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Netflix: Comcast May Be Discriminating

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
2/21/2011
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Streaming video buzz dominates today's cable news wrap-up, from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) weighing in on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s spat with Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) to streaming video moves by SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) and Playboy in Europe.

  • Netflix finally weighed in the Comcast-Level 3 kerfuffle, noting in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that the MSO may be "either discriminating against Netflix traffic or trying to increase Netflix's operating costs." (See Level 3: This Is Not a Peering Dispute.)

  • Once DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) lines up more 3-D content, you can expect it to begin charging subscribers a premium for networks like ESPN 3D, 3net and its own n3D. (See DirecTV Set to Launch New 3-D Net .)

  • Cable One Inc. faces a US$100,000 lawsuit from Ameren, Mo., for allegedly shortchanging the utility on pole-attachment fees.

  • SeaChange is teaming up with InView Technology to launch a video-on-demand (VoD) service targeted at broadband-connected TVs in Europe.

  • Playboy TV is also targeting broadband-connected TVs with a VoD service it will launch in Europe in April.

  • The Writers Guild of America is already accusing new NBCUniversal LLC owner Comcast of trying to "destroy" it since writers for E!, Style and G4 (which are all owned by Comcast) have had trouble joining the union. (See Comcast Clinches NBCU Deal .)

  • TV networks are relying more and more on Facebook and Twitter Inc. to drive ratings.

  • All that cord-cutting talk may be overblown, according to The Associated Press. (See Comcast Slows the Bleeding.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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