Netflix Sets Sights on Europe

Here's a quick look at today's cable news.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is preparing to launch an online video service in Spain and the U.K., where it will take a run at LOVEFiLM International Ltd. , as early as the first quarter of 2012. (See Netflix Goes to Latin America.)

  • Rovi Corp. has acquired DigiForge LLC , an engineering service that, among its wares, has developed an Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) user agent that lets Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) boxes support video guides and other apps. In addition to Rovi, DigiForge has done work for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Canoe Ventures LLC , Charter Communications Inc. and CableLabs . (See DigiForge Teaches DTAs New Tricks .)

  • Rovi's interactive program guide intellectual property portfolio may not be as strong in Europe as it is in U.S. courts. The company lost a patent infringement suit against Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. , after a court found that one of its IPG patents is invalid in the Netherlands.

  • CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) says it'll spend at least US$20 million to improve and expand broadband services in New Mexico, following its recent merger with Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q). (See CenturyLink's Rise to Tier 1.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) are among the first providers to get access to CNN's live linear stream for PCs and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) devices.

  • Just as cable operators often blame cable programmers for forcing rate hikes, Hollywood is taking the blame for Netflix's subscription fee increases. (See Netflix Subs Revolt .)

  • comScore Inc. says the average U.S. Web surfer watched 16.8 hours of video in June, an increase of 2.3 hours compared with June 2010. The most popular sites were YouTube Inc. and other sites owned by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

  • Here's a look at how Comcast's switch to an all-digital lineup in Northern Virginia affected one subscriber who "wasn't prepared to welcome the digital age."

  • Cequel III is slapping its Suddenlink Communications brand on facilities in Arizona formerly owned by NPG Cable. (See Suddenlink Closes NPG Cable Buy.)

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

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