Verizon & Redbox Target Netflix

The emergence of a new over-the-top video giant kicks off today's cable news roundup.

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Coinstar Inc. will have a go at Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) via a joint venture that will match Redbox Automated Retail LLC 's DVD and Blu-ray rental service with a new over-the-top video streaming and downloading service from Verizon. Verizon will own 65 percent of the joint venture, with Coinstar subsidiary Redbox holding 35 percent at the "outset," suggesting that they may pursue more investors. The companies say the yet-to-be-named subscription service will debut in the second half of 2012. They also haven't revealed any price plans and how theirs will match up with those of Netflix, whose streaming-only plan starts at $8 per month. (See Verizon to Stream After Netflix , Redbox Streams After Netflix and Netflix Subs Rebound in Q4 .)

  • Time Warner Investments has led a $15 million round in Conviva Inc. , a startup that has developed technology designed to optimize over-the-top video and avoid re-buffering and choppy playback by preemptively routing streams around potential network bottlenecks and blockages. Conviva, which has raised almost $60 million, estimates that its technology improves more than 1 billion streams per month. Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and HBO -- both Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). companies – use Conviva's technology for their respective TV Everywhere services.

  • Inder Singh, formerly VP of Corporate Portfolio and Long Range Planning at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), has been named SVP of financial and strategic planning at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), where he'll handle forecasting, strategy and long-range plans for the company's cable business. He reports to Comcast Cable EVP and CFO Dave Scott.

  • Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) is expanding into the hotel business after notching a partnership with Funai Electric Co. Ltd. (OTC: FUAIY) subsidiary P&F USA, the exclusive licensee for Philips Hospitality in North America. Under the deal, Philips will look to equip its new hotel TVs (due out in the second half of 2012) with Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) in rooms where there is no dedicated Ethernet broadband connections so customers can pipe IP-based VoD or over-the-top video services directly to the sets. Entropic says one MoCA-fueled Broadband Access platform supports application speeds of over 100 Mbit/s, and that a single network controller can handle up to 63 clients.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:43:27 PM
    re: Verizon & Redbox Target Netflix

    Coinstar's 8-K filing on this shows that Redbox is putting up an initial $14M in cash for its 35 percent minority stake in the JV, which would seem to put Verizon's contribution in the neighborhood of $40M, according to the back of the napkin math.  The JV board will start off with five managers -- two to be appointed by Redbox,  and three by Verizon.


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