Comcast, Networks Spar Over iPad App

Although the crush of International CES is behind us, Internet video and stories about Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) continue to dominate the cable news headlines:

  • Some cable networks are resisting Comcast's plan to stream video to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad since rights to distribute third-party apps aren't covered in most carriage deals. (See Comcast to Stream TV to iPads, Android Tablets .)

  • About 750,000 copies of Comcast's Xfinity TV app have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes since mid-November.

  • Cheap bandwidth combined with Internet-connected TVs makes it easy for viewers to steal movies and sidestep digital rights lockers like Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC (DECE) 's Ultraviolet, insists Wall Street analyst Richard Greenfield. (See UltraViolet to Open its Rights Locker in Mid-2011 .)

  • Starz Entertainment LLC Chairman Chris Albrecht says he's "in no rush" to renew the premium programmer's deal to supply content for Netflix's streaming video service. (See TW Cable Chief Disses Netflix Streaming.)

  • When’s the last time a cable operator slashed programming prices? That's what Comcast is trying in Philly, where it's chopping the cost of its 50-channel package by 25 percent, to $29.95 monthly. (See AT&T, DirecTV Set Rate Hikes.)

  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he wants to go global with his "cheaper alternative to cable service."

  • Filmmaker Ed Burns told the feds he supports Comcast's merger with NBC Universal , citing his ease in getting his new movie Nice Guy Johnny carried on the MSO’s video-on-demand lineup. (See Web Video at Heart of FCC's Comcast-NBC Review.)

  • Another 420,000 German households can surf the Web at up to 100 Mbit/s, after Kabel Deutschland GmbH expanded its EuroDocsis 3.0 upgrades.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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