Tag Archives: HBO

HBO give us free! Cable, your days are numbered.

hbogo

I’ve been trying to contain my excitement over something I just heard.

“What’s that?” you ask.

Brace yourselves…

Next year you can get HBO without a cable subscription.

Now let it sink in.

Awesome right!?

I know.

Like many of you, I’ve got a two year contract with Fios for my TV, internet and phone.

When I switched from Comcast to Fios, I signed up for the bundled service with that great introductory price.

Once I added the DVR box, the additional set top boxes, and premium channels to the mix, that “great introductory price” went away.

And I end up with a bundle costing me a cool two bills a month.

Outside of the occasional on-demand movie or DVRd show I missed when it originally aired, I was just throwing away money with my cable subscription.

With the exception of HBO, I rarely watch anything on EPIX, STARZ, or any of the other premium channels I pay so dearly for.

So you can imagine my delight to hear that I’ll be able to decouple from cable and still get my HBO on.

Well maybe you can’t actually imagine my delight – but I am delighted damn it!

It’s true.

I started transitioning away from cable a few years ago when I got my Apple TV.

With Hulu Plus, Netflix, and iTunes, I’ve got access to virtually the same content as if offered on premium cable channels.

And the HBO GO app also allows me to watch all the content on that channel (albeit with my cable subscription) on the go.

The bigger thing for me, though, is not the decoupling of HBO from cable, it’s the precedent that HBO has set with this move.

Already, premium networks like EPIX, STARZ, ESPN, and Showtime have apps that let you access their content on demand.

With Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire and gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation all offering streaming services, once other broadcast companies follow suit, you’re no longer going to be beholden to the cable companies.

And soon(er than later) you’ll be able to cut the ties that bind (literally and figuratively) and get rid of that stupid cable bill.

We’ll have to see what kinds of deals HBO is able to strike with other set top box manufacturers, and how many of them ultimately end up carrying the channel.

But it’s definitely a sign of things to come.

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Filed under digital advocacy, technology

Michael Havaien. The Bad (or Bang!) Boy of Boxing

 

The Two Iron Mikes

If you’ve been paying attention to my blog, you might have caught a post I did a few months ago about NJ quietly becoming a boxing mecca.

At the time, I was talking about a little-known gym in North Bergen, and one of the people making moves to put the gym on the map.

Fast forward a few months, and it’s a whole new world.

My friend is now in talks with a group of investors, opening his own gym.

He’s also building a stable of world-class amateur and professional boxers, MMA fighters and athletes from different sports.

Oh, he’s got a pretty serious technology play in the works as well.

Did I mention the film/television productions currently in development?

The ‘friend’ is Michael Havaien.

A Hampton University graduate, Michael (‘Face’ to his friends) is a force to be reckoned with.

Never one to toot his own horn, he’s been taking meetings and talking to some of the most influential people and brands in the fight business.

With friends in high places at virtually every major promotions and matchmaking house in boxing, Michael knows the importance of making friends.

Main Events, Mike Tyson, and Golden Boy, are just of few of the people and brands on speed dial.

With bouts lined up for main events and undercards in Atlantic City, the Prudential Center and Bally’s, you’re likely to see Michael ringside the next time you watch a fight on HBO or Showtime.

If you’re a true aficionado, you might have caught one of his by-lines in BoxingCommunity.org8CountNews or Bokser.org.

Soon, though, you’ll be able to tune into Michael’s own branded web channel, where you can catch his by-lines, videos and other exclusive content.

We can’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet, but Michael is about to drop a major bomb (we’re talking Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined – serious mushroom clouds).

If you’re familiar with the way Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs established Bad Boy Records, and took over the music industry, you’ve got a hint about what Michael is about to do – hence the title to this post.

With a keen eye for business, an intimate understanding of the fight industry, a bird’s eye view of fight promotions, management and match-making, and a hustler’s mentality, cat’s are surely not ready for this mogul-in-the-making.

And like Puff, Michael has a uncanny ability to recognize talent most people overlook.

He’s cultivating a stable of up-and-coming (and undiscovered) athletes in multiple sports, and banking on one of them (if not all) making a splash in their respective sports.

Currently, he’s talking with B-Hop‘s business partner to provide PR services for upcoming fights in DC, working with the NJ Golden Gloves, and deals in the works with some of the most widely recognized promoters and fighters in the game today.

Stay tuned for additional posts about ‘The Bad Boy of Boxing’ and the projects he’s working on.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “I’m Getting Old(er)”

I’m 39. People are always amazed when I say that, because (apparently) I don’t look my age (or is it act? hmmm). I’m in media and many of the movers and shakers in the space are young(er), so I guess I often take it for granted that I’m not as young as I used to be.

Case in point – At an HBO meeting today, I made a reference to the viral nature of mobile. To illustrate my point, I said (something like), “And then the person who receives the link to the mobile site shares it with his friend, and that person shares it with their friend, and so on and so on.”

One of the executives we were meeting with picked up on my point and added (again, something like), “I get it. It’s like that shampoo commercial, ‘and she tells a friend, and so on and so on, and so on!'”

We had a collective giggle (ladies) chuckle (gents) at the reference, and I offered, “You know we’re all dating ourselves with this reference!” Which sent us all into another fit of laughter.

Now, if you’re a person of a certain age (as Wendy Williams is fond of saying), then you automatically know which commercial we were referring to, and you get the significance. If not, then the mixed emotions of joy and (the tinge of) sadness, we collectively experienced in that moment, escapes you.

Why sadness you ask? The shampoo commercial was part of an advertising campaign for Faberge from the early 70s. The fact that I made a reference to a 70s commercial (that several people in the room actually remembered) is irrefutable proof that I’m approaching ‘old as dust’ status.

It’s (the implicit acknowledgement of) aging, that puts little crows feet in the corners of (otherwise) smiling faces.

It’s the first leg in the grave. The first nail in the coffin. The ink drying on my will. The…you get the point.

At the end of the day, that dated reference helped make a point and seal the deal, so I’m not really twisted about acknowledging that I’m an old fart, but damn…Faberge! Really?

And for those of you too young to know WTF I’m talking about, here you go.

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Filed under Smack talking