Apple Eyes Direct Video Streaming to TVs

Over-the-top video news leads today's cable news roundup, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s apparent attempts to stream video directly to televisions.

  • Posing another threat to pay-TV providers, Apple may license its AirPlay technology to consumer electronics manufacturers to allow iPhone and iPad owners to stream video to televisions. (See Will Smaller Apple TV Spell Big Trouble for VoD?.) [Ed. note: Does this also spell trouble for the new Apple TV?]

  • In addition to apologizing for a temporary outage that left millions of customers without access to streaming videos and other core functions on Tuesday evening, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is also offering subs a 3 percent credit on their next billing statement. But customers must redeem the offer in the next seven days by clicking on an account-specific link that was inserted in the email Netflix distributed to subscribers late Wednesday night. (See Netflix Recovers From 'Rare' Technical Glitch .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is accused of stuffing the ballot box in The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" online poll, encouraging employees to vote for Charter Communications Inc. , Comcast's first-round combatant. Several communications companies are featured in the online tournament, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) vs. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T); Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) vs. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL); Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) vs. DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV); and Facebook vs. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). Here's a piece of the bracket, an obvious homage to the NCAA basketball tourney:

  • That spat between Suddenlink Communications and FiberNet Telecom Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FTGX) is getting uglier. A few weeks after FiberNet accused Suddenlink of using former FiberNet employees to steal customers, Suddenlink alleges in a countersuit that FiberNet "robbed" customers of the chance to exit long-term service agreements.

  • Canada's Shaw Communications Inc. cut 500 employees, including 150 middle-management positions as well as customer service and warehouse employees. See Shaw Pushes a la Carte Programming.)

  • Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is experimenting with discounted pricing on digital movie downloads on Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Apple's iTunes Store, but it isn't yet offering similar discounts on "download to own movies" offered by pay-TV distributors.

  • Comcast vet Joe Waz retired from his post as SVP of external affairs and public policy counsel, and plans to relocate to Los Angeles.

  • Charter bought systems counting 17,000 subscribers in Fort Benning, Ga., and Cullman, Ala., from Windjammer Communications.

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

  • SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:09:28 PM
    re: Apple Eyes Direct Video Streaming to TVs

    I was pretty surprised by Netflix's decision to offer a 3 percent credit to millions of subscribers that have access to its streaming product, even if customers didn't complain about its two-hour outage. That's probably because I've never seen anything similar from cable MSOs that I've subsribed to like Time Warner Cable or Cablevision. Can you imagine if every time a cable MSO suffered a two-hour outage it offered every subscriber in a market a credit on their bills? Most cable companies only offer to credit a customer's bill if they call to complain.

    ravanelli 12/5/2012 | 5:09:23 PM
    re: Apple Eyes Direct Video Streaming to TVs

    It is ironic, as ISPs look to move to usage-based billing will they open themselves up to greater scrutiny on outages?  In an all-you-can-eat model I think consumers are somewhat forgiving on occasional outages, but if paying by the byte there may be higher expectations on reliability.



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