Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
Cisco Systems Inc. has reaffirmed its commitment to the set-top box market after CEO John Chambers stirred the pot last week by saying the company is "walking away" from some deals involving lower-margin STBs. It appears Cisco still views set-tops as integral to the firm's multi-screen Videoscape architecture. Joe Chow, VP and GM of Cisco's Connected Devices unit, clarified in a blog post that Cisco "remains committed to providing world-class managed customer premise equipment (CPE), which includes digital set-tops, intelligent media gateways and other devices."
As Light Reading Cable surmised, Cisco's strategy is to focus more squarely on video and data gateways, including a new class of unified gateways that share content with other devices hanging off the home network, such as client set-tops, tablets and smart TVs. (See Cisco Backs Away From 'Low-Margin' STB Deals.)
Kabel Deutschland GmbH's pending US$770 million deal for Tele Columbus Group has hit a snag. Germany's federal cartel office, the Bundeskartellamt, has stepped in to block the deal, calling the proposal inefficient. (The federal cartel office requires the divestment of roughly 60 percent of the Tele Columbus networks in Eastern Germany, twice as many as KD offered.) That could open a window of opportunity for Liberty Global Inc., which is rumored to have interest in Tele Columbus and recently acknowledged that it continues to be on the lookout for M&A opportunities. (See More M&A for Liberty Global?)
Technicolor SA will keep Tata Sky supplied with set-tops after winning two extension contracts with India's largest satellite TV operator, which has 8 million subs. The latest deals include Technicolor's HD-capable MediaPlay DSI715, and standard-definition MediaPlay DSI309 model.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable