Video services

Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon

Welcome to today's cable news roundup.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is gearing up for more direct competition from Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), predicting in a letter to investors that the Jeff Bezos-led giant will launch a standalone streaming subscription video service that will undercut Netflix's current pricing. Netflix anticipates that the new service, offered as a free add-on for its US$79-per-year Prime service, will also be sold to everyone else for less than the $8 per month Netflix charges for its own subscription streaming service. (See Amazon Fires Shot at Netflix's Bow .)

  • Netflix's streaming subscriptions bounced back big time in the fourth quarter, but its DVD business is still struggling. The company lost 2.76 million DVD subs in the period, causing some to wonder if Netflix will bug out of that business sooner than predicted. (See Netflix Subs Rebound in Q4 .)

  • In the latest round of the my-broadband-is-bigger-than-your-broadband battle between Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), the MSO said it would clarify advertisements claiming that it provides Internet speeds "3X faster than FiOS." At the behest of Verizon, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommended that Cablevision do a better job disclosing that the claim is a comparison of its 50Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 service with FiOS's entry-level 15Mbit/s tier, notes Multichannel news.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has tapped Amy Lynch as area VP for the MSO's California Southwest Bay region. She's the first woman to oversee operations in the MSO's Silicon Valley and San Francisco peninsula, a territory Comcast calls one of its "most strategic." Lynch most recently served as GM of Comcast's Colorado Mountains division and AVP of Comcast's Northern Colorado territory.

  • The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) will get its green on on when it hosts the SEMI (Smart Energy Management Initiative) Forum in Philadelphia on March 15. More than a dozen panels are on tap for the event, which is linked to an initiative the Society launched in 2010. (See SCTE Drives Green 'SEMI'.)

  • Shalom TV started off as a video-on-demand (VoD)-only service, but will launch a live, linear channel available in standard- and high-definition on Feb. 1. Its VoD service currently reaches 43 million homes in the U.S. and Canada.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:44:28 PM
    re: Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon

    Cablevision & Verizon ads are beginning to resemble political ads in which one politician smears another -- and that's not a good thing. Don't know about anyone else, but rather than making me want to vote for one candidate or another, those ads makeme not want to vote at all.

    I don't live where Cablevision & Verizon are fighting, but if I did I'd be more inclined to cut the video cord than to use either of their services as a result of the campaigns they've been running.

    craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:44:20 PM
    re: Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon

    I'm in the Cablevision-FiOS NY market and it's been amazing -- and rather entertaining -- to watch the ads that go back and forth between the two.

    There's a school of thought in marketing that these types of fights actually can be good for both sides because they attract customers to the product and get them to buy one or the other.

    But, to your point, many of my neighbors are just downright confused. They've heard the claims from both sides and they don't know who to believe. Hey -- just like politics!!  


    craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:44:17 PM
    re: Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon

    Those DirecTV ads really are funny, even though they must strike a nerve with a lot of cable people. I especially like the kid with the dog collar. But I also wonder if they actually get people to switch, especially when most cable customers are so tied in to cable high-speed Internet these day. 

    Don't have a grandson with a dog collar!


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:44:17 PM
    re: Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon

    With all the bickering between CVC and Verizon , I wonder if that helps out Dish and DirecTV if some customers are truly fed up with all the back and forth. Of course, Dish and DirecTV like to stick it to cable in general in their ads, so I suppose they aren't really above the fray. Still, the new DirecTV ads are kinda funny, though I'm not sure it's really a message that's going to get people to switch like they would with a lower priced offer. JB

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