Here's a look at what's pushing broadband's buttons today.
thePlatform Inc. , the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned video publishing firm, has hooked up with another Comcast entity, NBCUniversal LLC , to offer shows from USA Network, Syfy and Oxygen on PCs, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices to authenticated pay-TV subscribers. NBCU will use thePlatform's mpx publishing system to get that content online. This deal expands on an earlier deal between them that ties in programming from several other networks that are now in the NBCU stable, including E!, NBC Sports Regional Networks, Style and the Golf Channel. Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform and SVP of Converged Products for Comcast, will offer more details on the new deal and how TV Everywhere is helping to shape the video strategies of service providers as a keynoter at Light Reading's Managing & Monetizing OTT Video conference on Thursday in Boston. (See Prepare to Slay the OTT Dragon.)
Sure to be a topic at the event: how TV Everywhere can be used to counter over-the-top threats. And here's something that will help to stir the discussion. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s $8 per month streaming-only service may be siphoning away video-on-demand (VoD) and premium subscription revenues from cable operators and other traditional pay-TV operators, a new Parks Associatesstudy suggests. According to the study, 16 percent of U.S. broadband consumers who use VoD and 17 percent who subscribe to a premium channel consider using an over-the-top video subscription service like Netflix as an alternative. The research firm acknowledges that pay-TV operators are adopting TV Everywhere strategies to combat the trend, but says customer awareness for those options remains low and that Netflix has "a decisive edge in cost."
Comcast has launched its $9.95 per month, HDTV-based Skype video calling service in Houston. Comcast has already introduced the service, dubbed Xkype on Xfinity, in several markets, including Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Chicago; Detroit; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa., Indianapolis; and Miami. (See Comcast Flips On Skype TV.)