NFL TV rights are linchpin for the future of TV
NFL broadcasting rights are locked up through 2022, but awarding of future contracts will begin in the next months. Currently, NFL broadcasts are held by owners who distribute through traditional pay TV outlets (cable, satellite, over the air). To be seen is if an exclusive streaming video provider, such as Netflix, Amazon, or You Tube steps up to grab exclusive rights to NFL broadcasts — an act that would forever change and further devalue the traditional TV business. It is more likely, however, that the NFL will award the new contracts to companies such as CBSViacom, Comcast and Disney that own distribution both in traditional as well as streaming channels. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: It is possible that our disruptor friends Amazon, or You Tube would do the unthinkable and pay unprecedented sums to lock up the NFL for streaming only. Such an act would rapidly accelerate the demise-in-progress of the traditional TV business and dislodge the remaining Luddites who are holding onto cable and satellite TV mostly for live sports. The big winners, of course, are the fabulously rich NFL owners.
Buffett trades flip phone for iPhone
Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 245 million shares of Apple, worth $72 billion. Apple is the third largest component of Berkshire, following the company’s stake in insurance and railroads. Buffett calls Apple “probably the best business I know in the world.” CNBC
dis-rup-shun: This is high praise from the most successful investor of our time, who expresses regret for not owning the company sooner. Buffett has always been an investor in financially stable and traditional companies. Is Apple now the General Electric and General Motors of our time — a traditional, conservative investment? In the highly volatile and high risk world of technology, it is hard to consider any tech player as a low risk investment. Let’s hope Apple continues to lead technology innovation for at least another decade.
Pets go hungry for days as technology failure shocks owners
Petnet, an IOT company backed by a collaborative of investors including Petco, makes the SmartFeeders line of connected products that dispense food to pets on a pre-set schedule. The company experienced an unexplained system failure that took systems offline for a week. While the service is restored, pet owners are left wondering what went wrong and if it will happen again. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: We hope no pets were actually harmed during this outage, and that owners, after some period of time, realized their pets had not been fed. The incident, however, is a reminder that our society is entrusting more and more of the important things in life, including the safety and health of our loved ones, to technology companies. The reasons for the outage are unknown: was it a software glitch, a network outage, or financial turmoil that resulted in kitty not eating for several days? Whatever the cause, vendors will face increasing pressure from consumers to ensure redundancy of technology that is important to them, as consumers expect IOT systems to be as reliable as an electric, water or cellular utility company.
How are your resolutions? Weight Watchers or Noom?
CNET weighs the merits of weight loss mobile app programs from industry veteran Weight Watchers, now re-branded “WW” and newcomer Noom. Both apps include daily tracking of food intake, various levels of coaching, and healthy living advice. WW focuses on a points system, is more flexible, and has three tiers of service and price, whereas Noom is based on calorie counting, heavy on coaching, and has a single, higher price point. Both programs offer clinical evidence that they are effective — with 78% of Noom users losing weight when on the program for over a year.
dis-rup-shun: Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers had to quickly change to an online program when the world went digital. These programs are examples of human-first services transforming to machine first, with human coaches being offered to support the machine based functions only as needed. While it appears that the digital programs remain effective for weight loss, it will be interesting to learn if the new WW operates at a lower cost, employing fewer humans, than in the days of operating physical Weight Watchers store fronts.