Comcast announced that it was buying out General Electric’s 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion instead of waiting until next year’s previously scheduled date of July to take full control of NBCUniversal. Comcast earned $1.52 billion, or 56 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.
Intel said it will sell a set-top box that brings Internet-delivered movies and shows to a TV set this year. Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, said the company plans to sell a box that will offer "a vastly superior experience" to today's cable boxes.
Comcast and Fox Networks announced a multi-platform distribution deal that gives nearly 22 million Xfinity TV customers access to a wide range of video content from Fox across linear TV, online, tablets, mobile devices and gaming consoles.
Bolstered by a nice run of new customer signings, ThinkAnalytics reported financials that saw a doubling of its revenue and profits over the previous year. Recent new customer signings include Cox, Swisscom, Unitymedia in Germany, Zon in Portugal and Nordic operator Canal Digital.
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers announced that it will offer a record 50 virtual classes this year, including nine new or revised courses, across a wide range of technical areas. This year’s virtual lineup is a 35 percent increase over the 37 classes it offered last year.
Ray Milius and his team are responsible for engineering matters at Starz. Starz is not among the largest programmers, but it frequently is among the first programmers to adopt new technologies. Recently, Ray and his team got Starz into TV Everywhere with its Encore and MoviePlex On Demand And Play services.
Years after Netflix, smartphones and tablets all hit the scene, even those service providers capable of multi-screen delivery continue to struggle with the multi-screen phenomenon. That’s because even as service providers respond to viewers’ increasing appetite for video on screens other than the TV, consumers’ multi-screen behavior continues to evolve.
The once heavily tech-driven business model of small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable and broadband service providers is morphing into a kaleidoscope of moving, interchangeable parts. Smaller operators whose subscriber counts number in the four- and five-figure range are fiddling with and tweaking their business models like never before.
The multi-screen transformation has taken the video world by storm. Customers now expect the same video services they receive on their set-top box on their video-capable devices. Adoption of multi-screen services is occurring across the spectrum, running the gamut of service providers, content providers and enterprises.
Technology development is accelerating, and consumer and enterprise demand for bandwidth-hungry content and applications continues to expand. The need for global standardization has become an industry prerequisite, driven by the needs of service providers to deliver robust new services quickly and cost-effectively.
John Malone’s Liberty Global is in the process of cooking up a deal to buy Virgin Media. Virgin Media’s price tag could be in the range of $24 billion, while its market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion.
There is a movement toward usage-based pricing that borrows from an electrical utility model of the early 1900s. Today’s megabits are yesterday’s kilowatts, and like power companies before them, service providers appreciate the symbiotic relationship that device makers can deliver.
There are so many TV choices available that it’s virtually impossible for consumers to discover what’s really there. The challenge is proactively presenting subscribers with personalized content recommendations, instead of forcing them to work hard to find something they like to watch.
Greenlee introduced its new 910FS Optical Fusion Splicer and 910CL Optical Fiber Cleaver; Actiontec launched ScreenBeam, a wireless display kit that lets users mirror their PC, tablet and smartphone displays on an HDTV; and Celeno and Atmel are developing integrated solutions for high-performance Wi-Fi Direct remote controls.
On a fourth-quarter and year-end earnings conference call, Time Warner Cable President and COO Rob Marcus outlined some of the cable operator’s key initiatives for this year, which included the rollout of a cloud-based user interface on IP set-top boxes and gateways.