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Roku Launches Al Jazeera

Web video moves dominate today's cable news roundup, from Roku Inc. 's Al Jazeera play to ivi Inc. gaining support for its push to distribute live broadcast signals over broadband.

  • Roku is generating lots of cheap publicity with its move to offer Al Jazeera English on its over-the-top boxes and offer a channel most cable MSOs won't touch. (See Roku Scores First OTT Cable Deal.)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is playing ball. The satellite-TV giant cut a temporary extension of its retransmission consent deal with Northwest Broadcasting, ensuring that subs won’t miss Fox's Super Bowl coverage this weekend. TV Contract Disputes Heat Up.)

  • A study of five Boston-area families is showing that video cord-cutting isn't for everyone, as it seems "regular people" tend to get frazzled by broadband-fueled boxes from the likes of Roku and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and find the amount and quality of content lacking. (See Comcast CEO Dismisses Cord-Cutting Trend .)

  • ivi Inc. has found some friends in public interest groups that are backing its legal fight to stream local broadcast signals via the Web. (See Q&A: ivi Inc. Founder & CEO Todd Weaver.)

  • Web surfers illegally sharing copyrighted content through BitTorrent Inc. and other file-sharing services account for 17 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic, according to a NBCUniversal LLC study.

  • Following Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s declaration that it's ready for the IPv6 transition as the v4 address base dwindles, CableLabs followed up to assert that the entire cable industry is prepared, and has been working on it for more than six years. (See Cable: We're Ready for IPv6 and You Won't Find IPv4 Numbers on eBay.)

  • Sealing regulatory approval of Comcast's merger with NBC was a big payday for lawyers in D.C., as Comcast spent more than US$4.2 million on lobbying during the fourth quarter of 2010. (See Comcast, NBCU Seal the Deal .)

  • Wonder if CNN and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) will give Anderson Cooper and his crew hazard pay for taking punches in the head today while covering the protests in Egypt?



    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:13:57 PM
    re: Roku Launches Al Jazeera

    Will be interesting to see if any MSOs scramble to get Al Jazeera during this apparent spike in demand or if they assume the demand will simmer down. Seems like a great candidate for an operator's switched tier. JB

    SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:13:56 PM
    re: Roku Launches Al Jazeera

    It's been years since Al Jazeera began shopping its English-language channel to U.S. cable operators, but I think many of them may still find the network too controversial to carry. Buckeye Cablesystem took some heat when it launched the U.S. version of Al Jazeera in 2007 - Linda Moss wrote an interesting story about it at the time. 

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