Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2016

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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10 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 NEW WORLD OF VIDEO Cable and Streaming Video: A Marriage Made in Heaven? A Q&A with CSG International's Sean Casey about new alliances in the video industry By Michael A. Kashmer / Digital Broadband Programming Consultant R ecently, I had the opportunity to talk with Sean Casey, director of product management at CSG International, about why streaming services need to partner with the cable industry to explore new and exciting ways of engaging video consumers. CSG offers a variety of solutions and services for communications service providers that are navigating the digital world. Streaming services continue to generate enticing industry news. Hardly a day goes by without another announcement. In July, Netflix and Comcast struck a deal to allow Comcast customers to stream Netflix content through their set-top boxes, and, since Sean and I talked, Hulu announced that its free offering of current TV shows – the offering that made it famous – will be replaced by a subscription online television service to rival cable TV. Media attention to streaming services continues even though many streaming services have hit a plateau, their stock prices have declined and subscriber growth has taken a holiday. Mike Kashmer: Sean, tell us why cable companies are exploring partnerships with streaming services. Sean Casey: Netflix is the best streaming partner that a cable operator such as Comcast could hope for. e over-the-top (OTT) service Netflix is best at customer acquisition and is very attuned to what its subscriber base wants. It is prepared to partner with companies that offer the infrastructure and skills it needs. Netflix owns the analytics, and this intellectual property investment should serve it well for quite some time. e consumer experience is now basically via the set-top box. Subscribers may not be digitally aware of the options they can enjoy until their cable companies aggregate a fresh variety of services, including Netflix, improving the overall customer experience. is partnership will move Comcast away from the old cable image of poor customer service and lackluster program packages. No cable company is aiming to be the last legacy cable op standing. Cable operators see these partnerships as an opportunity to add new and exciting streaming services as a way of moving forward and offering a cobranded product that enhances overall customer satisfaction. MK: Sean, Time Warner Inc. just announced that it would become a 10 percent owner of Hulu. What do you make of that alliance? SC: ese types of partnerships are to be expected, and there will be more down the road. We are seeing the vertical integration of the TV value chain. A content aggregator possesses the rights to programming, which is the key component of the business. Distribution methods remain important as well. A robust OTT platform opens many options for distribution. MK: Can poor program quality be chalked up to growing pains, or are other factors at play

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