House Communications Subcommittee member and U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) has some questions (PDF) about Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s commitment to wireline video amid Verizon Wireless 's new service bundling partnerships with four major U.S. MSOs, and he wants President and CEO Lowell McAdam to answer them by June 1. Among them, he wants information on Verizon's current FiOS buildout plans, and whether the company will continue all previously planned deployments in markets served by the company's new MSO partners. He also wants guidance on Verizon's DSL plans. Verizon and its partner MSOs, meanwhile, insist that they'll continue to compete for video and broadband subscribers vigorously. (See Verizon & Comcast Deny a TV Truce and Comcast/Verizon Combo Steers Clear of FiOS.)
SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) is giving old set-tops some new legs with Nitro Now, a navigation system that brings higher-end graphics, advanced video-on-demand (VoD) search and discovery features, click-to-buy applications and video games to legacy QAM-based set-top boxes. SeaChange says it has multiple but still-unnamed North American cable operators on board as customers for the new navigation system, and a spokesman confirmed that it can run on Motorola Mobility LLC and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) boxes. SeaChange views Nitro Now as a bridge to the more advanced, HTML5-based Nitro guide, which is designed for IP-connected set-tops, tablets, PCs and smartphones. SeaChange will show off Nitro Now at The Cable Show, set to run May 21-23 in Boston. (See SeaChange Navigates TV Everywhere.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s budding Metro Ethernet service showed some progress with the signing of Sarris Candies, a specialty chocolate and candies company based in Canonsburg, Pa. The MSO does not break down how much revenues are coming in via its new MetroE service, but the bulk of its business revenues ($541 million in the first quarter alone) still come from small businesses served by Comcast's Docsis platform.