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Cable News: Dec. 17

Happy Friday, cable gang. Today in Light Reading Cable news, Cox Communications Inc. tools up for "TV Everywhere" (TVE), Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) pinches Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), and ZillionTV Corp. shutters its Website.

  • Could Cox be nearing the launch of a TVE service that will allow customers to watch subscription content on broadband and mobile platforms? The MSO is buying the technology for a TVE play, striking a licensing deal with top interactive program guide firm Rovi Corp. which would allow it to use its IPG technology in broadband and mobile platforms. The deal will also keep Rovi attorneys from hassling Cox for its rollout of its Trio IPG, which uses the tru2way platform. (See Cox Gets License to Drive Rovi's IPG IP, Cox Guides Tru2way Forward, and Cox Wireless Is Go for Launch.)

  • Level 3, which is still miffed that Comcast wants the backbone/content delivery network provider to pay increased fees to deliver traffic from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other competitive Web video customers, wants conditions placed on the Comcast-NBCU merger in order to ensure "unfettered access" to Internet content. (See Comcast: Level 3 Balks at Trial Offer .)

  • After insisting to us more than a year ago that it was on track to eventually launch its Internet video service, it looks like ZillionTV is calling it quits. The firm, which had hoped to sell telcos set-tops that would allow them to deliver Internet video to subscribers, shuttered its Website. Multichannel News reported last month that ZillionTV investors were looking to sell its assets. (See Nsight Takes ZillionTV on a Test Run .)

  • With cable MSOs and telcos running ads nationwide that tout blazing-fast Internet connections, you’d think the US was a broadband leader. But the union representing thousands of telecom installers doesn’t think so. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) released a study that found the US ranked 25th in the world in Internet connection speeds. DSL Reports observes that CWA’s "motivation in this regard is obvious given they would prefer more upgrades, greater deployment and more work."

  • After years of failed attempts to spin off its Rainbow Programming Holdings Inc. unit, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) says it expects to finally complete the spinoff by the middle of next year.

  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) is still looking for a lobbyist to replace outgoing CEO Kyle McSlarrow, signing the headhunters at Korn Ferry to lead the search. (See NCTA Hires CEO Headhunter and McSlarrow Is McLeaving .)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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