DirecTV, Charter execs discuss online video future

How are pay-TV distributors thinking about online video? Investors got an idea this week as executives at two of the largest distributors fielded questions from stock analysts about their approaches.

Charter (Nasdaq: CHTR) took the most active step Tuesday, introducing an iOS app that lets subscribers access 100 live channels inside the home. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge hinted that the app could have a much bigger service area one day. "There are no technical constraints on where the signal can go," Rutledge said, adding that the company may one day sell "subscriptions everywhere."

The same day, DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) CEO Mike White was asked about reports that his company has been considering introducing an Aereo-like service to reduce the fees it pays to local TV stations. White admitted the company has been looking into alternatives to carrying those signals, such as integrating TV antennas into set-top boxes, but declined to talk specifics about Aereo.

"We have done some work this year to see whether from an R&D standpoint we might see additional ideas going forward that could be leveraged," he said, according to a report in Multichannel News. "I don't have anything imminent and I don't think speculating on Aereo makes a lot of sense."

For more:
- Multichannel News had this report
- Variety had this report

Commentary: The cable industry's Aereo math

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