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Also: Ex-Ericsson exec gets Com Hem CTO post; Big Data startup lands big bucks; Liberty's Horizon expands to Switzerland

Anti-Social TV: GetGlue Scraps Viggle Merger

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/14/2013
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Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • A combination of two social TV application startups is not to be, after GetGlue called off its merger with Viggle Inc.. But no hard feelings, right? "The two companies remain friendly and think highly of each other," GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold said in a blog post Sunday that announced the scrapped deal, which was comprised of $25 million in cash plus 48.3 million shares of stock. The merger agreement announced in November 2012 had included a condition that Viggle raise at least another $60 million in financing, which apparently played a role in the deal's demise. Both companies make second-screen social TV apps and count DirecTV Group Inc. as a partner. Viggle has more than 1.2 million registered users, while GetGlue has about 3.5 million for a system that lets users "check in" when they're watching a show. They both compete with Comcast Ventures-backed zeebox. (See Comcast, HBO Back Zeebox.)

  • Ex-Ericsson AB exec Henri Caddeo has been named CTO of Sweden's Com Hem AB, succeeding Martin Kull, who left last August, reports Broadband TV News. Caddeo, the report adds, is slated to start on April 1 and take over for acting CTO Jens Persson, Com Hem's full-time head of technical development.

  • Big data startup Guavus Inc. has raised $30 million in a third round led by Investor Growth Capital, along with help from previous investor Intel Capital and other financial backers. Guavus, founded in 2006, has raised about $78 million so far, and counts Sprint Nextel Corp. among its customers.

  • Liberty Global Inc.'s UPC Cablecom unit in Switzerland is the second system to launch Horizon TV, a hybrid IP/QAM platform that's powered by a cloud-based interface from NDS (now part of Cisco Systems Inc.) and a six-tuner gateway from Samsung Corp. Liberty Global introduced Horizon TV in the Netherlands, and has already identified Germany and Ireland among markets that are next in line. (See Liberty Global Embarks on New TV Horizon.)

  • Netflix Inc. received special treatment from the U.S. Postal Service, including free manual sorting, over other mail-order companies, a federal court ruled in a complaint originally filed in 2011 by GameFly Inc., a by-mail video game rental service. GameFly claimed that the alleged discrimination means it faces a possible "epidemic" of broken discs, since it does not receive similar (and free) treatment from the post office.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/14/2013 | 3:44:25 PM
    re: Anti-Social TV: GetGlue Scraps Viggle Merger
    Anyone use these apps ? -áI've fiddled around with zeebox here and there,-á but imagine some people want to keep their guilty pleasures to themselves. Who wants to check in to say they're watching Buckwild?
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