Cable Catchup

4:40 PM -- In our latest cable grab bag, Move Networks Inc. could put a scare into Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), the Big Apple looks to protect itself from "cord-cutters," John Malone wants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to just go away already, and more…

  • Move Networks may have just gotten more valuable, or gotten a reason to go on a lawsuit rampage that could target the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), and Widevine Technologies Inc.

    The company, which is seeking out alternatives that could include a sale, just scored a patent for its HTTP adaptive streaming technology, a category that's starting to take some prominence in cable IP video strategies. (See Move Scores Adaptive Streaming Patent, Comcast Moving On Move Networks Alternative, Move Networks Is on the Block, and Cable Adapting to Video's Streaming Future.)

    And it's staying mum on whether its lawyers are getting ready to attack. "This is a very recent development, so what this means for the business going forward is part of a broader discussion that hasn’t happened yet,” a Move official told NewTeeVee.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s new franchise deals with New York City include cord-cutter provisions that would allow the city to kill the agreements if over-the-top video ends up taking a big, wet bite out of cable's TV revenues over the next decade, reports Multichannel News.

    The provision's there to protect the city, which gets franchise fees from MSOs based on video subscriber levels. According to Multichannel News, the kill button comes into play if franchise fees decline 22.5 percent or more compared with the "peak year."

  • One of NYC's cable tenants, TWC, sees more video sub losses coming in the third quarter, but it's chalking it up to a bad economy rather than a cord-cutting trend. "Overall, I would say that the subscriber environment is very, very weak," TWC CFO Rob Marcus said Wednesday at a Bank of America Corp. conference in Newport Beach, Calif.

    Also, don't expect TWC to carry EPIX, a new premium network that offers programming on a linear channel and via the Web, anytime soon. Marcus said EPIX's recent deal with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) hurt its chances with the MSO.

    EPIX was hoping to avoid such entanglements by enacting a provision that prevents Netflix from offering the programmer's newest titles until 90 days after they debut on EPIX's linear, cable-delivered channel. But that deal condition has apparently failed to calm some cord-cutting fears at TWC. (See Netflix-EPIX Deal Puts Pressure on Cable .)

  • One guy who's doesn't think cord-cutting will kill off cable's video business model is cable pioneer and Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC) chairman John Malone. He told the conference that the trend would likely entail only modest damage.

    "If you're a cable operator, there's going to be some modest siphoning from the traditional model," he said. Currently, "there is a small amount of cord-cutting going on -- probably on the margin. Not that much."

    And he thinks the cable industry's bigger threat is federal regulations. "They ought to dissolve the FCC and go away. Any time the government gets involved, it usually messes things up."

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) CFO Michael Angelakis apparently doesn't believe the FCC will mess up the company's pending acquisition of NBC Universal , telling the crowd that the deal is on track to close by year's end.

    However, the Coalition for Competition in Media, which includes members such as Free Press and Bloomberg, is urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee to conduct one last hearing on the deal. Comcast responded that the call for yet another hearing is a delay tactic from a group that's been opposed to the deal since the get-go.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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