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Cox & Comcast's Contrasting Cell Tower Plans

Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Cox Communications Inc. , along with parent Cox Enterprises Inc., is placing a bigger bet on the cell tower market even as the MSO tears down its own wireless network and moves ahead on its service bundling partnership with Verizon Wireless . Cox has made an undisclosed investment in tower owner InSite Wireless Group LLC and, as part of the deal, will pitch in about 150 of its existing wireless towers. Fellow MSO Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) took a different approach last year when it created a separate unit, called CTI Towers Inc., to manage and lease space on 800-plus towers that were previously handled by individual Comcast cable systems. (See Comcast Creates Cell Tower Business and Cox Chucks Wireless Network Plan.)

  • The ad-supported video-on-demand (VoD) market has a potential value of US$1 billion, based on the average of five hours and 17 "free" VoD TV shows viewed per month, estimates Rentrak Corp. (Nasdaq: RENT). Rentrak, which based its study on data culled from its OnDemand Essentials service, said 6.8 billion free VoD transactions took place last year, an increase of 17 percent. (See Comcast Ready to Mine for VoD Gold and Cable's Canoe Sinks Interactive Ad Business .)

  • Hulu LLC , the Web video hub that just passed 2 million paid subscribers, hopes to attract a few more in the coming years as it tees up four more original series. Two (We Got Next and The Awesomes are set to debut later this year, and the others ( Don't Quit Your Daydream and Flow) will arrive sometime in 2013, Bloomberg reports.

  • BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield tried out a new service from WalMart that lets consumers bring in their DVDs and Blu-ray discs and convert them into digital, Ultraviolet-based versions for a fee ($2 per title, or $5 per to upgrade to HD) that can be accessed via the big box company's VUDU Inc. service. Greenfield documented his experience in this video/slideshow below, and found that the experience was solid, and "light-years" ahead of Flixster's Ultraviolet implementation. One quibble: He thinks Wal-Mart should cut the $2 fee to zero because the program gets consumers in stores and signed up for the VUDU service, which could encourage digital ownership. Also, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) currently doesn't support Ultraviolet.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:35:42 PM
    re: Cox & Comcast's Contrasting Cell Tower Plans

    I've considered giving it a shot with a few titles, but haven't made the trip yet.  anyone else give it a try? How'd it go? Think $2/title is fair? JB

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:35:35 PM
    re: Cox & Comcast's Contrasting Cell Tower Plans

    $2 for something you already have?  The content holder just makes more money off of what they sold.  Soon they will find another way to get you to gove them more money again which will be a better picture.  They talk about what HD is, but even Blu-Ray isn't true (uncompressed) HD, it doesn't have the storage capacity for it.

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