Monday, July 22, 2013

Fwd: | 07.22.13 | Time Warner Cable to pitch Aereo if CBS blacks out cable subs

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Date: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Subject: | 07.22.13 | Time Warner Cable to pitch Aereo if CBS blacks out cable subs

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Today's Top Stories
  1. Time Warner Cable to pitch Aereo if CBS blacks out cable subscribers
  2. Malone: Cable must consolidate to compete with Google, Apple
  3. Liberty Global invests in MindMeld developer Expect Labs
  4. Netflix expected to post big jump in U.S. subscribers
  5. CBS lifting veil of secrecy on VOD data

Also Noted: Spotlight On... Verizon teams with Intel on research project
Mediacom creating 40 jobs at new corporate headquarters; Time Warner Cable upgrades My TWC app and much more...
Cable in the second quarter of 2013
FierceCable covers the earnings reports and conference calls for public pay TV distributors, programmers and tech vendors, and the second quarter of 2013 will likely yield some lively stories about battles between cable operators, telcos and satellite TV providers. Check this page regularly during the Q2 earnings season for the latest on broadband and pay TV subscriber growth (and churn) as well as new product updates unveiled during earnings calls. Also be sure to check out our Q1 earnings release page. See our earnings page here
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Today's Top News

By Steve Donohue Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) is using Aereo's local TV platform as leverage in its retransmission-consent battle with CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS).
CEO Glenn Britt first told analysts on an earnings call in April 2012 that he saw potential to use Aereo, which distributes local TV stations to Web surfers for $8 monthly, as leverage with broadcasters demanding increased fees. "Aereo I think is a very interesting idea. I have no idea whether the courts will find it legal or not, but it's certainly something we're looking at," Britt said.
With CBS threatening to pull stations from Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas as early as Wednesday, the MSO is using Aereo as a bargaining chip. It plans to recommend Aereo, which debuted in New York in March 2012, as an option if CBS pulls the feed from flagship station WCBS-TV, spokeswoman Maureen Huff told the New York Times on Sunday.
Aereo announced on Monday that it will expand to Utah on Aug. 19. While Aereo has also launched in Boston and Atlanta, New York is the only Time Warner Cable market where its service is available through Web browsers and Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone and iPad.
Time Warner Cable has suggested other ways cable subscribers can watch local TV content during previous disputes with broadcasters. It handed out more than 21,000 over-the-air antennas to subscribers on its Corpus Christi, Texas, system in 2011 and 2012 after NBC affiliate KRIS-TV pulled its feed in an attempt to squeeze increased retrans fees.
While that strategy may have helped Time Warner Cable retain subscribers, installing an over-the-air antenna to watch broadcast TV isn't as easy as tuning to the stations packaged in basic-cable tiers. Likewise, suggesting Aereo as an alternative isn't a perfect solution, as it is difficult to watch Aereo content on TVs connected to Time Warner Cable set-tops. But some tech-savvy cable subscribers may be able to stream local TV channels from Aereo by using Roku's streaming video devices. Aereo has instructions for using Roku devices posted on its customer support website.
Time Warner Cable has complained that CBS is demanding a 600 percent increase in fees. The MSO is receiving support in its fight from the American Television Alliance, a consortium it formed with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and the American Cable Association to push Congress and the FCC to reform retransmission-consent rules. Last week, ATVA posted a new YouTube video which paints retrans rules, which were spawned by the 1992 Cable Act, as outdated. The video is titled, "Retrans Rules: Totally 90s. Totally Broken."
For more:
- see the ATVA video
- see the Aereo Utah release
The New York Times has this story
Commentary: Aereo could help cable operators bring broadcasters to their knees
Related articles:
Britt: Aereo could help Time Warner Cable stop paying retransmission-consent fees
Time Warner Cable hands out 21,000 antennas to Texas subscribers impacted by blackout of NBC affiliate
Time Warner Cable CEO rips broadcasters in joint op/ed with DirecTV chief
Appeals court refuses to rehear Aereo suit
Read more about: Atva, Aereo
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By Steve Donohue Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Major cable MSOs must consolidate in order to drive down programming costs and to achieve the scale needed to compete in the long run with Internet giants such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Liberty Media Corp. (Nasdaq: LMCA) chairman John Malone said in an interview published by The Denver Post on Saturday.
"The industry, without that cooperation, doesn't have enough scale to be a serious player in a global world," Malone said, noting that Google and Apple "are basically thinking in terms of billions of customers rather than tens of millions."
Liberty, which bought a 27 percent stake in Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR) in March, is reportedly attempting to spark a new wave of cable mergers, beginning with a potential combination of Charter and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC). Malone, who built Tele-Communications Inc. into the largest U.S. MSO before selling it to AT&T (NYSE: T) in 1998, said he wasn't able to make another run at the U.S. cable business until he reduced his stake in DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) last year. He said that "involved having to put a substantial amount of stock into a trust."
Malone said he sees potential for U.S. cable operators to offer much faster Internet speeds similar to a 500 Gbps product that Liberty Global's (Nasdaq: LBTYA) UPC Broadband subsidiary in the Netherlands plans to launch this summer. The wideband service will expand to other cable systems in Europe next year.
"We think that demand for those services will be there. That's the bet that you basically make when you invest in U.S. cable right now," Malone said.
The cable pioneer said he also expects U.S. operators to eventually market usage-based Internet tiers similar to those sold by wireless providers. "To be fairer to the consumer, it would be better if we get over to volume-based rather than speed-based pricing," he added.
For more:
The Denver Post has this story
Related articles:
Malone says broadband tiers could hurt Netflix; calls Dish CEO Ergen 'kamikaze'
Report: Charter hired Goldman Sachs to fine-tune Time Warner Cable offer
Charter CEO Rutledge sees consolidation leaving industry with 2 major MSOs
Malone floats scenarios for Time Warner Cable – Charter merger
Warren Buffett quadruples investment in DirecTV; Berkshire buys Liberty Media stock
Read more about: Directv, John Malone
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By Steve Donohue Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

John Malone's Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) has invested in Expect Labs, a San Francisco-based startup which has developed an "anticipatory computing engine" that could one day be used in targeted advertising or video navigation.
Expect Labs, which is developing a MindMeld app for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad that will be able to suggest content based on analysis of conversations, said Monday that it also secured an investment from IDG Ventures. The company's other investors include Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Samsung and Telefónica, one of the top broadband providers in Spain.
Expect Labs said the Liberty cash came from the company's Liberty Global Ventures investment fund. Liberty has deployed advanced cable technology on its cable systems in Western Europe, including a multiplatform Horizon TV service and an interactive program guide that includes a recommendation engine from ThinkAnalytics.
Liberty Global and Expect Labs didn't say how Liberty could use the technology Expect Labs is developing. It's worth noting that the leadership team at Expect Labs includes Simon Handley, a research engineer with experience developing behavioral targeting and optimization strategies for online advertising.
For more:
- see the release
Related articles:
Liberty Global closes Virgin deal, becoming world's biggest cable operator
Liberty Global expanding Horizon TV to Ireland and Germany
Verizon patents targeted advertising method that determines if viewers are laughing, cuddling, sleeping or singing
Read more about: Ipad, Liberty Global
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By Steve Donohue Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is expected to post a 6.6 percent jump in U.S. subscribers when it reports second-quarter earnings Monday afternoon, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said in a research note.
RBC expects that the top online video distributor will report that it now counts 31.1 million U.S. subscribers and 39 million subscribers globally. Netflix picked up 2.03 million U.S. streaming video subscribers in the first quarter and counted 29.2 million U.S. subscribers at the end of the period.
CEO Reed Hastings plans to participate in a live interview with BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield and CNBC reporter Julia Boorstin at 3 p.m. PT Monday. The company said investors will be able to email questions that will be used for the discussion.
For more:
MarketWatch has this story
Related articles:
Netflix gains 2.03 million subs in Q1 2013
Netflix adds Suddenlink to Open Connect CDN
Cablevision partners with Netflix to deliver 'super HD' movies and 3D TV shows
Comcast won't offer Netflix to Xfinity TV subscribers
Verizon, Comcast, Charter top Netflix rankings of fastest ISPs
Read more about: Netflix
back to top

By Steve Donohue Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) broke ranks from fellow programmers by announcing that it will begin releasing ratings information which include data on viewing from cable video-on-demand and online video sites.
The Eye Network said Friday that its "Under the Dome" series, which premiered last month, generated 1.6 million video-on-demand views in the first 22 days after its initial broadcast. The program also generated 484,542 views through online video streaming.
CBS's strategy could help it drive increased advertising revenue from distribution on the free VOD platforms major cable MSOs offer subscribers. It could also help the network squeeze increased license fees from distributors such as Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), as it will be able to point to traffic generated by cable subscribers.
For more:
MediaPost has this story
Related articles:
SCTE finds friendly method for disabling fast-forward in VOD programming
CableLabs shines spotlight on VOD advertising potential
Time Warner Cable deploys BlackArrow dynamic VOD ad insertion technology
Read more about: Vod, Cbs
back to top

Also Noted

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) said Friday that it is teaming up with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and several universities to explore technologies for next-generation wireless networks. The research will focus on topics such has how to improve quality of service via context awareness, wireless device power efficiency and enabling new wireless spectrum, according to Intel. The chip manufacturer has set aside $3 million for the project. Read more
Quick news from across the Web.
> Mediacom is creating 40 new jobs at the 110,000-square foot corporate headquarters building it opened in Blooming Grove, N.Y. Article
> Time Warner Cable said it released the 4.0 version of its My TWC app, which lets subscribers diagnose and troubleshoot equipment issues, view account information and receive service alerts on smartphones and tablets. News release
> TelVue Corp. said it launched The Knowledge Network on the Roku Channel Store. News release
> Broadcom said it is pitching a new HD DOCSIS 2.0 set-top box chipset to cable operators in emerging markets. News release
Telecom News
> It appears that U.K. regulator Ofcom has a solution to the recently-reported shortage of new phone numbers in the region, and it is a measure that U.S. customers will recognize. Read more
> Frontier Communications employees in West Virginia are stepping up efforts for their voices to be heard as the carrier negotiates with the Communications Workers of America on a new contract that would affect about 1,600 Frontier workers in the state. Read more
Wireless News
> Apple has asked its component suppliers to test iPhone and iPad screens larger than the ones currently available, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Read more
And finally… Independent soccer network GolTV said it bought broadcast rights to The Eredivisie league, the top soccer league in the Netherlands. News release


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