Light Reading
Also: Espial eats ANT for $8M, Redbox/Verizon pricing and packaging details emerge, and Carlos Slim goes up against Netflix

Rogers VC Splashes Cash on ITV Startup

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/30/2012
50%
50%

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 Networks Inc. ). 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 SA (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
    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