Video services

Fox Targets an Aereo-Copycat Takedown

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Fox Broadcasting Co. has thrown the book at BarryDriller.com (no joke) over claims that the video streaming startup violates copyright laws. BarryDriller, like the Barry Diller-backed Aereo Inc. (which is being sued by Fox and other major broadcasters), connects users to a remote TV antenna via broadband and bundles in network-based DVR services. The BarryDriller service starts at US$5.95 per month and features some major New York City broadcast affiliates, while the remote DVR component starts at $1 per month for three hours of storage and up to $190 per year for 300 hours of storage. (See Aereo Offers a Free Taste and Judge Keeps Aereo on the Air.)

    Despite going with a name that would seem more suitable for a porn site, founder Alki David (who also founded Film ON) told the Wall Street Journal that BarryDriller is a "homage to a great guy and at the same time, it's drilling him a bit," noting that the service has more than 28,000 subscribers. Barry Diller showed a sense of humor about this, telling the paper: "I had hoped that if they steal my name they'd do it for something more provocative." Perhaps he should be thankful they didn't.

  • Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) have inked a multi-year backbone deal that extends their current deal, but also bakes in a new component that calls for them to exchange IP traffic between their respective backbone networks. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but TW Cable and Level 3 apparently were able to settle the peering component without the public bickering that emerged between and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Level 3 back in 2010, when Level 3 claimed that Comcast was violating network neutrality rules by demanding a stipend for Web video traffic that was being delivered to Comcast. (See Level 3: Comcast Erected Web Video 'Toll Booth' and Did Level 3 Know What It Was Getting Into?)

  • Comcast has extended support for the WatchESPN app on Android devices, following earlier launches on PCs and iOS devices. Available to authenticated subscribers from participating cable operators, telcos and satellite TV operators, the app offers access to live streams from the ESPN stable of sports networks.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC) were top picks in U.S. business Ethernet services at the mid-point of 2012, with Cox Communications Inc. clocking in at fifth, and TW Cable ranking seventh, according to Vertical Systems Group 's latest rankings of companies with at least 4 percent of the market. Among other MSOs, Charter Communications Inc. , Comcast and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s Optimum Lightpath made Vertical's "challenge" tier.

  • AT&T is pitching a free wireless receiver as part of all new U-verse TV bundles starting with the U300 package, a tier that packs in voice and a 12Mbit/s broadband service.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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