Netflix Not Main Culprit for Cord-Cutting

Online video buzz leads today's cable news roundup.

  • Cable and satellite subscribers are dropping pay-TV subscriptions because of costs and a lack of interest in TV, and aren't cutting the cord primarily because of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other online video sources, according to new survey data from Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) . LRG found that 8 percent of U.S. households are broadband-only homes, but a mere 5 percent of that group said they cut their pay-TV subscriptions because they can fill their video needs by going over-the-top. (See Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds.)

  • NDS Ltd. has appointed Dave Habiger, the former CEO of Sonic Solutions (now part of Rovi Corp. ), as CEO. He succeeds Dr. Abe Peled, who, after 17 years at the helm, will now serve as NDS's executive chairman.

  • Gerard Kunkel, the former SVP of user experience and product design at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), resurfaced at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), joining as media strategy advisor for its Interactive Entertainment Business, a unit focused on the company's Xbox, Kinect, Xbox Live and Mediaroom products. (See Comcast's Program-Guide Chief Exiting.)

  • Maryland-based cable op Antietam Cable is the latest to deploy a new breed of "universal" Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices from Evolution Digital LLC that can run on Motorola Mobility LLC - or Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-based digital cable plant and help to free up capacity for high-speed data services and more HD channels. (See DTAs Getting Smaller, Cheaper & 'Universal'.)

  • The Comcast Media Center (CMC) and Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) claim their latest version of the turn-key VoD In a Box service can cut cable operator upfront costs by up to 38 percent. The latest version, targeted to MSOs with fewer than 25,000 digital video subs, can store up to 3,300 hours of on-demand content. (See Arris, HiTS Score 'VoD In A Box' Deals.)

  • Excluding sports and adult programming, pay-TV providers will generate US$5.7 billion annually in video-on-demand revenue by 2016, compared with $3.6 billion last year, according to Digital TV Research.

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

  • percosan 12/5/2012 | 4:58:09 PM
    re: Netflix Not Main Culprit for Cord-Cutting

    just what is a "media strategy advisor"??


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:58:09 PM
    re: Netflix Not Main Culprit for Cord-Cutting

    There's still a fair amount of TV that can be had over-the-air... actually more than I thought.  I was surprised how much was floating about when i scanned for channels on a portable TV with a built in digital antenna. Still pretty bare bones, but the price is right for people on a strict budget or don't watch much TV anyway.  And cutting the cord with OTT options isn't free since it still requires the special boxes and the broadband subscription and you still need some technical know-how to set it all up.

    TW Cable and Comcast have been countering with cheaper Essentials packages, but I'd be curious to know how well they are doing as a save tactic.   JB

    bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:58:04 PM
    re: Netflix Not Main Culprit for Cord-Cutting

    XBOX and MSFT can rule and really hurt incumbents.

    The XBOX type product is the innovative STB.



    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:58:03 PM
    re: Netflix Not Main Culprit for Cord-Cutting

    If they can get the content. And they can help out some SPs, too... not sure how many have taken the option, but U-verse subs can convert Xboxes into full-fledged set-tops. Wonder if others will be able to do the same once more MSOs launch IP simulcasts and hook up with other connected devices like the Xbox.

    I still think Roku is another one to be on the lookout for. I think cable ops would like to become an app on those boxes too.


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