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Netflix, VoD Fail to Satisfy

Jeff Baumgartner
7/30/2012

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • The hits keep coming for Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). While 81 percent of ConsumerReports.org subscribers who used a video streaming service in the previous month said they tapped into Netflix, three other over-the-top video suppliers -- VUDU Inc. , Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) -- all scored higher for overall satisfaction in the site's first-ever comprehensive streaming video report. The biggest gripe was Netflix's limited selection of movies, particularly with newer releases. But there's some concerning data for the cable guys, too, as video-on-demand (VoD) "channels" ranked even worse in customer satisfaction, outpacing only Hulu LLC 's US$8-per-month Plus service. Netflix's disc rental service, however, had the edge over Redbox Automated Retail LLC and the Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)-owned Blockbuster service, and that's ironic considering Netflix has been playing down that piece of its business. (See Netflix Slides, Blames Olympics.)



  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is "auto-verifying" customers that access NBCUniversal LLC 's video streaming coverage of the Summer Olympics, meaning they don't have to plug in their user names and passwords to gain access, reports VideoNuze, noting that this marks the first time the operator is making TV Everywhere content available without requiring customers to sign in manually each time. A Comcast spokesman confirmed that the operator is performing in-home auto authentication for customers who subscribe to the company's video and high-speed Internet service. Auto-verification is an important step because this year's Olympics is being viewed as a possible watershed event for the TV Everywhere concept, and even NBCU officials admit that the sign-on process could be a stumbling block if pay-TV customers don't have their credentials handy or know how to obtain them. (See Access Doubts Dent NBCU's Olympics Ambitions .)

  • Aereo Inc. can make a "pretty reasonable business" by selling its subscription TV streaming service for $12 per month, company CEO Chet Kanojia tells SNL Kagan , but adds that the company's pricing options are "not final and you'll hear some announcements soon from us." Aereo and the broadcasters are currently duking it out in the courts, and Kanojia said there are no settlement talks underway. (See Judge Keeps Aereo on the Air and Who Are Aereo's Customers? )

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is in talks with some major programmers and networks, including Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Turner Broadcasting System Inc. , Fox Broadcasting Co. and HBO, about securing carriage deals for the company's budding IPTV service in the Kansas Cities, reports Multichannel News. Channels such as ESPN are not yet listed in the lineup for the subscription TV service Google Fiber will bundle with its 1Gbit/s broadband service for $120 per month. (See Google Fiber Bundles TV, Shuns Data Caps.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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    kaps
    kaps
    12/5/2012 | 5:25:28 PM
    re: Netflix, VoD Fail to Satisfy


    Call it one-click authentication? Worked for me like a charm. For once, as advertised. Now if they could just sync with my Verizon phone to do the same thing for mobile... I mean, c'mon they're pals now, right?


    Of course the next step is for Comcast to overhaul the NBC operations... the online stuff is a bit of a mess, especially when you find out the video "replays" are just raw video and no commentary. Oh well. Version 1.0 of the online Olympics, I guess.

    kaps
    kaps
    12/5/2012 | 5:25:28 PM
    re: Netflix, VoD Fail to Satisfy


    Call it one-click authentication? Worked for me like a charm. For once, as advertised. Now if they could just sync with my Verizon phone to do the same thing for mobile... I mean, c'mon they're pals now, right?


    Of course the next step is for Comcast to overhaul the NBC operations... the online stuff is a bit of a mess, especially when you find out the video "replays" are just raw video and no commentary. Oh well. Version 1.0 of the online Olympics, I guess.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:25:24 PM
    re: Netflix, VoD Fail to Satisfy


    That's probably a more apt description. I also had no trouble either signing on via my iPad and Android phone.  It's also been interesting to see how much NBC is getting ripped for offering access to all of the  events live on broadband (to authenticated viewers) but then tape delay some of the more popular events so they can be repackaged to be shown during prime time on the TV network.


    On one hand, the model hasn't hurt ratings one bit, but there's a lot of hand-wringing about this in the Twitterverse. Prime time still drives the ad revenues, so that's the obvious reason, but this Olympics is a good example of how the old TV biz model and the new Internet TV model still don't line up at all. JB


     

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