Light Reading
CFO says Xfinity Online TV service emerges from beta sometime next month, and offers Comcast's latest view on Clearwire funding

Comcast Tees Up TV Everywhere Relaunch

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
9/23/2010
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is gearing up to relaunch its PC-focused TV Everywhere (TVE) service sometime in October, a move that comes as the MSO continues to shed video customers amidst competition, a bad economy, and the budding "cord-cutting" trend.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs & Co. Communacopia conference Wednesday, MSO chief financial officer Michael Angelakis said Comcast's TVE service, dubbed Xfinity Online TV, is set to emerge from beta sometime next month. Comcast introduced the beta version of it in December 2009. (See Comcast's 'Xfinity' Goes Live .)

Comcast has yet to offer much detail on how the relaunch will differ from the beta in terms of content and additional device support, but the company has already hinted that it will include a less cumbersome sign-on and authentication process. For now, the product is available only on broadband-connected PCs, but Comcast has been developing apps for the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, including one that turns the device into a remote control and content navigation system. (See To Xfinity... & Beyond!.)

Comcast has also stated ambitions to bring its TVE service to other forms of mobile devices. It hasn't revealed a specific launch date but earlier identified 2010 as a possibility. (See Comcast's 'Xfinity' to Go Mobile in 2010 .)

"We think that we have a great value proposition on the video side," Angelakis said of Comcast's TVE project. "It will evolve. It will mature in terms of how we innovate that product, whether it's online, whether it's on linear, or whether it's VoD, or ultimately, possibly wireless."

Comcast's relaunch is coming into play as the MSO continues to lose video subscribers. TVE is generally seen as a defensive tactic to bring value to those subscriptions and to keep churn in check, but Angelakis said the aim of the service "clearly is offensive." [Ed. note: in the good sense, we presume.]

"Clearly, the video business has been softer than we would like it to be," he said, noting that the economy and competition from telcos and satellite TV service providers, not cord-cutting, is what's been driving it. Comcast has lost roughly 160,000 basic broadcast customers in the first half of 2010. It gained roughly that amount in the first half of last year, largely benefiting from the broadcast TV digital transition.

But Angelakis is not completely discounting the competitive effects of cord-cutting and over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) "When we think about cord-cutting… we look at that as primarily competition to our VoD business, not to our core business."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CEO Ivan Seidenberg offered a more bearish view of OTT Thursday morning at the same conference.

"Over-the-top is going to be a pretty big issue for cable," he said. "We take the over-the-top issue with video very seriously," he said. "I think cable has some life left in its model… but that it is going to get disintermediated over the next several years."

Avoiding another Clearwire cash splash
On the wireless front, Angelakis said Comcast has been pleased with its investment in Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), but doesn't plan to throw more money on the pile as the WiMax provider seeks options for a next round of funding.

"We own a little bit more than 9 percent of [Clearwire]," Angelakis said. "We don't see, really, any strategic advantage of owning 10 percent or 11 percent. We have no commitment to invest any further. I think Clearwire has to figure this out."

Clearwire has looked at possibly selling spectrum to help it raise funds. Angelakis didn't speak directly to that possible strategy, but acknowledged it's just one of the options. "They have a lot of spectrum and it's very valuable. So that may be one of the funding mechanisms. We'll see."

The funding question will likely come up again this afternoon, when Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow speaks at the Goldman Sachs conference.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
sarahs
50%
50%
sarahs,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:14:58 PM
re: Comcast Tees Up TV Everywhere Relaunch


It's great that Comcast is going to relaunch TV everywhere! I love my TV everywhere with DISH. Working with DISH is so exciting you get a chance to learn about all the new promotions. This is a must of the year. TV everywhere is great for all families on the go. The difference with Comcast and DISH is that with DISH TV everywhere you can leave your home and Comcast you can't.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed