Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
Cisco Systems Inc. and Samsung Corp. stand to gain as Charter Communications Inc. takes a page from the Cablevision Systems Corp. playbook and pursues a software-based video security system. Charter is seeking a two-year waiver to use set-tops with integrated security so it can have ample time to go all-digital and deploy a software-based security system that could be used in leased boxes as well as third-party retail devices. Under then-COO Tom Rutledge, Cablevision obtained a similar waiver in 2009 to aid its rollout of a security system based on the NDS (now Cisco) "key ladder," which is currently being used in Samsung-made set-top boxes. A successful deployment would help Charter shift away from pricey CableCARDs. Charter noted in its waiver request that, like Cablevision, it would employ a "simulcrypt" approach so it could continue to support its legacy security systems alongside the new security platform. (See Former Cablevision Exec Heads to Charter and Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension .)
Charter's already got some in-house know-how. James Blackley, an ex-Cablevision exec who recently joined Charter as EVP of engineering and information technology, was closely involved in the Cablevision deployment. Industry sources say Cablevision has been eager to have other U.S. MSOs adopt its system to help boost product volumes, attract more set-top suppliers, and, of course, drop unit costs. CableLabs, meanwhile, has already specified how a cable operator can implement Cablevision's Open Media Security (OMS) approach. Multichannel News first reported that Charter filed the waiver request at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Nov. 1. (See CableLabs OKs the Cablevision Way.)
Liberty Global Inc.posted a third-quarter net loss of $22 million ($0.08 per share), narrowed from a net loss of $333 million ($1.18 per share) in the year-ago quarter, on revenues of $2.5 billion, up 4 percent. The MSO lost 90,000 video customers in the quarter, but added 180,000 digital cable additions. Liberty Global said it has sold more than 50,000 subscriptions for Horizon TV, a hybrid QAM/IP video platform it debuted in the Netherlands in September. Liberty plans to intro Horizon TV in Switzerland later this quarter, followed by intros in Ireland and Germany, its largest market, in 2013. (See Liberty Global Embarks on New TV Horizon.)
Time Warner Cable Inc.blogged Sunday that most of the remaining cable outages caused by the Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey are due to power outages. Among the updates, about 6,000 customers are out in Staten Island; 14,000 in Queens (due in part to damage at the MSO's hub in the Rockaways); 1,600 in Brooklyn; and 12,000 in New Jersey and Mount Vernon, N.Y. Cable services were restored to about 90 percent of TWC's customers in southern Manhattan as of Sunday. (See Operators Slog Ahead in New York & New Jersey.)
Mike White has signed on to remain chairman, president and CEO of DirecTV Group Inc. beyond the end of his current three-year employment contract, which expires on Jan. 1, 2013. According to an 8-K filing, his new deal includes an annual base salary of $1.7 million, and twice that in bonuses in 2013 if White meets certain performance goals. White is also to receive a non-qualified stock option award valued at $12 million.
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