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RCN's Strange Bedfellows

Jeff Baumgartner
5/30/2012

Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • In a case of strange bedfellows, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned media publishing firm thePlatform Inc. and TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) have struck a deal to develop RCN Telecom Services LLC 's TV Everywhere portal. The collaboration may raise some eyebrows as RCN competes with Comcast in markets such as Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. The portal, expected to debut later this year, will tie together RCN's linear and on-demand video content with the coming TV Everywhere library, and be capable of running on a range of IP-connected devices, including tablets, smartphones and TiVo DVRs. thePlatform's cloud-based video publishing system will manage and centralize the TV Everywhere backend and feed data and content to the TiVo-based user interface. (See RCN to Expand TiVo 'Premiere' Rollout.)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook danced around questions about the mythical television set the company is rumored to be developing, but did tell the audience at this week's All Things Digital D10 conference that the company's Apple TV set-top product remains "an area of intense interest for us. ... We're going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us." Cook said Apple TV shipments are on the rise, as the company shipped 2.8 million of the devices in 2011, and has sold about 2.7 million during the past six months. (See Who Will Land the Apple Television? and New Apple TV Induces Zs.)

  • BendBroadband has completed its Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade in central Oregon (here's the coverage map), promising mobile broadband speeds of up to 12Mbit/s. In tandem, BendBroadband plans to shut down its original HSPA+ network at the end of June as it shifts into LTE-only mode. Among the operator's mobile broadband service packages, its top-end tier sells for $44.99 per month when bundled with the operator's cable modem service, and limits consumption to 50 gigabytes. The USB-connected LTE router costs $99.99 with a 12-month contract, or can be rented for $6.99 per month. However, BendBoadband is giving the equipment away for free to customers who renew 12-month contracts by May 31.

  • Comcast SVP of Network Engineering Kevin McElearney is among the 21 members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's new Open Internet Advisory Committee, put into place to track and evaluate the effects of the Commission's network neutrality rules, which were adopted in 2010. Some other notable additions: Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt; AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) VP of Research Charles Kalmanek; Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) CTO Marcus Weldon; and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Director of Technology Policy and Internet Governance Chip Sharp. (See Netflix Cranks Up the Net Neutrality Heat and Net Neutrality Rules Dodge a Bullet.)

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has launched an Instant Video streaming app for the Xbox 360, offering access to more than 17,000 movies and TV shows via the game console. Amazon's Prime Instant Video, which comes with the company's $79-per-year Prime shipping service, debuted on the PlayStation 3 in April.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    marjsdad
    marjsdad
    12/5/2012 | 5:31:40 PM
    re: RCN's Strange Bedfellows


    Not all that strange. Comcast Spotlight sells ads for DirecTV's RSNs, and more than one MSO sells local spots for the telcos. Does give you pause when you first read it, though. RCN, Comcast, TiVo?

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:31:39 PM
    re: RCN's Strange Bedfellows


    TiVo for sure isn't surprising, since they've been working with RCN for some time. But was interested to see thePlatform get the business...so, RCN apparently was able to look past the vendor's ties to one of its big competitors. But you're right to point out that competitive pay-TV providers have been finding common ground with local advertising. JB

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