Pace Unseats Moto as Set-Top King

Pace plc 's move atop the world's set-top chart kicks off Thursday's cable news roundup.

  • Pace is the world's new set-top market-share king, but only just. The U.K.-based vendor, which sells its wares to cable, telco and satellite TV operators alike, ended the second quarter with a 17 percent share, just beating out Motorola Mobility LLC 's 16 percent, according to Infonetics Research Inc. They were followed by Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) (11 percent), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) (10 percent) and EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS) (8 percent).

  • Cable operators are video guys who are now also broadband guys. But we've got a broadband guy trying to be a video guy, too, now that Sonic.net has filed a video franchise application in California. It already offers a DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) bundle, but wants the franchise so it can stream local channels to subs over-the-top, reports NewTeeVee.

  • Total European Union cable revenues in 2010 rose by nearly 8 percent to €18.7 billion (US$26.1 billion), thanks to a 15.8 percent jump in digital cable subs, a 10.8 percent rise in phone customers, and a 10.5 percent boost in Internet subs.

  • UPC Austria and Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) stretched the legs of Docsis 3.0 in a network trial that pumped out downstream bursts of 1.3 Gbit/s. UPC Austria's current fastest commercial cable modem tier tops out at 100 Mbit/s downstream.

  • The war chest of Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC) could swell to $10 billion if it's able to spin off Liberty Interactive, the unit that owns QVC and other media and Web properties, Liberty execs told investors on Wednesday.

  • BTIG Research Analyst Richard Greenfield wonders (registration required) if Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) might make a play for Starz Entertainment LLC , noting that current Starz chief Chris Albrecht worked at Time Warner's HBO for 22 years before an embarrassing public incident at the 2007 Cable Show forced his resignation. But Greenfield, who sees possible anti-trust issues with a TW Inc.-Starz marriage, still views Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) as the "most logical buyer" for the premium video company, which recently walked away from renewal talks with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). (See Netflix, Starz on the Outs .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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