Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Digital TV Delay Falls Through, Modestly Good News For Cable, Telcos

The digital transition date is on, it's off, it's on, it's... The House failed to approve the bill that was passed in the Senate that would have delayed the transition date till June. And so, for now, the switch will be turned on February 17. For the poor and elderly who have yet to get a digital converter, let alone the voucher to buy for pennies, may be left without their TV signal. For them, the solution is to either do without, purchase a converter (there is no time to get a voucher), or contact your cable, telco, or satellite provider and hook up.

"This is modestly good news for cable companies like Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), telcos like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), and satellite TV providers like DirecTV (DTV), which expect to sign up incremental customers because of the digital transition. It's also modestly good news for wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T, and Qualcomm (QCOM), which bought billions of dollars worth of analog TV airwaves in last year's FCC auction to use for wireless services."

Will another bill be legislated in time to postpone the switchover. For now, it seems less likely. 20 days left. The clock is ticking

Sirius to be Available on IPhone

If you can't get Howard Stern on your car, how about on your phone. In a move that just might find a new revenue stream, iPhone users will be able to get Sirius on their device. How much it costs and whether current Sirius subscribers get a discount have still not be revealed. Still, it sounds like a terrific way to expand the Sirius audience reach. "According to these sources, the uSirius StarPlayr app will be submitted to the Apple Store by Saturday, January 31st. After submitting, Apple simply needs to approve the iPhone app, and it will go public."

I am also reading that it will be available over a cellphone or WiFi connection. I look forward to reading more details on this new direction.