or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email. Make sure to ask them to sign up as well!