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Pay-TV Adds Trailed Housing Growth in 2012

Mari Silbey
3/21/2013
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Here's what's moving and shaking in broadband and cable.

  • The number of multichannel video households in the U.S. eclipsed 100.4 million in 2012, a slight increase over 2011, but it was not enough to keep up with overall household growth, according to SNL Kagan. With 974,000 new households in 2012 and only 46,000 new video subs, service penetration effectively dropped year over year. SNL Kagan estimates that the U.S. cable TV universe dipped slightly, to 56.4 million subscribers nationwide, while satellite rose to 34.1 million, and the telcos improved to 9.9 million video subs. The SNL Kagan report roughly confirms the results of a recent Leichtman Research Group study. Those findings covered only the top 13 multichannel video providers in the country, but found a similar dip in cable subs and small increases for satellite and telco providers. (See Good News/Bad News For Cable TV.)
  • Virgin Media Inc. has revealed another vendor for its TV Anywhere platform. Harmonic Inc. says the top U.K. cable MSO is deploying its ProMedia software suite for video processing and encoding. The software solutions include ProMedia Live for transcoding, ProMedia Package for video packaging and encryption, and Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager for service monitoring and control. Earlier in the week, Concurrent Computer Corp. said its MediaHawk VX platform is a key piece of Virgin's new in-house content delivery network (CDN). (See Virgin Plugs Concurrent Into Its Video CDN.)
  • SeaChange International Inc. also scratched out a win. Sweden's Com Hem AB has tapped SeaChange's Adrenalin video back office platform to power a multi-screen service that it will roll out later this year for set-tops, smartphones and tablets. Adrenalin will also support catch-up and start-over TV features across client devices, including some DVB-based set-tops that run the TiVo Inc. interface/service.
  • Alaska-based General Communication Inc. (GCI) is giving TiVo another outpost in the U.S. GCI has started deployment of TiVo set-tops, and will offer both the TiVo Premiere Q DVR and the TiVo Mini to its entire customer base in the near future. The new TiVo Mini IP box is gaining momentum in cable. Suddenlink Communications announced its plans to offer the thin-client device to subscribers starting last month. (See Suddenlink Rolls Out Tivo Mini.)
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to say goodbye to Commissioner Robert McDowell, who is stepping down after almost seven years with the agency. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable
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