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Showtime Cuts Netflix Down to Size

Showtime Networks Inc. 's refusal to renew a licensing deal with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) leads today's cable news roundup, which also takes a look at how DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is beating some MSOs to the punch with a local targeted advertising product.

  • Showtime doesn't want viewers to think they don't have to subscribe to cable or satellite to watch Dexter and Californication, so it's reportedly pulling back some of its coveted redistribution rights with the video streamer by mid-year, ensuring that consumers will need to subscribe to Showtime itself or buy DVDs or downloads to get access to the premium channel's original fare. (See HBO: No to Netflix .)

  • DirecTV is beating most major cable ops and the cross-MSO Canoe Ventures LLC to market with the coming launch of local addressable advertising, using technology from NDS Ltd. to insert targeted ads into both live programming and shows stored on DVRs. (See DirecTV to Insert Ads Into DVRs, Cable Execs Defend Advanced Ad Efforts and DirecTV, Starcom Forge Addressable Ad Deal.)

  • Longtime cable gear supplier Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) is expanding into the wireless business after inking a global reseller deal with Ruckus Wireless Inc. The deal, which comes into play as Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and other MSOs, continue to fire up their own Wi-Fi networks, lets Arris resell Ruckus's portfolio of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi gear. Arris, of course, will target the gear to MSOs and present some new cable competition for BelAir Networks Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See MSO WiFi: Roam (If You Want To).)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is accusing Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) of ripping off its "App Store" brand after Amazon launched an "AppStore" targeting owners of smartphones running Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android platform. (See Amazon Plans App Store.)

  • Amazon had been the only online retailer selling D-Link Systems Inc. 's Boxee Box, until Best Buy began hawking the over-the-top video device today for $199. (See Boxee Launches Cord-Cutting Box .)

  • Cable MSOs are hitting milestones for digital telephone subscriber growth, with Bright House Networks signing its 1 millionth phone customer. According to new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data, 77 percent of VoIP subscribers get service through their local cable operator. (See FCC Sizes Up Internet, Phone Competition.)

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

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