Light Reading
Also: Liberty Global set to grow with Virgin buy; jury dings AT&T for $27.5 million; cable video losses to slow in 2013; Charter shoots down antenna ad

Comcast Watchathon Nets VoD Boost

Jeff Baumgartner
News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
3/29/2013
50%
50%

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Comcast Corp. claims its Watchathon Week, a promo that's offering a free pass to more than 3,500 TV episodes from 30 programmers on set-tops and IP-connected tablets and smartphones, is boosting video-on-demand (VoD) usage as designed. (See Comcast Goes On a VoD Binge and Comcast Plans to Pump Up VoD Usage.) "Customers are definitely catching up in force during Watchathon Week. We're seeing double-digit percentage increases in views across platforms so far," said Maggie Suniewick, vice president of video services at Comcast Cable, in a statement to Light Reading Cable. "Premiums are doing extremely well, and we expect that to continue as customers catch up leading into the season premiere of Game of Thrones on Sunday night," she added, in reference to the hit series from HBO. Another tidbit: Showtime Networks Inc.'s Shameless has been the most-viewed premium network series online (via Xfinity.com/tv) during Watchathon Week. The VoD tilt runs through March 31, offering access to the full VoD libraries of HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax, whether customers subscribe to those premium services or not. Xfinity TV customers with access to Comcast's VoD service are eligible for Watchathon Week, so most of its 21.25 million digital video customers can partake in it. On April 1, Comcast is set to follow with "Catch-Up of the Week," which will present a mix of current and past seasons of hit shows and series each week through the end of the year.
  • Liberty Global Inc.'s $23.3 billion play for U.K.-based Virgin Media Inc. should generate "mid-single-digit EBIDTA growth," driven by increased service bundles and small business services penetration, wrote ISI Group Inc. analyst Vijay Jayant, in a research note earlier this week. He also expects LGI to report 1.5 million net subscriber adds once Virgin Media is in the fold. The firm expects the European Commission to okay the deal by mid-April, with shareholder votes set for late May/early June, putting it all on target for a closing in the second quarter. (See Liberty Makes $23.3B Play for Virgin Media.)
  • AT&T Inc. is on the hook to pay $27.5 million for infringing two patents owned by Two-Way Media LLC after a San Antonio jury rejected AT&T's effort to invalidate the patents, Bloomberg reports. The patents in question cover technology tied to live streaming and data usage gathering. Bloomberg notes that Two-Way also sued Akamai Technologies Inc. and Limelight Networks Inc. on similar grounds, but ended up getting a settlement.
  • North American cable operators have managed to slow video subscriber losses in recent quarters, but don't expect them to stop the bleeding this year. Multimedia Research Group (MRG) predicts that cable operators in the region will lose less than 1 million of them in 2013, thanks in part to a mix of improving economic conditions and new video service packages and features. The top nine U.S. cable operators lost about 1.41 million video subs in 2012, down from 1.6 million in 2011, according to Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG). (See Good News/Bad News For Cable TV.)
  • Meanwhile, Charter Communications Inc. is not taking too kindly to those that promote the idea of cord-cutting. Antennas Direct, which makes over-the-air antennas, says Charter rejected an ad for competitive reasons, reports NewTeeVee. Here's one of the ads, which chats up how the antennas provide access to "tons of free HDTV" and promotes this cable unfriendly URL: antennasdirect.com/dumpcable. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

    12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


    At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
    LRTV Interviews
    Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

    12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


    Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
    LRTV Documentaries
    EE: The Road to 5G

    12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


    Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

    12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

    12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


    Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

    12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


    US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
    LRTV Interviews
    How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

    12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


    Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

    12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


    Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

    12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


    Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
    LRTV Interviews
    How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

    12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


    Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

    12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


    Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
    LRTV Interviews
    TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

    12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


    TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Hot Topics
    T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
    1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
    Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
    US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
    T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive