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Verizon/Redbox Video Service Hits Pause Button

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Redbox Automated Retail LLC have delayed the launch of their joint video streaming and DVD subscription service until early 2013, Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said at this week's UBS AG conference in New York. The service, which will tangle with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), was slated for a fourth-quarter launch and expected to kick off with tiers starting at US$6 per month. McAdam said more testing is needed and that the commercial launch will be delayed until the first or second quarter of next year, writes The Hollywood Reporter. (See Verizon/Redbox Combo Set for Q4 Breakout and Verizon & Redbox Boot Up Web Video Service .)

  • Starz Entertainment LLC was wise to walk away from the bidding for Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) content and let Netflix swoop in, wrote ISI Group Inc. analyst Vijay Jayant, who thinks investors in Starz parent Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC) over-reacted to news that won't take effect until 2017. He estimates that Netflix could be paying as much as $400 million per year, and put Starz's deal at about $250 million per year. John Malone's Liberty Media plans to spin Starz into a separate public company. (See Netflix Swipes Disney Deal From Starz.)

  • Synacor Inc. , the Buffalo, N.Y.-based developer of TV Everywhere authentication systems and Web portals, is expanding into social gaming after notching a partnership with Zynga Inc. , the creator of titles such as FarmVille and Words With Friends. The deal will help Synacor's pay-TV partners, which include Charter Communications Inc. and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), offer access to Zynga games via their customer home pages.

  • Video software specialist SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) posted fiscal third-quarter GAAP net income of $600,000 (2 cents per share) on revenues of $39.2 million, down from year-ago revenues of $42.9 million. SeaChange also increased 2013 revenue guidance in the range of $155 million to $159 million.

  • The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , CableLabs and Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) have issued a call for technical papers for the 2013 Spring Technical Forum, held in conjunction with The Cable Show, set for June 10-12 in Washington, D.C. Among the topics they're seeking: signaling and encoding for 4K TV, Docsis 3.1, and advanced home networking technologies. Proposals are due Jan. 21, 2013. (See Docsis 3.1 Targets 10-Gig Downstream.)

  • Netflix has tagged the PlayStation3 as the "top platform" for development, meaning it will be the first to get new features and access to more content than other devices.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/10/2013 | 4:00:18 AM
    re: Verizon/Redbox Video Service Hits Pause Button

    Anyone things the delay is a big deal?  Maybe it's not when considering the grand scheme of things, but they'll miss out on any holiday tailwinds.  But are video subscription services the kind of thing you'd use as a stocking stuffer? JB

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/10/2013 | 4:00:17 AM
    re: Verizon/Redbox Video Service Hits Pause Button

    Heh, good point. Was thinking of that stuffer in a virtual form.

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