Video services

Dish Makes Over-the-Top TV Pitch

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is in talks with several major programmers, including Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA), Scripps Networks and Univision Communications Inc., about a proposed over-the-top video subscription service that would include a slimmed-down lineup of live TV channels, Bloomberg reported. Dish has not revealed any specific plans for an OTT offering, but its technology spinoff, EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), has been developing an adaptive bit rate video platform based partly on its acquisition of Move Networks Inc. that could power it. (See EchoStar Readies Over-the-Top Video Play.)

  • Comcast Ventures has joined a $15 million "C" round for RAMP, a provider of search optimization technologies for Web-sourced video, audio, text and images. The startup's now raised about $40 million in all. Fox News, ABC News and NBC are among the programmers that use RAMP's platform.

  • Count Chicago among the cities that are gunning for 1-Gig. The Windy City has issued "The Broadband Challenge," a request for information seeking help from private companies, universities and other orgs to hit three goals: provide gigabit speeds with fiber; provide affordable broadband services to underserved and "disadvantaged" areas; and offer free Wi-Fi in parks and public spaces. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), RCN Corp. and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) are among the area's incumbent wireline broadband providers.

  • Cable video and access supplier Vecima Networks Inc. (Toronto: VCM) posted fourth-quarter net income of C$1.7 million (7 cents per share) on revenues of $28.7 million, up from 21.1 million in the year-ago period and driven in part by sales of QAM modules, edge QAMs and a "Terrace" QAM device that lets cable operators deliver secure HD video to hotels without the need for individual set-top boxes. But sales of its IP-to-QAM Concierge product remains slow. Vecima's been exploring a range of "strategic alternatives" that could include new partnerships or a sale of assets. (See Vecima May Seek a Sale .)

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has launched Easy Remote, a U-verse app for iPhones and iPads tailored for customers with vision or hearing impairments that uses large icons and gesture- and voice-based controls. Here's the app, developed at AT&T Labs, in action:

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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