Dish's Ad-Zapper Can Keep On ZappingDish's Ad-Zapper Can Keep On Zapping
Also: Netflix keeps video streaming crown; Arris may profit from AT&T's broadband tilt; Comcast catches heat in Georgetown
November 8, 2012
Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
A California judge has turned down a request by Fox Broadcasting Co. to place a preliminary injunction on AutoHop, an app that automatically skips the ads of shows recorded to Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s new Hopper HD-DVR. The DVR's PrimeTime Anytime component records the prime-time block of the four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and saves them for up to eight days. The AutoHop feature is not active until the day after a program originally aired. (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper .)
The ruling -- which Fox will probably appeal -- has not been released publicly, but it reportedly found that the AutoHop feature does not cause irreparable harm to the broadcaster. Dish, meanwhile, cheered the ruling, noting that it means Dish customers using PrimeTime Anytime cannot be liable for copyright infringement. Dish said the ruling is sealed to give the parties a chance to redact confidential trade information.
Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) continued to dominate the fixed network in North America, representing 33 percent of peak period downstream traffic, as Sandvine Inc. revealed in its latest report tabulating data from its more than 200 customers around the globe. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) (1.8 percent) was second, followed by Hulu LLC (1.4 percent) and HBO GO (0.5 percent). Sandvine said mean monthly data usage in North American fixed networks climbed 120 percent, to 51 gigabytes from 23 gigabytes a year ago, noting that 51GB is equivalent to 81 hours of video.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s wireless and wireline vendors are, of course, set to benefit from the company's plan to plow US$14 billion into broadband infrastructure upgrades and expansion, but the move may also put some wind in the sails of some cable vendors, too. Jefferies & Co. Inc. analyst George Notter said this could be good be particularly good for cable modem termination system (CMTS) and modem supplier Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) because AT&T's decision could prompt MSOs to boost Docsis speeds and purchase more capacity in markets that are poised to get U-verse for the first time. (See AT&T Puts Up $14B to Boost Broadband.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is taking some heat in Washington, D.C., over the deployment of some new utility boxes on the city's historic Georgetown district, reports The Wrap. Some locals find the devices unsightly, claiming that the MSO installed them without the typical approvals. Comcast said it is "not aware of additional requirements."
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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