& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    NEXT COURSE
    Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & the Great Migration
    Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
    UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
    Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & Smart Cities
    Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
    Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
    Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
    Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
    Securing a Virtual World
    Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

    9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

    Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

    LRTV Interviews
    Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

    9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


    Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

    9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


    Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

    9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing IoT World News

    9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


    Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

    9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


    The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
    LRTV Interviews
    Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

    9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


    At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

    9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


    At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

    9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


    More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
    LRTV Documentaries
    MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

    9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


    Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

    9|22|16   |     |   (19) comments


    Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

    9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


    How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
    Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
    Open Source Getting on My Nerves
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
    Powell Kills the Cable Show
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
    Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    Animals with Phones
    There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.