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 tellsSNL 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? )