In his first earnings call as CEO of Time Warner Cable, Rob Marcus outlined the company’s operating plan going forward and further rebutted Charter Communications’ attempt to takeover the nation’s second-largest cable operator. Time Warner Cable executives went to great lengths to refute Charter Communications’ position that the company was poorly managed and likely to see a further erosion of its subscriber base.
In an effort to speed up its evolution to cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, TiVo announced this morning that was buying search and recommendation vendor Digitalsmiths for $135 million in cash. Once it passes the customary closing conditions, the deal is slated to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
Once known as 4Manager, it will now be referred to as Guru, though it gets to keep its revision number. Guru 4.0 includes a new and improved user interface, as well as tools such as enhanced monitoring, connectivity enhancements, device auto-discovery and scheduled service control.
Over the past few Olympics, NBC has shown more live coverage over the Internet than it has on TV. For the upcoming Winter Games, Comcast's Xfinity TV subscribers will be able to tap the breadth of that online coverage on their big screens.
Icahn made it clear he wants to see an Apple television set, a device that has been a subject of company speculation for the past three years. Steve Jobs, Apple's late CEO and co-founder, suggested Apple was working on a TV set in interviews with his biographer before he died in October 2011.
MSOs continue to gradually accrete more networks for their TV Everywhere line-ups. Time Warner Cable and ally Bright House Networks said they have just signed A&E, History and Lifetime. TWC is already hosting the apps for those networks as part of its TV Everywhere offerings. Bright House Networks will follow next week.
Comcast and NBCUniversal have struck a wide-ranging, 10-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers to provide a range of services at the new Levi’s Stadium. Hooking up professional sports stadiums with its Ethernet and Wi-Fi services is nothing for new Comcast, but the deal with the 49ers also included programming elements as well.
IVA’s entertainment metadata will be matched to the ThinkAnalytics Search and Recommendations Engine. The combination will enable video service providers to present trailers and other promotional content with the results of a search or a recommendation process.
Verizon Communications confirmed that it will buy Intel Media, Intel’s IP video operation. The company expects to use the technology to improve multi-screen delivery on both its wireline FiOS network and on its wireless LTE network. Intel Media was driving to become a competitive commercial video company, similar to Netflix, Amazon Instant, or the forthcoming service from Sony.
Starting today, subscribers of Sweden’s Com Hem can access Netflix content via an app on their set-top boxes. According to Broadband TV, Netflix is available to Com Hem users that have TiVo boxes in their homes. The deal is similar to the one Virgin Media, TiVo and Netflix cooked up late last year.
Microsoft is working with NeuLion to enable the delivery of the channel at 60 fps. Doubling the typical frame rate of live video is especially pertinent with sports broadcasts. Sports networks, including ESPN, consistently say that if forced to choose between one or the other, a faster frame rate is preferable to higher resolution.
Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnalytics and SeaChange International announced this morning that they had signed a global reseller agreement. With the deal in place, ThinkAnalytics has integrated its search and recommendation engine into SeaChange’s Adrenalin backoffice platform.
Harris Broadcast announced this morning that it had completed its purchase of Imagine Communications. The deal brought Imagine’s adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology into Harris’ product portfolio. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released.
After rumors of a subscription streaming music service for some time, AT&T announced it has hooked up with Beats Music for a new family-orientated offering that will launch Jan. 21. The deal with Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics will allow AT&T wireless customers to stream or download the service to five family members on up to 10 devices for $15 a month.
The eight-show system involves Dish's Hopper DVR and a new Super Joey add-on box for separate rooms. The catch is that four of those shows have to be from the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Dish also unveiled partnerships with LG Corp. and Sony Corp. so that Hopper users can watch recorded shows in a second room without needing a Joey.
Shaw Communications has launched A&E’s app to give its Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct authenticated subscribers TV Everywhere access to shows such as “Duck Dynasty,” “Storage Wars,” and “Rodeo Girls.” The A&E app, which launched Thursday, works on iOS, Android and Kindle devices, and is available online.
A study by Parks Associates projected that there will be more than 103 million pay-TV households in the United States by the end of this year. The report, which was announced at CES this morning, said that two-thirds of the pay-TV households expressed interest in features that they currently don’t have, namely remote access to DVR content.
Amazon will have exclusive ad-free streaming rights in the U.S. to a CBS thriller this summer starring Halle Berry. Episodes will be available for free on CBS.com and CBS' app with ads the day after they air on CBS. Members of Amazon's $79-a-year Prime service will be able to watch "Extant" ad-free four days after broadcast.
Among the many things Sony announced at CES, two could be momentous for established MVPDs: the company plans to introduce a competitive web-based video service, and it plans to switch delivery of Playstation games from selling physical disks to a streaming model.
Thriller and horror network Fearnet has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Buckeye CableSystem. Starting yesterday, Fearnet became available to Buckeye’s subscribers on its digital basic package in both SD and HD. Buckeye also locked up TV Everywhere rights from Fearnet.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, Samsung TVs would get UHD content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast's set-top boxes.
Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once and can be controlled by voice. In a stunt worthy of the annual gadget show, International CES, Dish executive Vivek Khemka also showed off how its Hopper digital video recorder can be set to record shows using Google's high-tech eyewear, Google Glass.
Using HTML5, ActiveVideo has updated its CloudTV software platform to provide cable operators and online video providers the ability to deliver web-style interactive TV ads at scale and with increased simplicity. The key to ActiveVideo’s CloudTV Adcast platform is that it can render the ads in the cloud across legacy set-top boxes as well as in a wide range of IP devices.
Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market, Roku's Internet streaming platform has some 1,200 apps and offers a more comprehensive selection of niche content.
Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers. Among the plans being tested are a $6.99-a-month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched at once, and a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, whether on a TV, tablet or computer.