Light Reading

Netflix & MTV Execs Launch Cloud TV Startup

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

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

  • Former execs from TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), MTV, NBC and BlackArrow Inc. have combined to launch Net2TV Corp., an ad-supported, cloud-based video services platform. Its first service, Portico, features shows from CBS Interactive's food site, Popular Science and The Wall Street Journal. Net2TV is offering Portico initially on connected TVs from Royal Philips Electronics N.V. (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam: PHI) . Net2TV's cloud-based service is powered by ActiveVideo , which also sells its tech directly to Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and other traditional pay-TV service providers. Net2TV CEO Thomas Morgan is late of Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) and Nickelodeon/MTV and was the chief strategy officer of Move Networks Inc., an adaptive streaming startup acquired by EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS) in 2011. (See EchoStar Buys Move Networks.)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook talked to NBC's Brian Williams last night and got people into a lather when he was asked about Apple's plans on improving the television experience. The money quote? That television "is an area of intense interest," and wouldn't elaborate. Sound familiar? Why, absolutely, BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield notes a blog post (registration required) that includes a video mashup of Cook on NBC and at an All Things D conference in May:

    Greenfield writes that any plans Apple may have to produce some kind of integrated television are at least a year away.

  • Fifteen pay-TV providers and device makers have signed a Set-Top Energy Conservation Agreement that, they claim, will result in annual residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion-plus. The five-year initiative, which includes the backing of competitors such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), takes effect Jan. 1, 2013. Among the commitments: At least 90 percent of all new boxes bought and deployed after 2013 will meet Energy Star 3.0 efficiency levels, while "light sleep" capabilities will be downloaded by cable operators to more than 10 million already-deployed DVRs. The participating telcos and satellite TV guys pledged to offer an "automatic power down" feature in 90 percent of set-tops purchased and deployed starting next year. All members will also test a new "deep sleep" function in next-generation boxes and, if it works, deploy it. (See Comcast's Strategy Chief Calls a Power Play .) [Ed. note: Getting sleepy? We thought so.]

  • Cablevision will bump up the price of its cable modem service by $5 per month starting early next year, marking the first increase for broadband in a decade, reports Bloomberg, noting that it will result in an average monthly increase of 3.2 percent. Based on Cablevision's base of 3 million cable modem subs, the decision will bring in $15 million more per month, and help out as Cablevision deals with plant damage and service refunds associated with the superstorm Sandy.

  • Expect Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to reveal some news involving Cox Communications Inc. at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Cisco has scheduled a press conference on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 7 that will include a presentation from Cisco chief John Chambers and Cox President Pat Esser that's being "timed with the BCS national championship football game." Cisco used the 2011 CES to unveil Videoscape, its multi-screen video platform for service providers. (See CES: Cisco Unveils Master Plan for Video.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/10/2013 | 4:00:16 AM
    re: Netflix & MTV Execs Launch Cloud TV Startup

    They're just getting started here, but the content slate for Net2TV (I also need to add Discovery's Revision3, Entertainment Tonight and stuff from CNET in there)  is not all that great yet... and you can get alot of this and more with a Roku.  Also, just Philips smart TVs at the get-go?  You'd think they'd have a few more folks lined up before going out... unless they're going to milk this thing and announce something with each CE deal they get done.  JB


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