Light Reading

Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/1/2012
50%
50%

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • A sale of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is among the strategies that have "crossed our minds," billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn told Bloomberg TV soon after word spread that he had taken a 10 percent stake in the video streaming and DVD rental giant. He said the over-the-top video market is getting crowded and he expects to see some consolidation, identifying Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) among potential suitors. "We don't have any definite plans or proposals, but I think it's almost obvious that there should be consolidation," Icahn said. (See Icahn Nabs 10% of Netflix .)

    He also thinks "nobody has a better platform than Netflix" to take advantage of a trend that is seeing consumers view more and more video via Internet-connected TVs, tablets and smartphones. Icahn believes Netflix should place less emphasis on older library content and spend a lot more developing original programming to help it compete with premium subscription services such as HBO. For more, check out the interview below:



  • Cable outages in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy had fallen "well under" 20 percent as of Wednesday morning, Broadcasting & Cable reported, citing David Turetsky, chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The day before, the FCC said the average was about 25 percent. (See Service Providers Assess Sandy's Impact .)

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) said recovery efforts underway following the storm has caused it to reschedule its third-quarter earnings call to Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m.

  • Online video publisher Brightcove Inc. posted a third-quarter net loss of $600,000 (2 cents per share) on revenues of $22.1 million, up 32 percent from the year-ago quarter. Brightcove ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $30.8 million, down from $58.6 million in the previous quarter due primarily to its $27.2 million acquisition of Zencoder, a cloud-based video encoding service. (See Brightcove Raises $55M in Nasdaq Debut .)

  • The Denver-based The Cable Center has expanded its board by three with the appointments of: Cox Communications Inc. SVP of Customer Experience Paul Cronin; CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney and newly named Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Regional VP, Mountain Region, Kyle McSlarrow. They'll serve three-year terms. (See McSlarrow Takes Over Comcast's Mountain Region and Ex-HP CTO Named CableLabs CEO.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (6)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:21 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    He's certainly placing a bet that he can do well with another agitation.


    We haven't gotten a response (yet), but here's the first comment so far from Netflix, according to the NY Times: "We have many shareholders, now including Mr. Icahn, and we're alwasy open to their perspective on how to build on our success."


    Which doesn't say anything other than an acknowledgement that they've noticed. JB  


     

    elgato990
    50%
    50%
    elgato990,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:21 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    So he is betting that Netflix is the next Instagram or OMGpop or Skype?   Where the strategy is to attack someone with a money losing business in hopes that they buy you for an irrational sum of money?  

    ethertype
    50%
    50%
    ethertype,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:20 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    The story of Netflix streaming to date is "great platform, shame about the content."  It's hardly their fault; their early dominance painted a huge target on their back, leading content owners to cripple them by withholding and overpricing content.  


    So if someone is going to buy Netflix, they will have to solve the content problem, most likely by blowing up the one-size-fits all Netflix price-value model, paying more and charging more for premium content.


    Buyer type 1 -- Large multichannel video provider (MVPD) that naturally already has strong content relationships but hasn't figured out streaming yet.  Could DBS providers be at the top of this list?


    Buyer type 2 -- Strong consumer brand, looking to jump start a weak video business. Maybe Sony or Google?


    Buyer type 3 -- Consortium of content players, most likely Hulu, who decide they're ready to accelerate their bypass play, even while they individually continue to act cozy with the MVPDs.


    Discuss.

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:19 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    Having Carl Icahn show up on your shareholders roster is like having Gordon Ramsey walk into your restaurant, camera crew in tow. It means things are bad, and they aren't likely to get better for you in the long run.

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:16 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    Gordo showed up at two restaurants in my area (Bergen County, NJ). One place closed in less than a year, and the other shut down after the chef/owner jumped off the George Washington Bridge. As far as Netflix becoming something other than a distribution channel by creating its own content, best of luck on that. I would guess that the failure rate for content producers is even higher than for start-up restaurants.

    AESerm
    50%
    50%
    AESerm,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:16 PM
    re: Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds'


    That's a frightful image, but Chef Ramsey also on occasion turns a restaurant around, non? That said, not sure I follow Icahn, despite what he sees as "self-evident" and "almost obvious." He points to $2.5b in rev domestically and the prospect of using that for fresh content. Net income in 2011 was $226m. Is that what he wants to tap? 

    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
    Live Streaming Video
    BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
    Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
    LRTV Documentaries
    IoT in Action

    6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (5) comments


    Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

    6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


    Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

    6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


    NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

    6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


    Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

    6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


    As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
    LRTV Documentaries
    OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

    6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


    Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

    6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


    Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
    Between the CEOs
    Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

    6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


    Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

    6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


    Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
    LRTV Interviews
    NFV: Ready for Prime Time

    6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


    At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Tykes Talk Tech

    6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


    What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

    6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


    In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
    Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
    Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
    What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
    Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
    Cats with Phones