Intel's OTT Video Plan Hits a SnagIntel's OTT Video Plan Hits a Snag
Also: TW Cable bids for ex-Bresnan systems; Netflix CEO gets a fat raise; FCC OKs airline broadband rules; CSG, Comcast extend their deal
January 2, 2013
Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, holiday catch-up edition.
Intel Corp.'s plan to create a broadband-based TV service that runs on its own hardware is delayed because the chipmaker is having trouble hammering together content deals with media companies, The Wall Street Journal reports. Intel reportedly had been pitching programmers on a "virtual cable operator" model, with intentions of getting a subscription video service off the ground before the end of 2012. Tossing some cold water on a rumor that Intel is poised to introduce its broadband TV platform at this month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the paper says Intel's launch may not occur until mid-year or the fourth quarter of 2013. Intel's clearly playing both sides of the video equation, as its over-the-top (OTT) plans run alongside its strategy of providing chips that power Docsis 3.0 gateways and a new class of hybrid QAM/IP boxes that run Comcast Corp.'s expanding X1 platform.
Time Warner Cable Inc., Suddenlink Communications and Charter Communications Inc. have submitted first-round bids to buy Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Optimum West properties in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, reports Bloomberg. Cablevision bought those systems, which serve about 360,000 subs, in 2010 for $1.37 billion.
The new year is already shaping up to be a good one for Netflix Inc. CEO Reed Hastings. He's set to receive a $2 million salary and another $2 million in stock options this year, about double the value of his 2012 remuneration package. The big raise comes as Netflix inks a key streaming deal with Walt Disney Co., but feels pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who bought a 10 percent stake in Netflix last year.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules designed to streamline and accelerate the deployment of Internet services on board aircraft. Rather than having airlines obtain licenses on an ad hoc basis, the new rules will provide them with the ability to test systems that meet FCC standards and establish that they do not interfere with other aircraft systems. The FCC estimates that the rules should allow the Commission to process Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) applications up to 50 percent faster than before.
CSG Systems International Inc. has extended its master subscriber management deal with Comcast through Jan. 31, 2013, as the billing and customer care company irons out a longer-term deal with the cable operator, reports Broadcasting & Cable. CSG's deal with Comcast was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. About 21 percent of CSG's revenues were generated by its Comcast relationship during the third quarter of 2012.
Eagle Communications enters 2013 as a service provider that is 100 percent owned by employees after the company executed a stock ownership plan on Dec. 27. Eagle operates 28 radio stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, and cable TV systems in 30 towns and cities in Kansas and Colorado.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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