February 2019


February 6, 2019 Minutes

CTAC Meeting Wednesday, February 6th 2019 

Tad Weinstein – (West Haven._ –  Chair
Peaches Quinn – (New Haven) – Vice Chair
Laurel Coleman (Hamden) Advisor
John Jessen – (New Haven Library System) – Advisor
Yvonne Manning-Jones  – (New Haven ) — Advisor.
George Alexander – (Hamden) – Treasurer
Johnes Ruta – (New Haven) – Acting Secretary   – attending and recording Minutes from NYC
via telephone link.

Meeting convened at 6:15.


  1. December Minutes — No changes needed. Peaches motion to accept. Tad seconded.
    Vote unanimous.  There was no January meeting.
  2. Comcast — not present.
    Corporate communique received January 24, 2019 from Sharon Codeanne:A new ad-supported streaming service will be led by Bonnie Hammer. Mark Lazarus adds oversight of the Cable Entertainment portfolio, NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Jeff Shell’s role expands to include NBC Entertainment, international and Telemundo. Donna Langley promoted to Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

NBCUniversal announced today the planned launch of a new streaming service providing consumers access to world-class premium content for free, with valuable partnership opportunities for advertisers and distributors. The service, which will launch in early 2020, will be led by Bonnie Hammer, who has been promoted to Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises for NBCUniversal.

This innovative new service will draw on NBCUniversal’s large content library, as well as its broad reach of over 90 million U.S. households, plus Comcast and Sky’s leading technology platforms. It will feature some of the world’s most popular television and film franchises, including homegrown original programming as well as content from outside partners.

The ad-supported service will be available at no cost to NBCUniversal’s pay TV subscribers in the U.S. and major international markets. Comcast Cable and Sky will provide the service to their 52 million subscribers. An ad-free version will also be available for a fee. Additionally, non-pay TV customers can purchase a subscription to the service. Consistent with the company’s long-standing strategy to distribute its content broadly, NBCUniversal will continue to license content to other studios and platforms, while retaining rights to certain titles for its new service.

Hammer will build a team that will include key executives from Sky’s OTT offering, NOW TV, and throughout NBCUniversal. In addition, NBCUniversal’s Digital Enterprises group, led by Maggie Suniewick, will move into Hammer’s consolidated digital group.

“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal. Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable and Sky,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.

He added, “People are watching premium content more than ever, but they want more flexibility and value. NBCUniversal is perfectly positioned to offer a variety of choices, due to our deep relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, as well as our data-targeting capabilities. Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”

As Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios, Hammer has had executive oversight of leading media brands USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, Oxygen, E! Entertainment and Universal Kids. She oversaw two Hollywood studios, UCP and Wilshire Studios. UCP is one of the industry’s fastest-growing studios, working with top Hollywood creative talent to develop and produce content for linear channels and digital streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. In 2018, Hammer led her portfolio to its 15th consecutive year of growth in both profit and revenue. Hammer serves on the Board of Directors of eBay and IAC/InteractiveCorp.

Separately, Burke announced a reorganization of his senior leadership team, which will align its content businesses under two executives, Mark Lazarus and Jeff Shell.

Lazarus has been named Chairman, NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News, and will assume responsibility for most of the company’s East Coast-based content businesses, including the cable entertainment portfolio, NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. In addition, Lazarus will continue to oversee the NBC Sports Group, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations and NBC Affiliate Relations.

Since joining the Company in 2011, Lazarus has overseen NBC Sports and added oversight of Broadcast for NBC in 2016. Under his leadership, the company has forged new deals with the Olympics, NFL, NASCAR, the Premier League and the NHL, among many other partnerships. In addition, Sunday Night Football has been primetime’s number one show for a record of eight consecutive years. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Lazarus was President of Media and Marketing at CSE and President of Turner Entertainment Group.

Shell has been named Chairman, NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, adding NBC Entertainment to his purview. He will continue to oversee film and will also now be responsible for NBCUniversal’s international division and Telemundo.

Shell most recently served as Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), overseeing all divisions of the global film operations, as well as DreamWorks Animation, Fandango and Brand Development. He was previously Chairman of NBCUniversal International and President of Comcast Programming Group. Since Shell joined UFEG in 2013, the studio celebrated four years of record profit — and the two most profitable years in the studio’s 107-year history.

  1. CTV – Joe Schofield — sent message with apology not present, will attend March 6 Meeting.
    INviting CTAC members to attend CTV Feb 14 Board Meeting.

    4.  Budget 2019 — George Alexander: “Basically the same as 2018. No need to change anything.
    Peaches motion to accept. Tad second. Vote unanimous.
    Annual Budget Report was filed on-time to PURA, Wednesday January 23.

    5.  Correspondence – George — Comcast canceled some Hindi programming.
    Individual sending Comcast complaint — customer wants sports programming to be optional.
    Another letter– somebody sent stub with subscription payment to CTAC instead of Comcast.–
    payment of $10.  Peaches will convey improperly sent payment to Sharon Codeanne.

    6.  COMCAST
    Comcast has allocated nearly $700,00 — multi-Gigabit high speed work area for innovation
    Comcast Business Innovation Lounge — sponsoring workspace for others to use on East Street,
    New Haven, Has various pods   gym, restaurant cafe,mail help spa salon, high-tech open space
    Not public space, but for business projects. Has to have an issued key to open outer door.
    Developer:Dave Salinas.

    7.  BY-LAWS — George reviewed DPUC website and transferred verbiage:
    Changes:   CTAC requires largest city library system (New Haven) to attend CTAC meetings.
    Yvonne:  DPUC (PURA)  By-Laws were previously 3 pages, CTAC was 9 pages, Yvonne cut-out
    inconsistencies on CTAC’ BY-Laws. There were and are some formatting differences,but
    requirements contents are the same.  Two PDF files received from Yvonne are also attached
    with these February Minutes.

    Note:  George speaks saying that he is an appointed commissioner of the Town of Hamden, and must
    report any changes to the Hamden Town Council.

    DIFFERING CABLE ISSUES – Frontier vs. Comcast

8..  Laurel Colerman asks if there can be more cable providers available,  Example: Frontier’s port
at Bella Vista  can only handle a set number of subscribers for TV cable, VIOP, and internet,
Subscribers to Frontier had to go onto a waiting list, some many switched to Comcast.
Due to technological limitations, Frontier is not able to meet the service requests at Bella Vista.
Tad will look into the technical aspects at the State Meeting.

  1. John talks about technical aspects of land-lines vs. VOIP, —  discussion on differing advantages.
    issues of battery life of equipment discussed.10. New Business — nothing.

    Next meeting Wednesday, March 13th 6:00PM.

    Meeting adjourned: 7:05 PM.