Cable modem/CMTS

Comcast Dodges Modem Fee Lawsuit

Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition

  • A federal judge has dismissed a class action suit claiming that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) sells bundled services with hidden cable modem service fees, reports Court House News. The lead plaintiff, Athanassios Diacakis, who filed the suit last June, claimed that the MSO violated California's false-advertising and unfair-competition laws.

  • The American Cable Association (ACA) is concerned that costs associated with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's new Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules could "force the premature shutdown of some small cable systems." The ACA said some of its members, in order to comply with a new Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), will have to take on cost burdens of obtaining Internet services at headends in rural areas where a physical connection isn't available or be forced to spend big bucks on legal fees if they try to secure a waiver, which the FCC intends to review only on a case-by-case basis. The ACA said most systems without a physical Internet connection at a headend tend to serve a very small customer base and are struggling to break even or already operating in the red.

  • Hulu LLC brought in US$420 million in revenue last year, up 60 percent from the year before, and ended 2011 with more than 1.5 million paying subs. Hulu is attracting "more than 2x the number of subscribers each day when compared to this time last year," company CEO Jason Kilar revealed in a blog post. He said Hulu will spend about $500 million on content in 2012. (See Hulu: No Sale .)

  • Canadian MSO Shaw Communications Inc. lost 22,768 basic subs in its fiscal first quarter, while adding 59,566 digital video subs, 10,685 Internet customers and 22,969 new phone lines -- all lower than the gains made in the year-ago quarter. Net income was $202 million, or 43 cents per share, 4 cents lower than what analysts were expecting.

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is "open" to a potential acquisition after it builds out its new wireless services network, company CEO Joe Clayton tells Bloomberg. "We're open to all possible options," he said. "We could be acquired, or we could be the acquirer." If it's the latter, T-Mobile US Inc. is rumored to be on Dish's shortlist. (See Dish CEO Puts T-Mobile on His Wish List.)

  • From the no surprises department: A new TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) study shows that just 39 percent of TV viewing by its users is live. For customers who also use the broadband link in TiVo DVRs to access content from the likes of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu Plus over-the-top, that figure drops to 27 percent.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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