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Also: LodgeNet swings a bankruptcy deal; Rovi puts video download service up for sale; Arris and Moto notch tech Emmys; EPIX hits the PS3

Dish CEO Still Seeking a Wireless Friend

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/4/2013
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Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F edition.

  • Dish Network Corp. acknowledges it needs a partner to make its Long Term Evolution (LTE) dreams come true, but there are no hints as to who that might be. "We need a [wireless industry] partner, that much we know," Dish CEO Joseph Clayton tells the Denver Business Journal. "Who it is remains to be seen." Dish has 40MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS)-4 spectrum to contribute to any partnership after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved it for terrestrial use late last year. Clayton did drop some hints on where Dish might find a willing fiend, noting that Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. appear to have shored up their spectrum needs, while AT&T Inc., T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Inc. could use some capacity. Spectrum, he said, is "like oil, gold or water -- you can't get enough of it. I could see a half-dozen different options that could play out." (See Dish Spectrum Gets Clearance for Takeoff.)

  • LodgeNet Interactive Corp., a company that provides movies to hotels, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 31. Tied into the reorg, Colony Capital LLC will invest $60 million in the company and become a controlling stakeholder in LodgeNet, which is expected to post a 2012 adjusted loss of 64 cents per share, according to Bloomberg. Colony has inked a memorandum of understanding that aims to make LodgeNet and DirecTV Group Inc. strategic partners in the hospitality and healthcare markets.

  • Interactive programming guide specialist Rovi Corp. has put its Entertainment Store business on the block as it looks to focus on "growth opportunities related to its core enabling technologies and services." Rovi's Entertainment Store (née' CinemaNow), obtained via Rovi's $720 million purchase of Sonic Solutions in 2011, is the brains behind Best Buy's digital download store.

  • Motorola Mobility LLC and Arris Group Inc. both scored 2012 technical Emmys for platforms that they obtained through acquisitions. Motorola got kudos for the CherryPicker, a video processing and digital program insertion (DPI) platform it obtained via its 2007 purchase of Terayon Communication Systems. Arris is being recognized for the development and commercialization of "Digital Infrastructure for Local Cable Ad Insertion," represented by SkyVision, a system initially developed by SkyConnect Inc. For those keeping track of that product's lineage, nCUBE bought SkyConnect in 1999, C-COR bought nCUBE in 2004 and Arris bought nCUBE in 2007.

  • Premium programmer EPIX says it will stream on-demand content to authenticated subscribers (those who get the service from one of EPIX's pay-TV programmers) on the Sony Corp. PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita starting later this quarter. The initial slate of 3,000 titles includes recent hits such as The Hunger Games and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. EPIX is currently carried by Charter Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc., Dish, Mediacom Communications Corp., Suddenlink Communications, Verizon Communications Inc. and members of the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC).

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    JJDowns
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    JJDowns,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/5/2013 | 2:52:01 AM
    re: Dish CEO Still Seeking a Wireless Friend
    Dish's first working item to bond these two bands was RP-121421 at TSG-RAN #57 this past September. AT&T has been working on LTE_DL_FDD700 Band 29 (700MHz lower D and E) for almost two years now and Band 29 is set to be complete at the next RAN meeting. Interstingly enough AT&T has been stating for LTE-CA they would either bond Band 2 or Band 5 with Band 29. They recently made a document change to Band 24. I think this may be a typo or misdirection unless they intend to bond with LightSquared spectrum. A Dish / AT&T partnership here makes alot of sense for both parties. AT&T needs a VOD partnership much like Verizon and the cable companies with the JOE. DirectTV gives AT&T a small piece of the puzzle. Dish along with its Blockbuster portfolio will put AT&T in the same pond as Verizon for future video services. This also gives Dish access to a greater subscriber base.
    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/4/2013 | 11:09:57 PM
    re: Dish CEO Still Seeking a Wireless Friend
    Good point. Thanks for the reminder!
    JJDowns
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    JJDowns,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/4/2013 | 5:53:29 PM
    re: Dish CEO Still Seeking a Wireless Friend
    "Dish has 40MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS)-4 spectrum to contribute to any partnership after the-áFederal Communications Commission (FCC)-áapproved it for terrestrial use late last year"

    Dish also has the 700 MHz "E" Block for almost the entire United States for which they will seek to bond that downlink with its AWS4 holdings with carrier aggregation.
    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/4/2013 | 4:23:21 PM
    re: Dish CEO Still Seeking a Wireless Friend
    Electronic sell-through... apparently not a huge hit for Rovi and its Entertainment Store, which also has some ties into the UltraViolet digital locker for movies that can be purchased on DVD/blu-ray and made accessible to stream on tablets and smartphones and PCs, etc. -á I'm just now starting to get a bit more active UV, but some of the hiccups have been frustrating. One UV-enabled Blu-ray was blank in the area where the activation code was supposed to be... I then took some older DVDs and Blu-rays to have them converted for UV. It took some legwork to input the data, then the system was down for about 30 minutes.-á But-á when it was back up, it worked perfectly.

    So, UltraViolet in sum. There's much to like, but there's still much that is not perfect. JB
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