Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Canada's largest cable and wireless provider, is laying off about 400 employees as part of a cost-cutting effort amid a revenue slowdown. The cuts follow the elimination of 300 jobs at Rogers in March, reports the National Post. The latest round affected middle management in the company's cable and wireless operations but not Rogers' media division, which runs Sportsnet and other TV channels, the paper said.
Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) and Searchlight Capital Partners LP have teamed to buy OneLink Communications, the parent of San Juan Cable LLC, a cable operator with 347,000 homes passed, for US$585 million. Liberty already owns Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, the largest cable operator on the island. Liberty estimates that its combined holdings there will pass 700,000 homes, or roughly 70 percent of all cable homes in Puerto Rico. OneLink and Liberty Cablevision generated about $300 million in revenues in 2011.
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s Wi-Fi initiative has gotten so serious that it's now got a mascot: HotSpot the dog. HotSpot is the animated star of a new campaign that touts the operator's Wi-Fi buildout, which is at 35,000 access points and growing, and a new "Finder" app for iOS devices that helps users locate the nearest Cablevision Wi-Fi hotspot. The campaign, which comes on the heels of a broader Wi-Fi roaming deal involving other major MSOs, features ads with HotSpot educating his owner on the benefits of Cablevision's Optimum Wi-Fi service. Here's a look:
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is set to host a one-day event, "The Digital Home: Preparing for the Future," as a precursor to the primary Cable-Tec Expo, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Orlando. The pre-show symposium will focus on topics tied to the evolving digital home, including home networking, Wi-Fi, media gateways, and home security and automation. It will cost $250 for SCTE members and $350 for non-members and is offered at a discount for those who buy full conference or floor passes to Expo.