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Verizon & ActiveVideo Call a Cease-Fire

Jeff Baumgartner
9/24/2012

Welcome to your Monday broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Soon after Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) agreed to pay at least US$250.4 million to TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) as part of an out-of-court settlement, Verizon announced a separate settlement Monday that will see it pay $260 million to ActiveVideo In addition to paying that court-ordered amount, Verizon's also on the hook to pay an additional, but undisclosed sum. The companies also agreed to cross-license patents that were subject to the lawsuits and to refrain from suing each other "for a period of years," according to ActiveVideo. The settlement follows an appeals court decision that put Verizon on the hook to pay the vendor damages, including royalties of $2.74 per month per FiOS TV subscriber, but also erased an injunction that could have put the FiOS TV video-on-demand service on ice. (See Verizon to Pay TiVo $250M to Settle DVR Fight , Verizon Settles With ActiveVideo, Verizon Avoids FiOS TV Injunction and How the Courts Came Up With Verizon's $2.74 FiOS TV Tax .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will apparently follow Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) in allowing customers to expand DVR storage using external drives, says Broadband Reports, noting that Comcast is testing the idea now ahead of an expected launch in early 2013. Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC), meanwhile, is already promoting a Comcast-compatible DVR expander with 1 Terabyte of storage that sells for $129.99.

  • The Nielsen Co. 's first-quarter report on cross-platform video shows a decline in total TV viewing of 1.8 percent versus the year-ago quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of year-on-year declines, says The Diffusion Group (TDG) . TDG cautioned that the new results do not indicate that massive cord-cutting is underway, but added that it still represents a "worrying trend" for TV networks and pay-TV operators.

  • Google Fiber has managed to secure carriage deals with many of the top cable channels, including ESPN, as it gets ready to light up broadband and TV services next month in a section of Kansas City, Kan., but it told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday that it's having "difficulty" striking deals to carry some "must have" regional sports networks. (See KC Gets Google Fiber for Real in October.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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