Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
While the combination of Arris Group Inc. and Motorola Mobility LLC's Home unit is positioned to dominate the Docsis 3.0 consumer premises equipment (CPE) market, it's also on track to gain ground on a video infrastructure sector that's presently led by Cisco Systems Inc., according to Synergy Research Group. Cisco grabbed a 21 percent share of the US$8.8 billion fourth quarter, off its all-time high in the third quarter, while the share of a fused Arris/Motorola would have jumped to 12 percent, the research group noted in the report. Cisco's acquisition of NDS has helped to cement its lead, but the pending Arris/Motorola merger will allow the latter to "leapfrog into a clear number two ranking position, well ahead of the chasing pack," Synergy Research Group Managing Director John Dinsdale said, in a statement. If Arris does a decent job integrating Motorola Home, it's in a good position to further consolidate its status in a highly fragmented market, he added. Here's how everyone stacked up in the fourth quarter.
For all of 2012, video infrastructure revenues rose 7 percent to $34 billion. Big category gainers included media data centers (up 15 percent), residential gateways (up 17 percent), IP set-tops (up 10 percent) and content delivery networks (up 7 percent).
Intel Corp.'s new Media unit is making progress with several major programmers, including Time Warner Inc., NBCUniversal LLC and Viacom Inc., as it negotiates carriage terms ahead of the launch of an over-the-top subscription video service later this year, Bloomberg reported, noting that those media companies have already "signed off on the broad outlines of the proposed service." The report said talks with Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. are "at a more preliminary stage." At last week's Next TV Summit in New York City, Intel Media VP of GM Eric Free said the coming, multi-screen service won't try to undercut the pricing of incumbent pay-TV providers but will instead look to expand the market using "smarter bundles" and more personalized services and apps that appeal to a younger demographic. (See Intel: Our OTT Service Will Expand the Pay-TV Pie.)
Deluxe Digital Distribution has landed a deal to handle the processing and encoding needs for Starz Entertainment LLC's trio of authenticated TV Everywhere services: Starz Play, Encore Play and Movieplex Play. Deluxe is also providing software and service integration with Starz distributors. The initial deployment is focused on iOS devices and PCs, with other formats, including Android, on deck, a Deluxe official says. Deluxe's managed multi-screen service offers access to more than 40,000 movies and TV titles encoded in over 50 formats for delivery to traditional set-tops, as well as IP connected game consoles, tablets, TVs and smartphones. Deluxe also supports UltraViolet, an electronic sell-through format that provides consumers with access to a digital copy and streaming access to titles purchased on DVD and Blu-ray.
Comcast Corp. Cable CEO Neil Smit tells 9News/KUSA that Denver is set to get X1, a new IP-capable video service that features a cloud-based guide and integrated apps from Facebook and Pandora. The launch follows the X1's debut in Colorado Springs earlier this year. Washington, D.C. is among the next Comcast markets in line for X1 as Comcast prepares to launch the next-gen video service in all its major markets this year. (See Comcast's X1 Sets Sights on Nation's Capital.)
Comcast's business services unit has tapped Peter Marsh as a regional VP overseeing the MSO's Beltway systems serving parts of Maryland, southern Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Marsh previously was VP of business services for Comcast's greater Boston region.