While execs at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and NBC Universal prepare to tell the feds why owning both the pipe and the content is good for the world, Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) may have landed a name for its coming 3D channel, and a batch of interactive TV players are about to rendezvous at CableLabs to demonstrate that they can play nice-nice.
Here's some news of note from the realm of broadband content and ITV:
Expect Brian Roberts and Jeff Zucker to answer some pointed questions February 4, when the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee conducts the first hearing on the proposed Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)/NBC Universal deal. Expect a few questions on how this deal could affect the future of Hulu LLC , which is reportedly considering pay models, including a subscription service that would run $5 per month. You can watch the sparks fly right here. (See Senate Group to Vet Comcast-NBCU Deal.)
Cord-cutting is the notion that consumers will get rid of their traditional cable TV subscriptions and use broadband and over-the-air digital TV to fulfill all their video needs. Although there's little evidence that it is anything but a limited phenomenon at this juncture, TDG thinks a [ed. note: cliché alert!] "perfect storm" is underway that could take it closer to the mainstream. Among the elements driving this tempest of change: testy retransmission negotiations, network neutrality disputes, and, of course, a growing variety of TV alternatives.