Starz President and CEO to Conduct Fireside Chat at NAB Show Streaming Summit

I’m pleased to announce that Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch will sit down with me for a fireside chat at the NAB Show Streaming Summit in April. We’ll discuss the premium cabler’s transition to the digital world through OTT and mobile apps, the priorities and insights on how a platform strategizes its domestic and international expansion, from the diversification in meeting subscribers/viewers to data and analytics on what makes specific content successful.

Registration is open and you can get a discounted pass for $695, if you register before March 22nd. If buying 3 or more tickets, contact me for a group discount code. #streamingsummit

First Streaming Summit Keynote Announced: Jeremy Legg, CTO, WarnerMedia

I’m excited to announce the first keynote for the NAB Show Streaming Summit, taking place April 20-21. Jeremy Legg, CTO, WarnerMedia will discuss his experience with building a streaming video platform in the ever-evolving media landscape, industry trends, the importance of user experience, future proofing, and predictions in media. Full conference program will be live next week! #streamingsummit

Live Updates: Testing Super Bowl Stream Across a Combo of 50+ Apps/Platforms

10:47pm ET: And that’s a wrap! Congrats to the FOX Sports team for a great overall Super Bowl streaming experience. Very minor issues, as is the case with all live events online. Interested to see the numbers tomorrow, I’m guessing 3-3.5M simultaneous.

8:30pm ET: So far on the iPad/iPhone, the Super Bowl stream is looking great on the Hulu, Fubo TV and FOX Sports app with startup times of around a second, on WiFi. 4G still good, with startup of about 3 seconds.

8:17pm ET: The Sling TV Super Bowl stream on iPad gives me a message of “NFL Football is not currently available”, yet it shows it as an option for viewing. Don’t know if it’s a local blackout issue, but problem currently unknown. Update 8:58pm ET. I have restarted the iPad and now the Sling TV stream is working.

7:09pm ET: The Super Bowl stream is looking good so far on Fubo and DAZN on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon and Fire TV. Fubo won’t let me get the 4K stream though, message says my LG OLED TV doesn’t support it, which it does.

6:58pm ET: You can also use the NFL app to stream the Super Bowl, there is an option to skip authenticating or signing up for an account. Streams looks good, but it’s not the 4K version.

6:55pm ET: At kickoff the Super Bowl stream is looking good on FOX Sports, Hulu and Sling TV on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon and Fire TV. I’m seeing latency of 12-25 seconds. But sound volume is all over the place. Hulu on Roku I have to turn my TV up to 50, FOX on Roku only 20.

6:19pm ET: If you want the 4K stream of the Super Bowl it’s only on Amazon Fire TV and Roku in UHD/HDR and AppleTV 4K in UHD/SDR. (Apple does not support HDR @ 60fps). So no 4K on Xbox or PS4.

4:08pm ET: I expect the Super Bowl stream to have a delay when compared to cable TV of anywhere between 10 seconds to 60 seconds depending on the device/platform. And for all those that will complain, it’s not a big deal, it’s a free stream. Latency is not a big deal, until betting happens.

3:27pm ET: FOX Sports says the Super Bowl HD stream will max out at about 7.5Mbps and 20Mbps for UHD. No international broadcasters are taking the 4K feed, FOX Sports has rights for U.S. and Territories only. 

3:20pm ET: If you have any Super Bowl streaming issues with the video or apps please put them in the comments on this post (or email me dan@danrayburn.com) and I’ll send directly to FOX Sports tech team. Make sure you update the device OS and then update whatever app(s) you’re using. Most problems can be fixed simply by doing that. In your comments put ALL details; device, model number, device OS, app, app version, internet connection.

2:40pm ET: I’m running Charles to take a look at how the Super Bowl streams are being delivered, which looks to be across third-party CDNs including Fastly, Verizon Media, Akamai and Limelight Networks. [Updated: Amazon Cloudfront as well] Feel free to send me any logs or traceroutes if you like. FOX Sports looks to be ready.

2:30pm ET: Here’s what the 4K badging will look like for the 4K stream. Select that option if you have at least 25Mbps and your TV and streaming hardware supports 4K.

2:27pm ET: I’ll be testing the Super Bowl stream across 50+ apps/platform combo on Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, PS4, Fire TV, iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Tab, smart TVs from LG, Vizio and Samsung. Follow this blog post for updates. Below is my setup so far with more to come.

  • Connection: Verizon FiOS currently getting 77Mbps down.
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2015)
    OS 10.13.6
    Safari Version 13.0.5 (13608.5.12)

Running all latest apps from FOX, Sling TV, Hulu, Fubo, YouTube, DAZN and AT&T on these phones/tablets:

  • iPad 10.2” (2019)
  • iPhone 11 Pro (2019)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5″ (2019)

Here’s the specs for the TVs and streaming boxes: (more to come)

  • LG 55” TV 4K (Model OLED55C9AUA)
    Software Version 4.71.05
    FOX Sports App (not available)
    Sling TV App 2.8.34 Player Version 5.4.2
    Hulu Live App 6.5.9
    Fubo TV App (not available)
    YouTube Live App 1.0.22
    DAZN App 2.50.8
    AT&T TV Now App (not available)
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Model E9L29Y)
    Software Version OS 6.2.6.8 (NS6268/2315)
    FOX Sports App v3.23.20 (15140) Prod
    Sling TV App 5.4.7.266 Player Version 6.17.9
    Hulu Live App 97EAA109P3.6.203
    Fubo TV App 4.23.1
    YouTube Live App 1.5.64.0
    DAZN App 1.63.2
    AT&T TV Now App 3.0.20202.02122
  • Apple TV 4K (Model A1842)
    Software Version 13.3.1 (17K795)
    FOX Sports App 3.23.2
    Sling TV App 3.0.1.115 Player Version 5.4.0.101
    Hulu Live App 828 Build 42
    Fubo TV App 4.3.2
    YouTube Live App 1.5.0
    DAZN App 2.2.1
    AT&T TV Now App 1.0.0 Build 1
  • Roku Ultra 4K (Model 4670X)
    Software Version 9.2.0 (4807)
    FOX Sports App 3.23 Build 12658
    Sling TV App 6.7 Build 215
    Hulu Live App 6.25.4
    Fubo TV App 3.8 Build 2001211353
    YouTube Live App 1.0 Build 91000019
    DAZN App 3.0
    AT&T TV Now App (not available)

UPDATED: Verizon Ditches Cable Bundles and Contracts, Offers New “Mix & Match” Options With No Surcharges and Sports Network Fees for NEW Customers Only

[Updated Jan 11th: While not mentioned by Verizon, if you are a current Verizon customer you can’t make any changes to your account via phone. You have to use the Verizon website, which is HORRIBLE and tries to add new set-top-boxes and even assign me a new phone number, when I already one. You also can’t continue to use cable cards, which isn’t mentioned anywhere. The press release also says there are no fees on top of the costs, other than tax, but they are fees still for each cable box and for a router.]

Thanks to the impact of all the OTT services in the market and the number of options consumers have for getting their video fix, Verizon announced they are doing away with FiOS bundles and contracts, and allowing customers to pick and choose options for TV, internet and phone.

As a current customer of Verizon’s triple-play bundle for FiOS, I pay $109 a month, before taxes and fees. Under the new plan, I would pay $110 a month before taxes and fees. So initially the pricing is the same with no savings. But Verizon has also announced that all of the new “Mix & Match” options have “no added surcharges, no broadcast or regional sports network fees.” Verizon will charge only state and local tax on top of the new options. Removal of all the surcharges and sports network fees would save me $31.38 per month. And if you also happen to be Verizon Wireless customer, there is also an option to save $10 or $20 per month, depending on your plan, by joining Verizon’s Mobile+Home Rewards program.

Under the new “Mix & Match” options, customers can pick from 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps or Gigabit internet, costing from $39.99 per month up to $79.99 per month. TV options include $50 per month for 125+ channels, $70 per month for 300+ channels or $70 per month for 425+ channels. You can also add a landline for $20 a month.

Verizon is also offering a YouTube TV option for $50 a month. So if you wanted live TV via streaming, plus 100Mbps Internet connection, your cost would be $90 a month, before taxes. Note though that YouTube TV has a limit of 3 simultaneous streams from one account, so if a family of 3 or more all needs to watch content at the same time, you’d run into a limitation.

Verizon’s change towards triple-play bundling is just another example of how OTT continues to disrupt the pay TV market and provide more options for consumers. While the flexibility and no contract tie in is a good thing, for those not taking pay TV to begin with, Verizon’s news doesn’t lower their costs. And as most live streaming services continue to raise pricing each year, don’t expect OTT services to go down in price at any point. Content is expensive to license and produce, so we should expect to see additional price increases ahead.

Call For Speakers Open for NAB Show Streaming Summit, Closing Soon

I am actively placing speakers for the next NAB Show Streaming Summit, taking place Monday April 20th and Tuesday April 21st, in Las Vegas. The two-day show will once again be in the North Hall and have close to 100 speakers across fireside chats, technical best practices presentations and round table panels. [Submit here: The deadline for submissions is January 17th] If you are interested in moderating a session or would like sponsorship details, or discuss your submission idea before you send it in, please call me any time at 917-523-4562 or email me at dan@danrayburn.com

Streaming activities at the NAB Show are expanding greatly this year, with the inclusion of the “Streaming Experience“, a new demo area where attendees can test out over 50 OTT platforms and devices, in a living room style setting. We’ll also have a big Beer Garden networking event on Monday April 20th, so save the date!