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.
ISP looking to reverse
Time Warner Cable is planning to double the Internet speeds of its Ultimate 50 customers, but only in a handful of cities, according to an announcement. First up is Los Angeles, which should shortly see speeds reach up to 100Mbps. By the end of the year, New York City and cities in Hawaii will get the upgrade.
Netflix passes HBO in subscribers
Movie and television streaming service Netflix has reportedly surpassed Time Warner-owned HBO in terms of overall subscriber base. This according to a new report from Bloomberg, which said that Netflix now has roughly 30 million paying US subscribers as of Sept. 30, while HBO has roughly 28.7 million. HBO is seen as the most successful premium channel on traditional television, as well as a natural rival for Netflix given the overlap in their services.
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.
New role related to Apple's TV plans?
Former Hulu executive Pete Distad has confirmed a new job as VP of product marketing at Apple, reports note. Bloomberg first hinted at the recruitment in July, but the switch was only made official this week through a change in Distad's LinkedIn status. Before coming to Apple, Distad was Hulu's senior VP of marketing and distribution.
CBS, Time Warner accuse each other of having hidden agendas
While negotiations to restore CBS programming to Time Warner Cable are underway, reports indicate that they aren't going well. A CBS executive said today that the talks have "gone badly off course" and blamed Time Warner for forcing conditions on the broadcast agreement that would hamper CBS's efforts to work with streaming companies such as Netflix, Apple's iTunes, and Amazon.
14 million people potentially affected by disconnect
In the latest development in the Time Warner Cable and CBS licensing disagreement, Time Warner Cable has yet again discontinued CBS-owned programming in New York City, with other venues to follow. Channels affected by the negotiation failure are local CBS stations, Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC), Flix, and the Smithsonian channel. Areas likely to see the programming cut are Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Pittsburgh.
Aims at pulling in fees from distributors
Apple is negotiating with "other big distributors" about Apple TV apps similar to the one it's working on with Time Warner, according to the New York Times. Sources involved in the talks explain that Apple is hoping to collect fees from distributors in return for improving their TV service. For cable providers, the deals would theoretically keep people paying for subscriptions, a worry in an age when services like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix allow people to be free of cable or satellite packages.
TWC TV app boasts 300 live TV channel streams, Kinect controls
Microsoft will be providing an app for the Xbox 360 that will allow Time Warner Cable customers in the United States to view live TV. The new TWC TV app, said to launch later this summer for TWC subscribers that also signed up for Xbox Live Gold, will provide up to 300 of the cable company's channel roster to the game console, and builds upon existing versions of the app on other platforms.
Board-approved split to be completed by end of year
Time Warner is separating its publishing arm, Time Inc, from the rest of its business. The decision, announced via a statement from the Time Warner board of directors, will see that Time Inc will become an independent and publicly traded property by the end of this year, pending regulatory approval, with the company able to focus entirely on its television networks and film productions.
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.
Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TNT programming hit Netflix
Netflix today announced a new agreement between it and content provider Time Warner that will see programming from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TNT appearing on the streaming service. The deal represents the third agreement between the popular video streaming service and Time Warner, bringing even more Time Warner content to Netflix's service even as Time Warner retains sole control over valuable properties such as HBO's programming. Observers value the deal in the hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on the duration of Netflix's streaming rights.
Exec believes that Apple would solve basic problems of the industry
At the Business Insider Ignition conference, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes expressed his desire to purchase a television designed and built by Apple. The CEO believes that Apple would likely have a solution to a fundamental problem with the television business -- content discovery and search. The executive doesn't believe that Apple will be the only manufacturer dealing with the problem, and expects to see "as many interfaces as you can get."
Verizon, Time Warner won't cut users after multiple copyright warnings
In a forum discussion organized by the Internet Society, the vice presidents of Verizon and Time Warner Cable declared that even after repeated notifications to customers suspected of violating copyright law, the cable companies won't perform any disconnections. The move could ease privacy and due process concerns about the Hollywood copyright holder and ISP co-managed Center for Copyright Information (CCI) overseeing the anti-piracy "six strikes" initiative.
Could pave way for support by Apple TV, other hardware
Time Warner Cable is "hard at work at a cloud-based [TV] guide experience,' but willing to allow third parties to create interfaces for it, says president and COO Rob Marcus. The executive revealed the information at an investor conference in New York earlier today. The catch, Marcus elaborates, is that Time Warner isn't willing to forsake the "customer relationship," meaning that it wants people to know TV is being delivered through TWC instead of a device maker or any other company.
Viacom content returning to Time Warner iOS app
Viacom and Time Warner Cable have agreed to drop lawsuits against one another over the latter's TWC TV app for iOS, according to a joint statement. "All of Viacomís programming will now be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers for in-home viewing via internet protocol-enabled devices such as iPads and Time Warner Cable will continue to carry Viacomís Country Music Television (CMT) programming," the release reads. "In reaching the settlement agreement, Time Warner Cable and Viacom were also able to resolve other unrelated business matters to their mutual satisfaction. Neither side is conceding its original legal position or will have further comment."
By Justin King
Comcast and Time Warner cable subscribers are reportedly blocked from accessing HBO Go content via Xbox 360. Many cable subscribers who were already paying for HBO service through Comcast and Time Warner were surprised to find that their cable providers have yet to participate in the HBO Go program.
Publishes voluntary code of ISP conduct
The FCC, in conjunction with several major network service providers, has published a code of conduct that will help mitigate and eliminate the spread of botnet attacks (PDF). It's asking ISPs to voluntarily abide by that code. Already, seven network providers, representing over one-half of all US-based Internet subscribers have agreed to comply.
Would supplement high-speed data services
Google last week filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking approval to offer fiber-based TV services in Kansas City, Missouri. If approved, the service, coupled with the company's previously announced intentions to offer high-speed internet access, would bring it into direct competition with cable-provider Time Warner as well as satellite services providers. Google has already begun laying fiber-optic cabling needed to offer the broadband-based services.
Company estimates Q1 launch
Time Warner Cable has confirmed that it is working to bring streaming TV content to Android devices. In a Twitter post, Time Warner director of digital communication Jeff Simmermon suggests the feature may be limited to devices running Android 4.0 builds.
World IPv6 Day to launch standard is June 6
The IPv6 Internet addressing standard will get a more formal launch by its backers on June 6, which is being devoted World IPv6 Day. Seven global ISPs will back the new standard then, including AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner. Also onboard are heavily trafficked websites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's Bing, as well as hardware makers Cisco and D-Link.
Claims infringement on 12 VoIP patents
Sprint has filed lawsuits Monday against Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, and Cable One. The complaints against the four were filed separately in a Kansas City federal court. The US' third largest wireless carrier alleges that each cable provider infringed on 12 patents that it holds for digital voice calls sent over landlines.
Google may use traditional TV to upturn system
In an odd decision, Google may go into traditional TV, insiders may have divulged Thursday. The YouTube owner would use its Google Fiber in both Kansas City rollouts to include TV and possible VoIP phone service, the Wall Street Journal was told. Early talks were said underway with Discovery, Disney, and Time Warner to supply content.
E-mails tie copyright officials to RIAA deal
E-mails made available thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (pdf) and unearthed by Wired reveal high-ranking Obama administration officials were actively involved in secret negotiations between Hollywood, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and ISPs. The three sides were found collaborating on plans to disrupt web access for users who are suspected of violating copyright law. The e-mails included executives and lobbyists from the likes of companies like AT&T and Universal Music, among many others.
Xbox 360 to bring TV content as soon as next week
The latest update in Microsoft's bid to bring TV content to Xbox 360 Live has the new content arriving on its game console subscription service as early as next week. Microsoft is engaged in talks on the matter with many content providers and cable companies, with Comcast and Verizon chief among them. A source who couldn't speak publicly revealed these details.
Companies said to be finalizing deal
Time Warner Cable is reportedly preparing to offer HBO's Go apps to its cable TV subscribers. Although the cable provider has yet to publicly confirm the move, which would enable users to access HBO content from mobile devices, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg both companies may be ready to announce an agreement sometime in the next few weeks.
HBO Go may hit Xbox and PS3 soon
Time Warner head Jeff Bewkes said during a results call Wednesday that HBO Go was expanding beyond mobile apps. He expected it to arrive on Internet-capable TVs as well as game consoles in the near future. No signs were given of exactly when or on what platforms.
Agency sees big improvement since 2009 survey
A report issued today by the Federal Communications Commission shows broadband speeds in the U.S. are now significantly closer to what Internet service providers advertise than they were in 2009. The report found that actual download speeds provided by the majority of U.S. broadband providers were within 80 percent or better of companies' advertised speeds. In 2009, download speeds were more often around 50 percent of the advertised rate.
App blocks access from jailbroken iPads
Time Warner Cable has introduced a major update to its iPad app, TWCable TV, which now blocks access from jailbroken devices. Version 2.0 enables users to access a wider range of channels, with more than 100 channels now supported. The interface has also been improved, adding an interactive program guide for setting favorite channels or viewing program listings for up to seven days. Users can also remotely manage their DVR scheduling directly from the app.
Formal suit delayed amid private talks
Viacom and Time Warner are reportedly attempting to privately settle their ongoing legal battle over content streaming on Apple's iPad and similar devices. District Judge Leonard Sand has approved an agreement that effectively stalls the formal litigation process while the parties attempt to find a resolution outside of the court.
Google expects to make money with Fiber
Google will make money on its Google Fiber project, for which it picked Kansas City, KS. According to The Kansas City Star, 1Gbps connections won't just be a test bed for the technology behind it, but have money-making potential. Google's executive in charge of the installation in Kansas, Kevin Lo, said Google expects to make money selling Internet access in Kansas City.
Ongoing lawsuit centers around illegal downloads
US District Court judge Beryl Howell has ordered Time Warner to hand over identities of 250 subscribers accused of illegally downloading movies. The order appears to reject Time Warner's argument that the request is excessively time consuming and expensive. The subpoenas involve three cases from movie production companies Maverick, Donkeyball Movie, and Call of the Wild Movie.
Time Warner to launch first live TV iPad app
Time Warner Cable late Monday said it would be the first known TV provider to have a shipping iPad app with live TV streaming. The app will show 30 standard cable TV channels in HD. It will only work as long as it's on a Wi-Fi router linked to the cable modem but will grow to include channels from more expensive tiers in the future, COO Rob Marcus told the AP.
Time Warner asked to clarify fiber network ads
Time Warner Cable is being asked by a National Advertising Review Board (NARB) panel to stop claiming in ads that it uses fiber optic wires. Competitor Verizon challenged the validity of Time Warner's claims, as it offers a true fiber optic network, FiOS. The ads claim Time Warner's network is "dramatically faster" because of its "advanced fiber optic network."
Comcast, Time Warner intro long-term partnership
Comcast has landed a partnership with Time Warner on Tuesday that will bring shows and movies to Comcast On Demand customers soon after they first air. XfinityTV subscribers will also have access to the streaming content at no additional cost, with content from channels such as TNT, TBS, CNN, HLN, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Those with Turner's apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android-based devices, as well as web users, will also be able to access this content.
Netflix says Apple TV trumps iPad, OKs FCC moves
Netflix while discussing breakthrough results on Wednesday surprised the industry with word that the new Apple TV was already more popular than the iPad for Netflix movie viewing. Apple's media hub had already accumulated more viewing hours in its first four months than the iPad managed in nine. The movie rental service didn't try to explain the gap, but it suggested many still preferred to use Netflix's movie streaming on a TV despite the surge in tablet video.
New content delivery deals struck
Samsung has struck new deals with Comcast and Time Warner. Comcastís Xfinity TV will be distributed to Samsungís smart TVs and on the application store for the Galaxy products interacting through the Comcast set-top box. On the Galaxy Tab, the Xfinity TV experience is a virtual television guide and a mobile video player all in one. Xfinity TV digital customers will be able to browse, discover and sort video content, change the channel on a Samsung smart TV in real time, and program DVRs.
Clearwire chairman McCaw leaves today
Clearwire in an SEC filing revealed that its board chairman Craig McCaw was leaving the company on Friday. The executive had given the company just two days' notice and didn't give a personal reason. His exit wasn't due to disagreements with the company, the WiMAX company said in its official point of view.
Time Warner chief claims Netflix insignificant
Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes in an interview published Sunday tried to downplay the significance of Netflix. He insisted the streaming video provider was far less than it was made out to be in the media. Netflix was much smaller than Time Warner, he argued, and had no chance of disrupting the larger company, likening it for the New York Times to the Albanian military's relative insignificance.
Netflix gets fuller ABC and Disney streaming TV
Netflix landed another major content deal today as it reached a new deal with Disney and ABC. In exchange for a minimum 15-day delay between a first TV appearance and the online version, Netflix will get a much deeper catalog that includes prior-season access to current shows like Grey's Anatomy and full seasons of past shows like Lost and Scrubs. Disney's TV content is expanding, and ABC Family is reaching the Internet for the first time.
Comcast talks Xfinity for Android and usage prices
Comcast today posted an Android version of its Xfinity Mobile mobile app. Less advanced than Xfinity TV for iOS, the app can remotely schedule a DVR and check listings but can't remote control live programming. The app serves as a catch-all for other Comcast services and will take in VoIP voicemail as well as check Comcast mail.
Netflix hoping to get streaming of new TV episodes
Netflix has been pressing hard to get current TV shows on Watch Instantly, according to rumors surrounding negotiations. The company reportedly said it was willing to pay between $70,000 and $100,000 per episode if it meant getting access to a given season while still on the air. Most of the "friction" in the discussions, the New York Post's sources said, has been TV broadcast owners arguing that they have rights over current-season TV that even the show producers themselves would lack.
Microsoft talking Xbox TV subscription service
Microsoft's plans for an Xbox TV service may have become more concrete through a leak on Monday. Two sources today said that it was in early discussions that would bring multiple networks in for a streaming service. The models Reuters understood had been mentioned included both a "virtual cable" that offered a traditional paid service online as well as an option that would grant free access to Internet-enhanced TV for those who have a cable TV subscription.
WiLAN sues three top cable companies
WiLAN, a Canadian company that, in its own words, is charged with "developing, protecting, and monetizing technology intellectual property," has filed another ambitious lawsuit, this time against cable companies Charter, Comcast and Time Warner. The Eastern District of Texas complaint claims that the three allegedly infringed patented technology through their use of cable modems. The 1998 patent covers the broadcasting of data to a number of remote networks and computers.
Offering not said to be aimed at cord cutters
Time Warner Cable is reportedly testing a new cable package, "TV Essentials," that will serve as a cheaper, bare-bones alternative to the company's current offerings. The new package will exclude several major networks such as Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Subscribers can still access local stations and 12 of the top 20 cable networks.
Company claims success with 28-day window
Time Warner is considering a policy change that may bring longer delays for content brought to rental services such as Netflix and Redbox, according to a Bloomberg report. The company suggests its current delay has proven successful, although a change would not be brought until sometime in 2011 when the current deals with partners are set to expire.
Verizon says not involved in Clearwire auction
Verizon Wireless is reported to have denied considering buying spectrum from Clearwire. This comes after several reports maintained the carrier, along with competitors AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint and Time Warner Cable are vying to buy mobile airwaves in an auction from Clearwire. The seller is trying to raise at least $2.5 billion to help build out its 4G network by selling as much as 40MHz of spectrum in each market.
Claims idea jeopardizes syndication sales
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has joined others in the TV industry in criticizing 99-cent TV show rentals and purchases from Apple and Amazon. The executive recently spoke at the Royal Television Conference in London. "How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents an episode," he said, "and thereby jeopardize the sale of the same shows as a series to branded networks that pay hundreds of millions of dollars and make those shows available to loyal viewers for free?"
Disney, Sony, Warner trialing early access movies
Disney, Sony and Warner are close to testing a proposed system that would give Internet access to movies before they've reached Blu-ray or DVD, multiple official and unofficial tips disclosed on Monday. Of the three, Disney would be the most aggressive and would let viewers watch movies on any web-connected device and possibly the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. A Bloomberg contact said Disney would likely be modest, trying one movie under the plan in an early 2011 trial.