Light Reading

Is Cable Stifling OTT Video Competition?

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to the broadband news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation to determine if cable operators and other pay-TV providers are using TV Everywhere business models and broadband consumption caps to stifle video competition from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other over-the-top (OTT) providers, reports The Wall Street Journal.

    Under the authenticated TV Everywhere model, programming from cable networks is being made available via broadband only if the viewer also subscribes to a pay-TV service. As caps go, the probe is reportedly coming into play amid complaints from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that the caps are unfair to OTT providers and that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s data policy for its VoD app for the Xbox 360 might violate the terms of its acquisition of NBCUniversal LLC . Comcast has argued that data sent via the Xbox app is exempt from data caps because it's delivered over the operator's private IP network and that it views the game console as just another set-top box. (See Netflix Cranks Up the Net Neutrality Heat , Netflix CEO Keeps Whining About Comcast and Comcast Denies It's Prioritizing Xbox Video .)

  • The cable industry claimed victory Tuesday as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted to do away with a "viewability rule" in six months that currently requires operators to deliver must-carry digital broadcast TV signals in digital and analog format to customers. The cable industry wants to reclaim analog channels for other uses, such as Docsis 3.0 Internet services and more HD programming. The catch is that operators will have to provide digital-to-analog converter boxes for customers that are currently receiving analog cable TV signals without a set-top box.

  • TorrentFreak says HBO's Game of Thrones has the dubious honor of being the favorite TV show of pirates, averaging almost 4 million illegal/unauthorized downloads per episode during the spring television season. CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother was second, at 2.8 million per episode. HBO has so far resisted the urge to unbundle its TV Everywhere app and let consumers buy access directly from the premium programmer. A recent survey suggests that consumers would be willing to pay $12 for HBO Go as a standalone service.

  • Motorola Mobility LLC has tweaked its APEX3000 universal edge QAM ("universal" in the sense that it can handle both QAM and IP traffic at the same time) for the European market by adding support for the Digital Video Braodcasting (DVB) standard. Moto claims the APEX3000 is "compliant" with Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), a dense, next-gen architecture that cable's pursuing as it starts to migrate to IP video and looks to put all its services on a single platform. (See Motorola Pushes Ahead on Cable Access and CCAP Market Is Cisco's & Arris's to Lose .)

  • Clearleap has added The Nielsen Co. C3 ratings system to a video and media publishing platform it's pitching to programmers to handle video delivered over-the-top and via more traditional VoD platforms. Introduced by Nielsen in 2007, C3 measures the average commercial minutes viewed during a broadcast, and includes DVR, VoD and Internet playback data over a three-day period. Programmers are turning to C3 so advertisers can better track viewership of shows that are recorded or viewed on-demand.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:30:11 PM
    re: Is Cable Stifling OTT Video Competition?

    I've been pondering why the DOJ launched this probe so stealthily -- and I'm taking it as a sign that the department hasn't made up its mind on this issue yet. If you publicly launch a formal probe, you have to put some spin on why you're doing it. And perhaps the DOJ hasn't decided what that spin is yet, just that this is something they want to keep an eye on.

    From The Founder
    The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    LRTV Interviews
    Top Tips for FTTH Operators

    10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

    At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
    LRTV Interviews
    M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

    10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

    At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Business Case Challenge for NFV

    10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

    Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
    LRTV Interviews
    JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

    10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

    Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

    10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

    AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Network Security in a Gigabit World

    10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

    Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

    10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

    Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Gigabit Europe Takeaways

    10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

    Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

    10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

    Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
    LRTV Interviews
    BT Updates on Plans

    10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

    Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

    10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

    Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
    LRTV Interviews
    CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

    10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

    Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
    Upcoming Live Events
    October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
    November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
    November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
    Hot Topics
    Eurobites: Dunroamin'
    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
    M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
    Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
    Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
    AT&T Gets Green Light for VoWiFi
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/7/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
    Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
    Cats with Phones
    "What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here