Video services

Netflix Turns Up Heat on HBO

Buzz surrounding Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other Web video plays lead today's cable news roundup.

  • Netflix, which might eclipse 20 million subs when it reports earnings later today, may bid against Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) when the premium programmer tries to renew its movie distribution deal with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) sister Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (See HBO Would Cost Netflix Subs $20 a Month.)

  • Taking Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) a step closer toward clinching the NBC Universal deal, Vivendi has sold its remaining 12.34 percent stake in NBCU back to General Electric Inc. The deal, already cleared by the feds, is expected to close by end of week. (See FCC Blesses Condition-Laden Comcast-NBCU Deal.)

  • Charter Communications Inc. , Cox Communications Inc. and other cable MSOs carrying Epix may not like that Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA)'s new premium channel is developing an app for broadband-connected TVs. (See Netflix-EPIX Deal Puts Pressure on Cable .)

  • It's "hilarious" that in five years 90 percent of all Internet traffic will be video, according to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who also boasts that Verizon can handle the coming traffic from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone. (See Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone 4 .)

  • Demand Media Inc. 's stock popped more than 40 percent this morning following an IPO that valued the online media firm at more than $1 billion.

  • Hulu LLC delivered 1.22 billion video ads in December, running an ad every four minutes and 37 seconds. (See Move Over Net Neutrality – Hulu's Here!)

  • Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) said WealthTV will use its content delivery network to push live-streaming video to Roku Inc. box owners. (See Comcast: Level 3 Balks at Trial Offer and Roku Scores First OTT Cable Deal.)

  • Cable video on demand (VoD) and DVR support are among the enhancements gracing the 1.3 version of the CI Plus spec. Targeted at the European pay-TV market, CI Plus modules, which closely mimic the much-maligned CableCARD, authorize subscription services on digital TVs, but the hope is to extend adoption to set-tops, Blu-rays, and other CE devices.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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