Light Reading
MSO says its new network DVR service and downloadable security system will slash box costs as deployments of both expand in New York

Cablevision Eyes $50 Set-Top

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
2/16/2011
50%
50%

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s spending on set-tops could drop as low as $50 per box thanks to the rollout of its remote-storage DVR (RS-DVR) service and receivers that use the MSO's new downloadable security system, executives said Wednesday.

COO Tom Rutledge told analysts on Cablevision's fourth-quarter earnings call that it has "ceased" ordering physical DVRs, following the recent launch of its network DVR in New York. Cablevision plans to expand the rollout of the "DVR Plus" service, which allows subscribers to record up to four shows at once, to its entire New York area footprint this year. (See Cablevision's Network DVR Debuts in the Bronx and Podcast: Cablevision's Network DVR.)

While Rutledge said he expects that Cablevision will continue to buy set-top boxes "for years to come," he said the operator will develop applications with consumer electronics manufacturers that would allow it to deliver programming to subscribers without set-tops -- something that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) are already championing.

"It’s an opportunity to further get out of the hardware-purchasing business at the CPE [customer-premises equipment] level," Rutledge said when asked about new, broadband-connected TVs that Samsung Corp. and other CE vendors showed off last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (See CES 2011: Samsung Puts MSOs in the Picture.)

The rollout of set-tops that support downloadable security could see Cablevision's costs approach $50 per box, depending upon the features, Rutledge said. (See Samsung Boxes Break In at Cablevision .)

"If we stayed at historic capability in boxes, the cost curve would move us toward that [$50 per box] number," Rutledge said, adding that Cablevision expects its set-tops costs to decrease even as it increases the capabilities of the devices. (See Cablevision Makes its Security Deadline and Cablevision May Take Security for a Spin(off) .)

Subscriber pressure
Cablevision is banking on the rollout of advanced products to help retain subscribers. It lost 35,000 video subscribers during the fourth quarter, but Rutledge said most of those losses were related to the company's retransmission consent battle with Fox Broadcasting Co. , which saw the MSO lose Fox's signal during the baseball World Series. (See Cablevision to Pay for World Series Streams.)

Cablevision added just 5,500 new high-speed data subscribers, excluding the customers it picked up through its acquisition of Bresnan Communications LLC , and it signed 9,200 new voice subscribers. (See Cablevision Goes Country With Bresnan Buy and Cablevision Posts Q4 .)

Noting that Cablevision missed Wall Street estimates for subscriber growth, and that broadband growth appeared to "hit a wall," Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffet said Cablevision’s performance should give investors reason to pause. "We continue to see Cablevision as a very good asset, but one that is now approximately fully valued," he wrote in a note issued Wednesday.

Also worth nothing from Cablevision’s fourth-quarter earnings report and conference call:

  • Cablevision will launch its "Optimum Link" PC-to-TV Media Relay product to all subscribers during the first quarter, allowing customers to shuttle content from their computers to TVs. (See Cablevision's Ready for Streaming & Slinging.)

  • Cablevision’s high-speed data customers used its Optimum WiFi hot spots more than 50 million times to access the Web in 2010, rocketing from 8 million sessions in 2009, Rutledge said. The MSO has installed Wi-Fi in more than 6,000 retail locations such as coffee shops and restaurants, he added. (See Cablevision Ads Attack Slow 3G Networks.)

  • Subscribers will be able to download three apps for the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad this quarter, Rutledge said. In addition to a remote DVR application, Cablevision has an app that allows subscribers to use the iPad to navigate TV content within the home, as well as one that will let subs "use their iPad as another TV in the home." Similar apps are in the works for devices based on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)’s Android platform, he added. (See Cablevision to Deliver Live TV & VoD to iPad.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to 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 Documentaries
    Optical Is Hot in 2015

    1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


    Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Policy Control in the Fast Lane

    1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

    1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


    At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

    1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

    1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Pay-TV's Networked Future

    1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

    1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
    LRTV Interviews
    Cisco Talks Transformation

    1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
    LRTV Interviews
    Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

    1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


    Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
    LRTV Custom TV
    What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

    1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


    Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

    1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


    At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
    February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
    Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
    FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
    Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
    The New Internet Space Race: Google's Final Frontier?
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/21/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive