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Also: Privacy law thwarts Facebook-Netflix US hookup, Cox and Moto chiefs to headline Cable-Tec Expo, Avail-TVN brings MPEG-4 to indie MSOs

Walmart Streams into the Future

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
7/26/2011
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Brace yourself for today's cable news roundup.

  • Walmart is challenging Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iTunes Store and cable VoD platforms by streaming movies the same day they are released on DVD through its VUDU Inc. unit. It's attempting to hype VUDU by adding links to the streaming-video service on the Walmart home page. (See Entone Crafting VUDU-Powered Cable Boxes .)

  • Facebook 's goal of powering video navigation systems based on the viewing habits of friends could be thwarted by a 23-year-old U.S. law. Netflix tipped investors to the significance of the Video Privacy Protection Act in a letter to investors Monday, noting that it will soon launch a Facebook app that recommends content based on friend preferences in Canada and Latin America, but that current U.S. laws keep it from offering it domestically. (See Comcast Demos New Web-Based TV Service and Netflix Pops on Facebook Integration Buzz .)

  • The Nielsen Co. gains access to local viewing data from DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) set-tops through a deal it struck with Kantar Media . (See DirecTV, Dish Connect on Interactive Ads .)

  • Police arrested a 30-year-old Florida man for allegedly hacking Bright House Networks 's system and using customer account data to clone cable modems and sell Internet services for a one-time fee via Craigslist. He was able to obtain more than 1,200 addresses used to ID customer accounts over a one-month period.

  • Pace plc said revenues for the first half of 2011 increased 21 percent to US$1.2 billion, as inventory management has "normalized." (See Japan Quake Shakes Pace.)

  • TV Everywhere will be among the topics when Motorola Mobility LLC Chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha and Cox Communications Inc. President Pat Esser hold court at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

  • Avail-TVN has launched Linear Complete, a bandwidth-saving, hosted MPEG-4 content delivery system that's targeted to Tier 2/3 cable MSOs. Zito Media is among the first to deploy it.

  • Increased penetration of broadband and mobile Internet is helping drive an increase in usage of video-sharing sites such as YouTube Inc. and Vimeo LLC , according to Pew Internet & American Life Project . It said 71 percent of U.S. Web surfers used video-sharing sites in May, up 5 percent from May 2010.

  • WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) Chairman and CEO Colleen Abdoulah, who was critical of the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-NBCUniversal LLC deal, has been named Chair of the American Cable Association (ACA) , succeeding Wave Broadband COO Steve Friedman. (See WOW CEO Slams Comcast-NBC Deal.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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