The Hump-Day edition of the cable news roundup leads off with MSO concerns about the potential power of Googlarola.
Several unidentified cable execs tell Reuters they are nervous about Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility LLC -- cable's primary supplier of set-top boxes -- noting that Google and the industry have a history of clashing on several issues, including network neutrality. And there's concern over Google's ambitions to disrupt the pay-TV market by going over-the-top with video and wield its data-mining capabilities. "If they have a box in the majority of US homes, there's going to be a need to ensure that privacy isn't abused," one cable guy says. (See Will Google Droid Up the Set-Top Box? )
The tension of the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) wireline worker strike rose another level after the telco told the 45,000 strikers it would suspend health, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits if they don't return to their jobs by month's end, a move that a union official chalked up as a "scare" tactic, reports Bloomberg (See Verizon Strike Gets Uglier.)
Suddenlink Communications has doubled the capacity of its video-on-demand service from 10,000 to 20,000 hours in most systems where VoD is offered (the upgrade is coming to former NPG systems later this year), and expects to increase its library size "substantially" by year's end. A Suddenlink spokesman confirms that the MSO uses the SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) VoD backoffice and Motorola servers in its Motorola-based digital cable systems, and relies on Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) backoffice and servers in its Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-based systems.
Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) will stream into Spain in January 2012, but some worry how the service will do in a country that's notorious for piracy and where other distributors of legal digital content, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iTunes, have had trouble generating sales.