Bid possible due to decline in Comcast stock price since merger announcement
Just a few short days after Comcast's hearing on Capital Hill, Charter Communications is said to be evaluating the notion of starting a bidding war for Time Warner Cable against Comcast. Potentially at stake are the subscribers that Comcast has promised to divest should the merger take place -- worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Wi-Fi hotspots to form core of proposed Comcast carrier
Comcast is considering expanding its existing cable services into becoming a carrier, according to a report. The operator is said to be working on a service that will use Wi-Fi from subscriber routers and public hotspots to provide the bulk of connections, supplemented by cellular coverage provided by an existing carrier, in a hybrid service similar to one Google is reportedly looking into creating.
May tie into earlier Time Warner rumors
An FCC filing made by Comcast and Time Warner -- attempting to defend their proposed merger -- also hints that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top, reports note. "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas," part of the filing reads. "Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."
Remarks in response to Netflix concerns of ISPs demanding payment for traffic
The FCC is apparently not going to examine Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' call for a wider net neutrality. Shutting down the discussion, an FCC spokesperson said that the matter was not up for consideration in the upcoming Open Internet proceeding. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted (incorrectly in the eyes of critics) that arrangements such as between Netflix and Comcast are "not a net-neutrality issue."
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
First Comcast transparency report details government requests for customer data
Comcast received a total of 24,698 requests for customer data from law enforcement officials in 2013, the company has revealed in its first transparency report. The telecommunications provider is joining a number of other technology companies, including competitor Verizon, in providing summary figures to reveal how much data the US government is requesting about its subscribers.
Multi-state group to look at effect on broadband industry
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are facing more than just federal inspection of the merger between the pair. Reports are surfacing that Florida, Indiana, and other as-yet-unnamed states are looking at the transaction, in conjunction with the federal government effort by the US Department of Justice.
Report notes six percentage point drop on cable company market share
According to data collated by the Leichtman Research Group, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are suffering under the weight of the economy and the "cord-cutting" movement. In 2013, Comcast lost 305,000 subscribers, with Time Warner Cable shedding 825,000. Combined, the pair will have 33.1 million customers, approximately two-thirds of the US cable company market.
'Energy Rewards' program offers Comcast benefits, movie screenings to users
Cable provider Comcast has partnered with a division of NRG Energy to launch an electricity-supplying initiative known as Energy Rewards. The very limited trial, in portions of Allegheny County and Beaver County in Pennsylvania, offers entertainment industry-related benefits for customers of the new effort, including "extended freeviews" of premium channels, and prepaid Visa cards as rewards for signing up.
Four committees have vast majority of members with Comcast funding
Comcast is scheduled to appear before Congress to defend its proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Records have recently been uncovered that show Comcast's political action committee having given contributions to 15 of 18 Senate Judiciary Committe members, and 32 of 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee. Both committees have scheduled hearings regarding the merger, and can allow -- or prevent -- the buyout from happening.
Comcast subscribers can soon purchase access to Netflix produced House of Cards
Comcast subscribers will soon be able to purchase access to the episodic series House of Cards without requiring Netflix, according to a report by Variety. The cable company has struck a pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, providing rights to sell the first season of House of Cards through its Xfinity Store service. The Xfinity store offers on-demand video streaming on a variety of devices for Comcast subscribers -- the company's own answer to Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. In a similar deal made with Lionsgate, Orange is the New Black will be available on the Xfinity Store in May.
CEO calls deals necessary for survival of streaming services like Netflix
In an interview with CNBC, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam noted that he was fairly certain that he would strike a similar deal as Comcast's with Netflix, making the streaming video purveyor pay for bandwidth, at least in part. McAdam called the Netflix deal with Comcast a "good thing," which allows for funding necessary infrastructure maintenance and build-outs.
Content streaming company to have direct access to ISP network
In a report from the Wall Street Journal, Netflix has entered into an agreement with Comcast to end throttling of bandwidth by the provider. Netflix customers have been plagued by declining streams since an appeals court ruled the FCC's net neutrality rules were invalid. The move comes as a surprise as the FCC is currently working on new strategies to keep the companies from treating internet traffic in an unfair manner. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed sum in order to have a direct link to the ISP.
Cable company deal covers 30 million subscribers, could complete by end of 2014
Comcast has announced it will acquire Time Warner Cable, confirming earlier reports. The purchase will see Comcast acquire 100 percent of TWC's 284.9 million shares, worth approximately $45.2 billion, with the stock-for-stock transaction exchanging each TWC share for approximately 2.875 CMCSA (Comcast) shares, or effectively $158.52 per TWC share.
Deal offers $159 per share for buyout
Reports of a finalized deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast have begun to circulate. According to CNBC reporter David Faber, Comcast will be offering $159 per share to purchase Time Warner Cable. Any deal would be subject to Federal Communications scrutiny, and would likely take over a year to finalize.
Companies study potential antitrust hurdles
Comcast is reportedly mulling a potential takeover bid for competitor Time Warner Cable, unnamed sources have told CNBC. Although Time Warner Cable is said to be considering various buyers, the company is claimed to favor a merger with Comcast if it finalizes the decision to sell.
Xfinity TV Store offers movies weeks before DVD releases
Comcast has launched a service that sells movie and TV show streams and downloads to customers on set-top boxes, one that leaked late last week. The Comcast Xfinity TV Store extends Comcast's existing video-on-demand free and rental offerings with an option to have purchases permanently viewable in the future.
Cable company could offer movie purchases shortly after theatre run
Comcast could allow its subscribers to buy movies on their cable boxes, according to recent reports. The cable company is claimed by unnamed sources to be preparing to offer customers the service, via set-top boxes and through the browser via the Xfinity TV website, with the possibility that it will launch before the end of this year.
Package geared for streaming content
Comcast is reportedly preparing a new offering that essentially unbundles HBO service from a traditional cable TV package. In a promotion spotted by GigaOM, the company is enabling customers to purchase basic Internet service with local TV channels and HBO content for $40 per month.
Changes expected as Vodafone removed from picture
Verizon has reportedly confirmed that it has ended a joint venture with cable companies Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. In a conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo suggested the partnership was terminated in August in response to developments in technology and changing market conditions.
Negotiations could lead to Netflix video on cable boxes in future
Cable providers in the United States could be adding Netflix to its set-top boxes in the future, according to a new report. The streaming video service is said to be in early-stage negotiations with cable services to introduce the app to customers, which would in theory allow subscribers to directly use Netflix without switching to another living room device, such as a game console.
Box for Android introduces updates feed, offline support, multiple accounts
Cloud storage service Box has updated its Android app with a number of changes. The new updates feed in version 2.2 includes a document preview area for recently-uploaded items as well as recent activity, something viewable in the new resizable home screen widget, while offline file support has been enhanced. Multiple accounts can now be accessed in the same app, and a new navigation drawer and viewing options are also included.
Plan will provide downloaders with legal content links, claims report
Comcast is said to be working on its own alternative to the Copyright Alert System (CAS) anti-piracy system, also known as "six strikes," operated by the Center for Copyright Infromation (CCI). The rumored system would see Comcast providing users identified as downloading infringing content links to buy or rent the content legally.
Launch limited to Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Comcast has expanded its Xfinity TV service to offer a prepaid version to customers. The pay-as-you-go cable service will provide users with a number of standard definition channels, including a mix of local and national channels, and provides a way for potential viewers to get cable TV without requiring to submit to a credit check nor provide a Social Security Number.
Five bidders in the running to purchase the media streamer
Bids for the latest attempt to sell Hulu closed on Friday at 2PM PT, with no clear leader. Reportedly at the top of the bidding with very similar offers are DirecTV, The Chernin Group, and Guggenheim Digital Media. Two other bidders allegedly behind the top three are Time Warner Cable, and equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Beyond just undisclosed cash considerations, the conglomerate that currently own the digital video streaming service are evaluating content licensing provisions, which vary suitor to suitor.
Use of the network free to existing Comcast customers
Comcast is beginning to give its Xfinity Internet customers an additional "xfinitywifi" SSID network in-home that is completely separate and distinct from the family’s private and secure home Wi-Fi signal. The move, in effect, creates millions of hotspots for Comcast customers, available all over the country for no additional cost.
Executive believes United States is 'a world leader' in broadband
The average American consumer does not need gigabit Internet access at this moment in time, according to the Vice President of Comcast. David Cohen claims the issue of gigabit speeds to end users is "really more about demand than supply," suggesting that high-speed Internet services such as Google Fiber are not required.
Third party devices need adapter, Comcast set-top boxes unaffected
Comcast will start encrypting its basic cable service in the coming months. Though users with a Comcast-provided set-top box will be able to decrypt the new signals without any problem, customers with either a third-party cable box or devices that directly connect to a cable outlet will need to request some equipment.
New user monitoring system powered by error-prone MarkMonitor
As expected, the Center for Copyright Information's BitTorrent monitoring system has launched, but with all five previously-announced ISPs starting up in one day. Participating ISPs in the measure, also known as "six strikes," include Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Cablevision, and Time Warner, plus all subsidiaries of the parent companies.
Sources familiar with the matter claim all five ISPs commence this week
According to reports, the much-delayed "six strikes" copyright enforcement monitoring system will go live over the next week, with Internet provider Comcast launching on Monday. The Copyright Alert System (CAS), run by the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has no official launch date, and has been held up by implementation issues, and the damaging effects of Superstorm Sandy. ISPs AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are all signed up for the system.
Deal expected to complete with little interference by end of 1Q
Comcast has announced today that it is acquiring GE's 49 percent common equity share of the NBCUniversal joint venture. The deal, worth $16.7 billion -- plus $1.4 billion for 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the CNBC headquarters -- will be funded with $11.4 billion in cash, $4 billion of unsecured notes, $2 billion in new debt, and $725 million of stock issued to GE as terms of the agreement.
Xfinity TV app works for Android and iOS
Comcast announced today that it would be extending the opportunity for its Xfinity TV customers to download content from the Internet to their mobile devices. The Xfinity TV Player App now lets customers watch their favorite content while on the go, without having to be connected to the Internet for streaming. Starting today, customers can download thousands of premium TV and movie content from Showtime, Starz, Encore, and Movieplex.
Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T plan gaming service
The major cable companies are looking to take a big step into the gaming sector, according to reports. Sources familiar with the cable companies' plans tell Bloomberg that they will soon be rolling out trials of a cloud-based gaming offering service, taking on game console makers such as Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. The trials are scheduled to begin later this year, with AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Cox all working on offerings.
Memo hints at management buyout, content changes
Content streaming site Hulu may be about to undergo significant changes over the next few months as an internal realignment looms that could see current CEO Jason Kilar departing. Variety has obtained an internal memo from the site detailing the possible reorganization within the streaming site. The coming changes could see not only the departure of Kilar, but also a significant weakening of the popular television portal.
New speed tier announced via internal live event stream
Comcast is reportedly planning to offer a 305Mbps Internet connection before the end of the year. Someone that Broadband Reports considers a reliable source claimed all Comcast employees were treated to a streaming live event about future Xfinity plans, where Chief Executive Officer Neil Smit mentioned the faster tier would be in Verizon FiOS territories "soon."
Comcast pays $800,000 'voluntary' fee to FCC
Comcast has reached a deal with federal regulators to settle an investigation into the company's compliance with terms of the NBCUniversal merger. A payment of $800,000 must be made by Comcast, as well as starting an advertising campaign pushing inexpensive and "reasonably fast" Internet connectivity to customers who don't subscribe to Comcast cable's television services. Comcast claims to have done nothing wrong, and is making the payment "voluntarily."
Overbroad subpoenas quashed, civil case closed
As previously reported, Internet service provider Comcast attempted to quash "John Doe" subpoenas in an adult video pirating case. The company had argued that the case was about "shaking down" its customers and pushing for settlements out of the 264 potential infringers rather than any interest in actually stopping the piracy. The company has now been handed a victory in court, as Judge Gary Feinerman ruled that Comcast was not in contempt of court for ignoring subpoenas from four adult video companies. The civil case was also dismissed.
Motion to suppress subpoenas filed, information not revealed
Internet provider Comcast historically complies with content owner's requests to name BitTorrent infringers when provided with sufficient data, but a legal skirmish in the Illinois district court is playing out differently. Comcast has asked the court to dismiss the subpoenas for subscriber's information issued in a battle with four adult video purveyors, saying the case is about coercing settlements out of the 264 potential infringers rather than pursuing legal action.
FCC may require Verizon to divest some AWS spectrum, marketing conditions may see deal fall
Verizon's $3.6 billion buy of AWS spectrum may be approved by the FCC after all, analysts believe, though it will require a number of conditions. For one, it may have to give up some of its spectrum, and has already offered to give some up in the past. What may stand in the way is the conditions of the sale, with all involved trying to get the most of it, CNET reported.
Boston's 'The Cable Show' host for Comcast's announcements
In a trio of recent announcements from cable giant Comcast, the company announced Voice 2Go, adding a new assortment of features for the Xfinity Voice suite pulled from the smartphone feature set. Also at Boston's The Cable Show Comcast's new next-generation customizable user interface codenamed "Project Dayview" was demonstrated. Rounding out the trio of announcements, the X1 cloud-based IPTV service was also shown. All three services will be rolled out to select markets by the end of this year.
Viewdini platform will aggregate video content from free, paid services
At The Cable Show in Boston, Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced it will soon release a new platform called Viewdini that will allow streaming of video content to subscribers of Comcast Xfinity, Hulu Plus, mSpot, Netflix, and TV sites to their mobile devices. Also, 4G mobile plans are required, and the service will only be available to Android-powered devices first, though support for other platforms is promised, as is content from Verizon FiOS.
New max 300GB, additional charge if exceeded
The official Comcast blog revealed its new data-usage monitoring and management plan. An internet data usage policy enacted in 2008 allowing residential users 250GB of traffic a month has been revoked. The old policy is being replaced by a system that kicks in after 300GB, and additional data above that will be offered in paid blocks or increments. No date for the launch or firm fees for additional data have been announced.
Nationwide rollout of Skype on Xfinity commences
Comcast has made its Skype on Xfinity system available in Boston and Seattle in the first stage of a nationwide rollout. The previously leaked Skype camera allows users to perform video calls through the service, with instant messaging available while watching TV at the same time.
Company said to be watching Comcast/Netflix debacle
Sony is reportedly stalling its plans to develop a streaming television service, amid fears over potential net-neutrality conflicts. The company's vice president and general manager of global video, Michael Aragon, has finally confirmed rumors surrounding the service, however he told attendees at Variety's Entertainment & Technology Summit that the plans have been put on hold due to the conflict between Netflix and Comcast.
Verizon and Comcast offer double data plans
Verizon and Comcast are expanding their cross-promotional activities into six new markets. The cross-selling gives customers of both companies various incentives including prepaid Visa cards and an offer to double their data package sizes.
Hulu may shift wholesale to requiring TV service
Hulu may remove itself from contention as a pure Internet video service based on rumors overnight. The historically connected New York Post cited insiders who claimed the service would take the Fox authentication strategy, where customers must prove they have conventional TV access, and make it a broader policy. Fox's deal would see it soon talk to Comcast for a deal using the TV Everywhere imitative.
Carrier accuses rival of hypocrisy
Earlier this month, T-Mobile went to Washington to protest Verizon's planned purchase of Advanced Wireless Services airwaves from cable companies, writing a letter (PDF) to the FCC urging the regulatory body to block the spectrum sale. Now, Verizon is turning the tables on its competitor, accusing T-Mobile of hypocrisy in a letter of its own.
Netflix Q1 beats estimates but takes on Comcast
Netflix was aggressive both in performance and in political stance with its quarterly results on Monday. Despite anticipating significant losses, it lost just $5 million as part of its push to the UK and other countries where the consensus had been closer to a $16.9 million hit. Its revenue at $870 million, while down from the fall, was up 21 percent over a year earlier, reflecting the much larger number of subscribers.
Verizon uses 700MHz as bargaining chip
Verizon has said it would put up some of its 700MHz wireless spectrum up for sale if it's cleared to go ahead with its cable company spectrum deal. The move would give up sections of the A and B blocks of 700MHz space it runs in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Its plan wouldn't directly affect the existing LTE network, which runs on the C block.
Netflix may spur FCC action on Comcast neutrality
A commentary by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may have brought official FCC scrutiny on Comcast for its cap exemption of Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360. He argued that Comcast was violating net neutrality principles by giving its own service a 'free' pass while applying the cap to competing services, including not just his own Netflix but HBO Go and Hulu Plus as well. After being asked by the Wall Street Journal, the FCC said it "takes seriously" allegations of violations like these and was following what was going on.