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News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku

Jeff Baumgartner
7/26/2012

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) and Sky are leading a $45 million round of funding in Roku Inc. , the maker of a popular video streaming player that already supports HBO GO and has ambitions to support a lot more TV Everywhere apps from cable operators and other pay-TV players. Roku, which has raised more than $77 million and shipped north of 3 million devices so far, said it will use the latest infusion to boost marketing, pursue more content partners and to help fund an international expansion that has already seen the company enter Canada, Ireland and the U.K. (See Roku: Why Cable Should Go Over the Top and Roku Gets HBO Go.)

    Among wins outside the U.S., Roku has already landed a deal to support BSkyB's new NowTV over-the-top video service. Prior Roku investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners and a new, unnamed investor joined the round. Roku noted that its Streaming Stick, a simplified wireless dongle that can attach to TV sets and other CE equipment, will debut in the fall. (See Roku & TiVo Tango With Tier 2 MSOs .)

  • It's Google Fiber day! Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s will make a "special announcement" about its fiber-fueled 1-Gig project in the Kansas Cities today at noon ET. Catch it live on YouTube, right here. (See Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26 and Google Fiber Goes 100 Miles & Counting .)

  • Dish has altered the default setting of its Hopper HD-DVR so that users must switch on the box's AutoHop ad-zapping feature and pick which networks to record during prime time (the old setting automatically recorded the prime times of the four big broadcast networks), reports Variety. The changes come into play as Dish gets ready for a court battle with broadcasters, which claim that AutoHop is a copyright violation. (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper and Dish Sticks It to the Broadcasters .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is opening up thousands of Wi-Fi access points in Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore during the summer Olympics in support of NBCUniversal LLC 's extensive broadband video coverage of the games at NBCOlympics.com and via mobile apps. People who don't get Comcast can connect to any hot spot with the "xfinitywifi" SSID through Aug. 12. (See Access Doubts Dent NBCU's Olympics Ambitions .)

  • BendBroadband has joined the recent Tier 2/3 cable M&A frenzy by purchasing Chambers Cable System, a deal that will extend Bend's reach in central Oregon, including Sunriver and Crosswater. Chambers has about 3,500 customers. The deal's set to close on July 31, with all Chambers employees to join BendBroadband. The operator pledged to upgrade its new acquisition over the next 14 months so customers will have access to 100Mbit/s Docsis 3.0, its TV Everywhere service and the Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)-made hybrid QAM/IP video gateway.

  • Comcast Ventures joined a $12 million "C" round in WhoSay, a firm that helps famous people manage how they interact with the unwashed masses using social networking and other media outlets.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:13 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku


    Milo Medin says google fiber will do 1-gig up and down.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:13 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku


    Looks like Google's to use a multi-colored rabbit to promote Google Fiber.. irony- Twitter went down just as the conference got underway, so I'll do some updates here on the boards.  JB

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:12 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku

    Google Fiber TV's "remote" will be the Nexus 7 tablet, outfitted with google's tv app. Offered as part of the video package... no extra charge.  

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:12 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku


    Milo Medin just announced that there will be somethign called Google Fiber Television.

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:11 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku

    Gigabit + TV fiber package will run $120/month.

     

    1Gbit/s -only service to sell for $70/month. No data caps

     



    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:11 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku

    Will offer a 5meg down by 1 meg up for free for at lest 7 years if customer pays the $300 construction fee. Otherwise, will cost $25/year.

     

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:26:11 PM
    re: News Corp. & BSkyB Plow Cash Into Roku


    Google Fiber "construction fee" : $300. waive fee if take 2 year contract.

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