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Cable Catchup

Jeff Baumgartner
10/29/2010

4:50 PM -- With the week nearing its end, it's time to take a quick glance at what else is making cable news…

  • The Carlyle Group LLC 's takeover of CommScope Inc. hit its first bump in the road after a shareholder, Dennis Rice, sued over claims that the $3.9 billion deal undervalues the broadband and wireless equipment vendor. (See CommScope, Carlyle Strike $3.9B Merger .)

    "Company executives are favoring Carlyle over other potential bidders," he claimed in a complaint filed in a Delaware Chancery Court, noting that six CommScope execs stand to get as much as $18.7 million in severance, change-of-control payments, or both if they depart within two years of a change of control.

    Meanwhile, a law firm is investigating the deal, curious to know if CommScope adequately sought out rival bids. (See Law Firm Probes CommScope Deal.)

  • Ah, cord cutting… now there's a debate that no one is, like, passionate about these days.

    After Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) lost 275,000 basic video subs in the third quarter and chalked it up to a weak economy, traditional competitive pressures, and consumers going over the air versus over the top with broadband, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett expressed to The New York Times that cord-cutters aren't a band of tech-savvy, broadband power users. "The reality is it's someone who's 40 years old and poor and settling for a dog's breakfast of Netflix and short-form video." (See Comcast Loses 275K Video Subscribers in Q3.)

    Strategy Analytics Inc. has a different view based on a survey of 2,000 Americans, claiming that cord-cutting is real and made up of educated, employed people, with 54 percent of them likely to be under 40.

  • Comcast is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject the American Cable Association (ACA) 's 's call for conditions to be applied to its pending acquisition of NBC Universal . The ACA wants program-access and retransmission conditions, but Comcast called those requests "wholly unjustified" in a filing with the Commission. The MSO remains hopeful that the deal will close by the end of the year. (See ACA Pushes Comcast-NBCU Conditions at FCC .)

  • Peter Percosan has a new gig... but with the same outfit. Percosan, a cable vet who's been serving as CTO of Cable Europe Labs , has been elevated to managing director. In this position, he'll oversee the pan-European operation of CEL starting Nov. 1.

    He's succeeding Malcolm Taylor, who will stay on as a senior adviser focused on certification activities. Percosan tells Light Reading Cable via email that there's no plan at this time to refill the CTO slot at CEL. (See Cable Europe Labs Names Managing Director.)



    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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