& cplSiteName &

Rogers VC Splashes Cash on ITV Startup

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

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

  • Interactive television startup Cognitive Networks Inc. has a new name, a new CEO and US$2.5 million in the bank thanks to an initial round of funding from Rogers Venture Partners, the V.C. arm of Canada's Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI). Cognitive, formerly known as TV Interactive Systems, is now headed up by industry vet Michael Collette, the former CEO of PhyFlex Networks (now part of Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)), Ucentric Systems (sold to Motorola Inc. in 2005), and an exec late of OpenTV and ICTV Inc. (now ActiveVideo ). Cognitive, founded in 2008 "over beers" (the Rogers investment is worth 58,207 cases of Moosehead, in case you were wondering), has developed an automatic content recognition (ACR) platform for smart TVs that can be used to support interactive advertising and other types of personalized iTV apps that synch up with video programming. Shazam Entertainment Ltd. and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-backed zeebox also use ACR. (See Motorola Buys Ucentric Systems and Comcast, HBO Back Zeebox.)

    Collette's on board to lead the development and rollout of the company's product, raise capital, build staff and ramp up operations. A Cognitive spokesman says the company has "commercial relationships with a couple of the largest TV OEMs" that have not yet been announced. It expects to have "a few million active users" by the first quarter of 2013, and 5 million to 7 million active users by the end of 2013.

  • Canada's Espial Group Inc. is set to acquire the outstanding shares of U.K.-based ANT plc in a deal valued at £5 million (US$8 million). Espial says it already has the okay from holders of 47 percent of ANT's outstanding shares, and expects to seal up the deal in the first quarter of 2013. ANT, like Espial, makes embedded software for set-tops and connected TVs, including some products that use HTML5. ANT's customers include Coship Electronics Co. Ltd. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Humax Co. Ltd. , Samsung Corp. and Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH).

  • Redbox Instant by Verizon will start at $6 per month and debut on Android, iOS devices, some Samsung Corp. TVs and Blu-Ray players, and the Xbox 360 as early as December 17, reports GigaOM. The Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)/Redbox Automated Retail LLC venture, which will cross swords with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) but will start with a smaller content library, will also offer an $8 tier that includes four Redbox credits that can be redeemed for DVD rentals, and will let users buy and rent newer titles, the report adds. (See Verizon/Redbox Combo Set for Q4 Breakout .)

  • Netflix could face additional video streaming competition south of the border if América Móvil S.A. de C.V. and Carlos Slim move ahead with a purported plan to launch an online movie and TV service, reports Bloomberg, noting that the billionaire intends to offer the service via its DLA Inc. unit, which already markets broadband video services in Argentina and Uruguay. Slim & Co., though, still need Mexican regulators to lift a ban preventing América Móvil from offering streaming video.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has added a voicemail-to-text transcription feature for its home phone service, a capability that has also been recently introduced by Comcast. Offered through TW Cable's VoiceZone portal, its version lets customers send those messages (transcribed into English or Spanish) to as many as five mobile phone numbers and email addresses. The latest bell and whistle comes as cable operators try to juice up flattening voice subscription growth. TW Cable ended the third quarter with 4.99 million voice subscribers. (See TW Cable Misses Q3 Targets .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: Tackling DDoS
    Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
    Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
    Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
    Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
    SDN 101
    John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
    Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
    SDN & Open Source
    Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei at SCTE 2016

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
    LRTV Custom TV
    New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

    10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

    10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Hot Topics
    Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
    Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
    T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
    Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
    Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
    Animals with Phones
    'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
    'I was just playing some games...'
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.