Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
Netflix Inc. ended a turbulent 2012 on a high note. Shares in the streaming video specialist soared more than 30 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company issued fourth-quarter results that included a surprise profit and the addition of more than 2 million U.S. subscribers. Wall Street analysts were expecting a loss of 12 cents per share, but Netflix turned in a profit of 13 cents ($8 million) on revenues of $945.2 million, up 8 percent year-on-year and better than the $934.5 million that analysts were expecting. Netflix lost 380,000 DVD subscriptions, narrowed from a loss of 2.76 million a year earlier. The addition of 2.05 million streaming subs pushed Netflix's U.S. totals to 27.15 million. The surge comes ahead of the Feb. 1 premiere of Netflix's anticipated, new original series, House of Cards. Netflix predicts it will add 1.7 million customers in the first quarter of 2013. (See Icahn: Netflix Sale Has Crossed Our Minds.)
But how much higher can Netflix's streaming subscription totals go? Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Carlos Kirjner said in a research note that he's "highly skeptical that Netflix can get anywhere close" to the range of 50 million to 80 million U.S. subscribers this decade, even if company management views that as a realistic goal. He thinks cable operators will be forced to jack up broadband prices, or perhaps charge a fee directly to Netflix, if Netflix usage continues to rise. At this point, though, Kirjner sees Netflix's ceiling at about 38 million U.S. streaming subs.
CBS Corp. claims that Dish Network Corp. concealed material facts about its new ad-skipping technology when the companies were negotiating a new retransmission pact in 2011, reports Reuters. CBS added those allegations in a revised copyright lawsuit centered on Dish's AutoHop, a feature in the Hopper HD-DVR that automatically skips commercials in recorded prime-time programming from the nation's major broadcasters. CBS claims Dish "deliberately failed" to disclose that it had developed AutoHop and argues that it would not have struck a new retrans deal based on the current terms if the broadcaster was aware of the feature. (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper.)
3net, the Sony Corp., Discovery Communications Inc. and IMAX joint venture, has landed the biggest fish of them all. Comcast Corp. has struck a deal to carry programming from the 3-D channel on a part-time basis starting Jan. 28, with plans to offer "select" video-on-demand (VoD) titles from the network at a later date. Initially, Comcast will offer three hours of 3net programming each day (at least five days per week) on the MSO's own Xfinity 3D channel. In addition to 3-D programming, 3net is also set to produce some new series in the new UltraHD/4K format. (See 3net Puts 4K TV in the Picture.)
re: Netflix Surges on Profit, Subscriber Gains Great quarter for Netflix, but Will Richmond notes why everyone shouldn't get too giddy about the company again-á just yet now that it seems to be righting itself after the Qwikster debacle and rate increases.-á Among warnings, he points out that Netflix will likely have trouble hitting those lofty subscriber predictions, Amazon is going after Netflix big time, and that Netflix's international expansion is still taking on water (-á $389 million for all of 2012). And there's more... http://www.videonuze.com/artic...
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.