Elsewhere: Liberty Global zeroes in on Germany's KBW, Verizon adds ESPN 3D, and another vendor reaches a key Docsis 3.0 shipment milestone

March 21, 2011

2 Min Read
Charter Connects With CENX & Equinix

Happy Monday, cable gang. The week kicks off with Charter Communications Inc. getting more serious about business services, while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s beefs up its 3DTV game and John Malone ups the ante for Germany's third-largest MSO.

  • Charter Business is raising its wholesale commercial services game with the launch of carrier interconnections in five initial markets: Los Angeles (two sites), Atlanta, St. Louis and Worcester, Mass. Charter, which has signed Carrier Ethernet Exchange deals with CENX Inc. and Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), said it will offer MEF-certified Ethernet services from its new locations ranging from 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s and intends to launch more sites with identical capabilities later this year. (See Charter Makes Ethernet Interconnection.)

  • After sweetening its bid, John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) appears to be in the driver's seat for Germany's No. 3 MSO Kabel BW GmbH & Co. , with Liberty's offer of more than €3 billion (US$4.3 billion), topping bids from CVC Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman LLC . Liberty bought Germany's second-largest German MSO, Unitymedia GmbH , last year. (See Liberty Global Completes Unitymedia Buy and Liberty Splashes $5.2B on German Operator.)

  • ESPN 3D landed a carriage deal with Verizon's FiOS TV ahead of The Masters golf tournament, but only a small fraction of the 62.5 million homes that get the new net from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon subs own 3-D-capable sets. Verizon blogs that the channel will be offered as part of its Ultimate HD package or provided as a stand-alone for $9.99 per month.

  • Some Russian pay-TV providers are launching more advanced products than their U.S. counterparts. SmartLabs LLC says that Uralsvyazinform JSC (Utelä), the largest telco in the Urals region of Russia, launched its IPTV platform, which also allows it to deliver over-the-top Internet video to subscribers.

  • SMC Networks Inc. is the latest vendor to chime in with Docsis 3.0 numbers, announcing Monday that it has shipped more than 1 million D3 gateways in North America. Earlier this month, Ubee Interactive announced it had shipped more than 2 million D3 modems worldwide while Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) confirmed that it has shipped more than 2.3 million D3 devices.

  • More changes are afoot at Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) . Following the resignation of CEO Francois Pagodolla and layoffs at the U.S. division of its Vidiom Systems Inc. unit, the company announced further restructurings that will see Krysztof Bilinski head up a new Broadcast Division, and Francesco Schiavinato take the helm of a new Broadband Division. (See Vidiom Cuts US Staff.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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