Light Reading
Also: Rogers to boost broadband speeds; Fox renews fight against Dish's ad-zapper; Liberty Global is Puerto Rico's cable king

YouTube Kills OTT Video Deals

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/12/2012
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Welcome to manic Monday's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • In some ways, the operational decisions of an over-the-top video service aren't all that much different to those of a traditional TV service. YouTube Inc. will terminate at least 60 percent of the programming deals it assembled when it initially created about 160 original video "channels," reports AllThingsD. For the deals that are renewed, YouTube will spend about $5 million with those that make the cut so they can continue creating exclusive content, the report adds, noting that criteria for deciding which services to keep are primarily based on a combination of viewing time and how well producers have stuck to their budgets.

  • Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Canada's largest cable operator, will increase the downstream speeds of its Ultimate cable modem service tier from 75Mbit/s to 150Mbit/s, but keep its monthly usage cap at 250 gigabytes, starting Dec. 1, according to Broadband Reports. Rogers is also increasing Extreme Plus to 45Mbit/s (from 32Mbit/s), Extreme to 35Mbit/s (from 28Mbit/s), and Express to 25Mbit/s (from 18Mbit/s).

  • Fox Broadcasting Co. has appealed a judge's decision to deny the broadcaster's request to impose a preliminary injunction on AutoHop, the ad-zapping feature in Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s Hopper whole-home HD-DVR, reports Home Media Magazine. U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee denied Fox's motion on Nov. 7. (See Dish's Ad-Zapper Can Keep On Zapping and Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper .)

  • John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) and Searchlight Capital Partners LP have closed their acquisition of OneLink Communications, an MSO based in Puerto Rico. But in true John Malone fashion, the deal is more complicated than that. Tied in, a subsidiary of Liberty Global (LGI Broadband Operations Inc.), contributed its 100 percent interest in Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico LLC, while Searchlight contributed cash to help create a new, larger entity called Leo Cable LP, which will pass about 700,000 homes and become the largest cable operator on the island. The consolidated Leo Cable LP unit is 60-percent owned by Liberty Global and 40 percent-owned by Searchlight. (See Liberty Global Takes Puerto Rico.)

  • Suddenlink Communications reversed a cable trend by adding 200 basic video subs during the third quarter. It also added 17,400 high-speed Internet and 7,100 residential voice customers. Suddenlink ended the period with 1.4 million total customers, including 1.2 million basic video customers. Revenues rose 6.1 percent to $511.9 million.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has named Rodrigo Lopez as regional VP for Oregon and Southwest Washington, an operation that serves more than 600,000 customers. Lopez, who most recently served in a similar role for Comcast's Mountain (Salt Lake City) region, replaces Hank Fore, who will now run Comcast's California operations.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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