Cable Tech

M&A Train Reaches Tier 2 Cable Vendors

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

  • Two small, rival cable equipment suppliers have tied the knot, with Blonder Tongue Laboratories Inc. forking over as much as $8 million to buy the assets of R.L. Drake LLC . Both companies cater to Tier 2/3 MSOs with a range of edge QAMs, encoders and other assorted headend gear. R.L. Drake also dabbled in set-top making until selling those assets to Beyond Broadband Technology LLC (BBT) , a cable consortium focused on downloadable security, in 2010. R.L. Drake's unaudited net sales for 2011 were about $10 million. In November, Blonder Tongue posted third-quarter sales of $7.0 million, down from $9.15 million in the year-ago quarter. (See BBT Buys Into Boxes and R.L. Drake CEO: We'll Be Agile .)

  • Don't expect outgoing SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) President Yvette Kanouff to land at a SeaChange rival anytime soon. An 8-K filed Friday reveals she is restricted by a one-year non-compete. (See Now SeaChange Loses Its President.)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) has stopped selling satellite broadband services from WildBlue Communications and is exploring other broadband partnership options, reports MediaBiz.

  • Ahead of this Sunday's Super Bowl between the new England Patriots and the New York Giants, the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) unit has seized 16 websites that, it claims, have been streaming live sporting telecasts over the Internet, including NFL games.

  • If streaming the big game legally is your thing, Verizon Wireless will be offering it live for the first time via its NFL Mobile app, with the help of MobiTV Inc. . Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s NBCUniversal LLC is also streaming the gridiron battle at NFL.com and NBCSports.com. (See NBC to Stream the Super Bowl .)

  • A $2.5 billion lawsuit between Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s now-defunct VOOM HD service and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is closing in on a trial after a judge affirmed that Dish had destroyed evidence tied to the case, reports Multichannel News. Cablevision shut down VOOM in 2008 soon after Charlie Ergen & Co. scuttled its deal to carry the service. Voom claimed that EchoStar Communications (now split into two companies -- Dish, the satellite TV service; and EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), a set-top and technology company) breached the contract. (See VOOM Death to Cost Cablevision .)

  • The first pay-per-view event in 3-D format will occur Saturday night (Feb. 4) when In Demand LLC puts on the UFC welterweight title match between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. In Demand will also stream the two undercard bouts here for free starting at 7 p.m. ET.

  • Suddenlink Communications has wrapped up a $4 million, 162-mile fiber-optic network for its Arkansas customers. The fiber net links up with Suddenlink's national network, aims to improve service reliability and will make its Arkansas systems less dependent on other carriers.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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