Amazon Takes Bigger Run at Cable's VoD Biz

Also: Moto can't shop itself around, TW Cable puts Road Runner out to pasture, Malone dumps Barnes & Noble bid, Roku taps Hillcrest

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

August 19, 2011

2 Min Read
Amazon Takes Bigger Run at Cable's VoD Biz

Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Amazon Web Services Inc. will try to siphon away more dollars from cable's video-on-demand business after expanding its Instant Video library to more than 100,000 movies and TV shows, with 9,000 of those titles available for free to customers who subscribe to Amazon's $79-per-year Prime shipping service. Amazon rents and sells the other titles in the library for prices starting at $3.99, and has a presence on more than 300 IP-connected devices, including Roku Inc. and TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) boxes.

  • The terms of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s $12.5 billion play for Motorola Mobility LLC prevent Moto from soliciting other offers, so don't expect someone like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to swoop back in and up the ante. Google is also on the hook to pay Motorola $2.5 billion if the deal falls through. (See Cover Sheet: Google to Acquire Moto Mobility.)

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) confirms to Fortune that the MSO is bidding good-bye to the Road Runner as the mascot of its cable modem service, and will instead try to "create excitement" around the company's new ear-eye logo as the cable op moves ahead on a "brand-refresh." [Ed. note: We can hardly contain our excitement, so imagine what the customer reaction will be.]

  • John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC) has dropped its bid to buy Barnes & Noble Inc., but will instead invest $204 million in the bookstore chain and maker of the Nook e-reader.

  • Ceton Corp. is taking pre-orders for the InfiniTV 4, a USB-connected version of a CableCARD tuner that lets Windows 7-based PCs function like digital cable set-tops. Ceton expects shipments of the four-tuner, $299 device to begin in mid-September. (See Ceton Pitches Cable Set-Top Alternative .)

  • Roku is licensing Hillcrest Labs 's patented Freespace technology for a remote used in tandem with a new line of streaming players that support casual games such as Angry Birds. (See Angry Birds Flocks to the Roku 2 .)

    — 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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