April 4, 2012
Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
More than 1 million U.S. pay-TV subs cut the cord in 2011, opting to fill their TV needs with broadband-fed over-the-top and free over-the-air sources, according to a new report from Convergence Consulting Group Ltd. The researcher expects 930,000 more to cut the cord this year, extending the total to 3.58 million since 2008 -- roughly 3.6 percent of the U.S. pay-TV user base.
Mediacom Communications Corp. is the latest top ten incumbent U.S. MSO to sign a distribution deal for HBO GO and MAX GO, the TV Everywhere services that offer about 1,800 combined titles on devices such as the iPad, Xbox 360, Samsung Corp. Smart TVs and "select" Android gear. The MSO confirmed that not only will it support the standalone HBO GO app, but it will also authenticate customers that want to stream that content on Roku Inc. boxes, something that several other pay-TV operators, including Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), currently don't allow. Comcast, for example, does allow access to HBO's TV Everywhere library on devices such as the Xbox 360 so long as customers use the MSO's own Xfinity TV app. Mediacom says it will launch HBO GO and MAX GO "over the next few weeks." (See Xfinity TV Meets the Xbox 360 and Comcast Won't Cap Xbox 360 Streaming .)
Ex-Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) exec Jonathan Hargis has landed at Charter Communications Inc. as EVP and chief marketing officer, a move that reunites him with Charter President and CEO Tom Rutledge, who left Cablevision last year. A handful of other top Cablevision execs have left recently or are in the process of exiting. (See Engineering EVP Latest Exec to Exit Cablevision and Ex-Cablevision COO Becomes Charter CEO.)
The CableLabs board recently interviewed three potential candidates to succeed outgoing CEO Paul Liao, reports Multichannel News, noting that the board may expand its search. Liao's contract with CableLabs expires at the end of 2012, but he's expected to exit sooner if the industry can find his replacement before then. (See CableLabs Confirms CEO's 2012 Departure.)
Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) has secured a license for Rovi Corp. 's interactive program guide technology and patents. That will clear Sony from any legal entanglements with Rovi and give Sony the IPG tech and content discovery capabilities it will need for its connected video devices, including TVs, Blu-ray players and the PlayStation 3.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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