HBO has partially taken down its paywall to provide more than 500 hours of programming free over its HBO Now and HBO Go streaming services and apps under the #StayHomeBoxOffice tag. The WarnerMedia company has cleared every episode of nine original series, 20 films as well as 10 documentaries and docudramas in advance of its planned launch of streaming service HBO Max in May.
A growing number of households across the country are reviving the tradition of using old-school antennae to tune into broadcast television programming, data from Parks Associates shows. Deloitte predicts that approximately 41 million US families will use broadcast antennas by the end of the year -- a figure Parks attributes to audiences' desire for local news coverage, which is not available on cable channels in remote areas.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, and his brother, CNN anchor Chris, are becoming fixtures on pandemic-related news television as the senior Cuomo holds almost daily briefings and the junior broadcasts out of his basement after testing positive for the virus. Andrew has appeared remotely on his brother's show several times, bantering in a familial way and helping viewers relate to the current crisis.
Some smaller movie exhibitors, traditionally enemies of streaming, have begun delivering first-run films to sheltering viewers over "virtual cinemas," with most digital tickets costing about $12 for a multi-day rental. "We figured it was better to maintain a relationship with our patrons and distributors," said Greg Laemmle, who owns a Los Angeles chain of art-house cinemas.
Broadband networks are handling their extra loads and meeting demand, internet service providers told Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai said that ISPs informed him that traffic on fixed networks has risen by about 33% while wireless services have seen up to 20% increases in demand.
AT&T and Verizon topped the rankings for US on-net fiber lit buildings, Vertical Systems Group says in its 2019 report that also lists CenturyLink in fourth place with Frontier Communications, Windstream and Consolidated Communications also reaching at least 10,000 buildings. The total reached more than 1 million buildings and VSG predicts the coronavirus outbreak will affect this year's figure.
The Federal Communications Commission will permit rural price cap carriers to waive some DSL-related subscriber fees in response to the coronavirus outbreak in an effort to keep people connected while they remain at home. Among the fees telecoms can suspend: those for late payment, installation and cancellation as well as those for switching DSL providers.
Fiber-optic cables for internet access could also serve as seismic sensors, Stanford University scientists report. The team came up with a prototype by attaching a laser interrogator to an end of the cable and looking for changes in the backscatter signal through distributed acoustic sensing technology, which is widely used in the gas and oil industry.
Some television broadcasters had already started migrating their operations to cloud-based platforms, but the ongoing coronavirus has driven many to accelerate the process to better facilitate remote work. Stations forced to close or move some staff to other locations are turning to the cloud for workflows, disaster recovery and rapid transmission of content to remote teams.
Standard General has sold roughly a quarter of its shares in Tegna, five million, during a number of stock swaps. Concerned executives at Tegna urged shareholders to consider this action before appointing Standard General nominees to its board.
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