Virgin Media Wants Netflix Content

Also: TiVo seeks takeover bids; live TV is absent on upgraded U-Verse iPad app; Telus taps in to Cisco's Videoscape

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

February 8, 2012

3 Min Read
Virgin Media Wants Netflix Content

Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is in talks to add video streaming apps from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and LOVEFiLM International Ltd. to the MSO's new TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)-powered video product, company CEO Neil Berkett told Bloomberg. "We want TiVo to be completely open," he said, noting that no such deals are imminent and discussions are in the "early days." When it comes to combining TiVo and Netflix, it may be a case of wishful thinking for Virgin. In the U.S., Netflix's contracts with content providers prevent TiVo from adding the streaming service on boxes distributed by cable MSOs such as RCN Corp. , Suddenlink Communications and Charter Communications Inc. . (See Suddenlink Blames Netflix Contracts .)

  • But Virgin Media's TiVo offering is performing well even without Netflix. The MSO reported Wednesday that it ended 2011 with 435,100 TiVo subs after adding 273,000 net TiVo customers in the fourth quarter. On the financial front, Virgin posted a fourth-quarter profit of £48.2 million (US$76.64 million), versus a year-ago loss of £73.8 million (US$117.36 million), on revenues of £1 billion (US$1.59 billion), up 2 percent. It also added 12,100 video subs and 44,100 Internet customers in the quarter.

  • Speaking of TiVo, the DVR pioneer is "open to takeover bids" to help boost shareholder value, but the company's present plan is to remain independent, SNL Kagan reports. Rumor of the strategy is coming to light as the company continues to see its fortunes turn around thanks in part to its patent portfolio and the success it's starting to see with its pay-TV distribution model. (See AT&T to Pay TiVo $215M-Plus to Settle DVR Fight and TiVo Ends Subscriber-Losing Streak .)

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has "enhanced" its U-verse app for the iPad with features that turn the tablet into a fancy remote control, add search and recommendation elements, and let subs manage their DVRs remotely. Still missing among those enhancements: a way for customers to watch live TV on the tablets.

  • Canada's Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) has deployed components of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Videoscape, the vendor's cloud-based, multi-screen platform for pay-TV operators, to power the carrier's Optik TV "on the go" service for mobile devices. For the deployment, Telus is using the Videoscape MediaSuite (multi-screen content management and publishing) and software clients for the mobile devices. Telus's TV Everywhere service supports iOS devices as well as six Android models, and is being offered to customers in Alberta and British Columbia. (See Cisco's Videoscape Stresses Cloud Control.)

  • Redbox Automated Retail LLC filed to trademark the brand "Redbox Instant" in late January, reports FierceCable. The filing came just ahead of the company's new video partnership with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) that intends to launch a joint subscription-based video streaming and DVD rental service in the second half of 2012. (See Verizon's Prelude to All-Out War and Verizon & Redbox Target Netflix .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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