Broadband Briefs for 03/04/09
• Viewers want the Web on their TVs
By Brian Santo
A new study provides more data challenging the conventional wisdom that TV is TV, the Web is the Web, and never the twain shall meet. One-third of all respondents in a recent survey expressed interest in widgets on their TVs, and a full half are interested in getting Web-based content on their TVs.
“Broadband households are growing accustomed to viewing video off the Internet," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst for Parks Associates, which conducted the survey. “Demand for Web and user-generated content will increase, and those desires will influence their CE purchases and service provider choices. Widgets and VOD libraries will be the first in a long line of advanced video services people will want in their living rooms.”
Parks Associates’ report, “From Boob Tube to YouTube: Consumers and TV,” says the benefits include higher margins and ARPU in providing these Web-like experiences via the television. Service providers could benefit, but consumer electronics manufacturers are already building widgets and Internet access directly into their TVs.
• Tentative labor deal reached for AT&T workers
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Communication Workers of America (CWA) said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract covering more than 20,000 AT&T Mobility employees. The proposed deal calls for an 8.8 percent pay hike over the course of the four-year contract and a $500 bonus, the labor union said.
In addition, thousands of retail sales consultants will earn a minimum monthly commission of $1,000 if they meet certain sales goals. The contract also includes pay raises for hundreds of care workers and dozens of wireless technicians, the union said.
The union began negotiations for a contract covering 125,000 AT&T employees last month. The AT&T Mobility employees have been working without a contract since Feb. 9. Another 22,000 AT&T Mobility employees are covered by separate contracts. AT&T Mobility is a unit of Dallas-based AT&T Inc.
• Arris Group increases share buyback to $100M
By The Associated Press
SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) – Communications technology company Arris Group Inc. said Wednesday it increased its share repurchase program to $100 million.
In February 2008, the board approved a $100 million buyback, and in the first quarter it used $76 million to buy back shares representing about 10 percent of outstanding shares then. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as of Jan. 31 the company had roughly 123.1 million common shares outstanding.
Repurchasing stock takes a company's shares out of circulation, boosting the value of existing shares and fattening profits measured per-share. Companies usually repurchase shares when they feel their stock is undervalued. Arris shares rose 19 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $6.03 in morning trading.
• Paul Jacobs named Qualcomm chairman
By Wireless Week Staff
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs was given a big vote of confidence as he was appointed to succeed his father as chairman of the company.
Jacobs takes over immediately for his father, Irwin Jacobs, who co-founded Qualcomm and served as CEO from 1985 through 2005. The senior Jacobs will continue to serve as a member of the board.
Paul Jacobs took over as CEO in 2005.