Here's what's pushing cable and broadband's buttons today.
The effects of Superstorm Sandy dimmed Cablevision Systems Corp.'s fourth-quarter numbers, as net revenues dipped 1.6 percent to $1.66 billion, while cable net revenues dropped 2.2 percent to $1.47 billion. Cablevision still managed a fourth-quarter profit of $116.6 million, or 45 cents per share.
Sandy played a big role in across-the-board subscriber losses at Cablevision during the quarter, as the operator reported a net loss of 50,000 video, 5,000 high-speed Internet and 10,000 voice customers. Cablevision noted that the figure includes a net reduction of 10,000 video, 9,000 data and 7,000 voice customers that "were located in the areas most severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy who we have been unable to contact and those whose billing we have decided to suspend temporarily during restoration of their homes." Cablevision ended the year with 3.19 million video, 3.05 million data and 2.43 million voice subscribers.
The storm did not have as severe an effect on Lightpath, Cablevision's big-business services arm, which saw revenues rise 3.4 percent, to $81.8 million, a figure that reflected a 13.2 percent increase in Ethernet services revenues.
D-Link Systems Inc. came out of CableLabs certification wave 96 with the stamp on two Docsis 3.0 products: the DCM-702 (802.11n wireless gateway), and the DCM-704 embedded multimedia terminal adapter, which supports 802.11n and PacketCable 2.0 voice. A spokesman says both gateways are based on a Broadcom Corp. chipset and can bond up to eight downstream channels and four upstreams. According to the latest CableLabs list of certified products (PDF), Taiwan-based CastleNet Technology Inc. is evidently the OEM partner for D-Link's new D3 models.
Recent trademark applications give a strong indication that DirecTV Group Inc. has some big plans for UltraHD/4KTV. The satellite TV giant filed for the brands 4KN, 4KNET, 4KNetwork, 4K Network and 4K on Feb. 21, according to FierceCable. There's a dearth of 4K content and 4K sets still cost a pretty penny, so don't expect DirecTV to roll out a 4K services anytime soon. But the application could give DirecTV some squatters' rights as its 4K TV intentions evolve. (See 3net Puts 4K TV in the Picture.)
The spectacle! The pageantry! The … Flixies? Yes, indeed! Netflix Inc. is apparently such a big thing now that it's justified in launching its own awards program. But it's all about the marketing, of course, as the awards comes with the tagline: "Honoring the ways you really watch Netflix." The video streaming giant launched the awards site this week, encouraging visitors to cast their votes in cheeky categories such as Best Bromance, Best Guilty Pleasure, Best Hangover Cure and Best PMS Drama. Voting (open to anyone, not just Netflix subs) closes on March 10, with the top three in each category announced on Monday, March 11. Oh, and there's this to get you in the award-voting mood: