Video services

Netflix Stock Soars on Stats & Speculation

Here's a look at what's turning cable's crank this morning.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) shares got a much-needed shot in the arm Wednesday, jumping 11 percent following a news release stating that its customers streamed more than 2 billion hours of TV shows and movies during the fourth quarter of 2011. BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield notes that this suggests the average Netflix customer (there are about 21 million of them out there) streams more than one hour a day. And, if one considers Netflix as a content "network," it would be the 15th most-watched, outpacing the likes of FX, HGTV and History in terms of total viewing hours, Greenfield adds. That wasn't the only report that helped the company's stock surge, though, as speculation emerged that Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) might be mulling a takeover bid for Netflix.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) kicked off a beta trial of the HBO GO and Max GO TV Everywhere service on Wednesday, but limiting access to HBO/Cinemax subscribers who also use SignatureHome, the MSO's premium service and customer care package. TWC reasons that the decision will let it sample the new TV Everywhere service in all markets "without overloading our systems" -- something that happened when it launched its iPad app. Initially, TWC will test HBO GO/Cinemax GO on PCs and Macs before broadening access to iOS and Android devices. (See TWC iPad App Buckles Under Demand.)

  • Motorola Mobility LLC will use next week's Consumer Electronics Show to introduce the Connected Home Gateway, a device that bakes in the company's 4Home platform, which handles home automation, security, energy management and other "smart home" features. Among other demos, Moto will also show off: Televation, a video transcoding device (and 2011 Leading Lights winner) that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will market under the "AnyPlay" brand; and the DCX3600 IP video gateway, a hybrid QAM/IP device that can distribute video to PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices connected to a home network.

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) SVP Chief Strategy Officer Shane O'Neill resigned on Dec. 30, 2011, reports Broadband TV News. O'Neill also served as president of Liberty Global subsidiary Chellomedia Services.

  • About 69 percent of U.S. homes have at least one HDTV set, up from just 17 percent in 2006, while 48 percent of HDTV homes now have more than one hi-def set, says Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) , citing a survey of 1,302 households.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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