Dish Sizing Up Mobile Broadband Service

Today's cable news roundup kicks off with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) revealing a bit more about its mobile broadband plans.

  • Dish has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver that would let it consolidate the S-band spectrum it's getting from TerreStar Networks and DBSD North America Inc. and use it toward a hybrid terrestrial-satellite broadband service under a new subsidiary called Gamma. If granted, the waiver, similar to one granted to LightSquared , would let Dish use single-mode, terrestrial-only receivers for mobile broadband. Dish set no timeline, but noted it's "prepared to work with the Commission to develop a reasonable, attainable buildout schedule keyed to commercial availability of the LTE Advanced Standard." Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett still views Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) as Dish's most "logical partners." (See Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab and Dish Seeks FCC OK for TerreStar Licenses.)

  • VUDU Inc. 's share of the digital movie market reached 5.3 percent in the first half of 2011, up from just 1 percent in the first half of 2010. (See Wal-Mart Shells Out for VUDU and Rumor: Cisco Wanted VUDU.)

  • TorrentFreak claims that online piracy is surging after Fox Broadcasting Co. erected an authenticated TV Everywhere service on Aug. 15 that puts an eight-day delay on new shows before anyone can access them online. TorrentFreak says BitTorrent downloads of new episodes of two Fox shows it's tracking -- Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef -- have jumped by more than 100 percent during the first five days after their initial run on Fox. (See Fox Erects TV Everywhere Pay Wall .)

  • Cox Business has appointed Jeremy Bye to VP of wholesale and national accounts. Wholesale revenues represent more than US$100 million of Cox Business's annual $1 billion revenue stream, and it's looking for more. (See The Next Billion .)

  • The American Cable Association (ACA) joined the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in urging the FCC to loosen requirements that could hinder mergers between cable operators and CLECs, arguing that the Commission should conclude that such combos "fall outside cross-ownership prohibitions found in Section 652 of federal communications law." (See Comcast Snares a CLEC .)

  • The FCC killed the broadcast TV-focused Fairness Doctrine and 82 other "outdated" rules. Sorry, MSOs, but the CableCARD rules did not make the cut. (See New Rules! )

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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