Shaw Pushes a la Carte Programming

Attempts by Canadian cable MSOs to offer subscribers à la carte programming packages and usage-based broadband leads today’s cable news roundup.

  • While programming revenue at Shaw Communications Inc. could take a hit as it allows subscribers to take smaller network packages with its "Plan Personalizer," the Canadian MSO is banking on increased flexibility to keep triple-play customers happy and lure subscribers to its upcoming mobile phone service. (See Downsizing Cable .)

  • BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) isn’t giving up on usage-based broadband, pointing out in a campaign to "educate" subscribers that if Starbucks and gas companies set prices based on consumption, it’s only fair for broadband providers to do the same. (See O, Canada! Netflix Streaming Gets a Reprieve.)

  • As it looks to connect up to 6 million subscribers to broadband set-tops, look for DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) to deliver more streaming video content and to expand its library of video-on-demand movies, its CFO told a Deutsche Bank AG conference. (See DirecTV Preps Broadband Boxes, Flirts With LTE.)

  • Mediacom Communications Corp. says it didn’t mean to hijack the Web browsers of its cable modem customers last month with ads for its phone service -- it was only testing “in-browser notification technology” from Texas-based PerfTech.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is testing out a service similar to Best Buy’s "Geek Squad," launching Xfinity Signature Support in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; Atlanta; and Chattanooga, Tenn.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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