Here's a snapshot of what's pushing cable's buttons this Wednesday morning.
Skitter Inc.'s taking a stab at an over-the-top live TV service that apparently comes without the legal angst that's making life difficult for another startup, Aereo Inc. Skitter, reports NewTeeVee, is offering broadband access to TV stations such as NBC, ABC and CBS on broadband-connected Roku Inc. boxes and the Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) WD Live device for between US$12 to $15, and doing so with retransmission consent from the broadcasters, a move that makes it appear to be among the first so-called "virtual" MSOs. Skitter's service is up and running in Portland, Ore., and it tells NewTeeVee it has five more markets on deck. (See Aereo Strikes Back and Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack.)
A Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) customer in California is suing the telco over claims that the company convinced her to spend $10 more a month on a DSL tier that promised speeds of 1.5 Mbit/s, but could only deliver 768 Kbit/s because she lived two miles from the central office. She claims Verizon refused to issue a refund. Verizon counters that the "lawsuit is baseless and without merit."
Several personnel changes are afoot at the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) , a group that gives Tier 2/3 MSOs access to bulk pricing on programming and equipment. The co-op has hired Judy Meyka as EVP of programming, and slotted Frank Hughes into the newly created position of SVP of member services. Organization CFO Corey McCarthy will add SVP of business development to his title, and SVP of Legal Affairs Jeff Nourse will also handle regulatory oversight and work closely with the American Cable Association (ACA) . The NCTC noted that it's close to signing deals that will give its cable operator members access to multiple TV Everywhere vendor partners. (See Cable Co-Op Boots Up TV Everywhere Project.)
The new, three-year employment package for TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) President and CEO Tom Rogers includes a base salary of $1.15 million and a target annual bonus equal to 100 percent of that annual take, with a potential target for up to 200 percent.