News

Comcast to hire 5,500 new workers, spend $300M to bolster customer service

CHICAGO - While not conceding that its poor customer service reputation damned its $45 billion bid to acquire Time Warner Cable  with federal regulators, Comcast pledged to spend $300 million and hire 5,500 new workers to bolster its customer service acumen.

DirecTV CEO: We have 1M subscribers on our skinny bundle

Skinny bundles aren't a new phenomenon, certainly not to satellite provider DirecTV.  Speaking to investors during the company's first quarter earnings call, DirecTV CEO Mike White said that the company has more than 1 million subscribers on its Entertainment Select package, which offers about 130 channels for $19.99 per month with a 24-month contract and $49.99 per month thereafter.  The package includes premium channels HBO, Starz, Cinema and Showtime for three months.

Suddenlink bolsters 1 Gbps service push with deployment of Arris E6000 edge router

CHICAGO--Arris says that its E6000 high-density converged cable access platform has been deployed by Suddenlink Communications, enabling the operator to better offer its customers broadband speeds of 1 Gbps and faster.

INTX keynotes: Roberts debuts X1 voice control, while Powell officially kills the word 'cable'

CHICAGO--Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts used his portion of Tuesday's keynote address at the INTX convention here to introduce--as explosively as possible--the company's highly anticipated Xfinity voice remote.

Netflix asks FCC to reject AT&T-DirecTV merger

Netflix has asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject the $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV. Netflix executives told more than 20 FCC staffers last week, "The proposed merger would make AT&T the largest (multichannel video programing distributor) in the country, and potentially lead to its becoming the largest (Internet service provider) in the country as well."

Comcast deploys Cisco's new cBR-8 on path to 10 Gbps, SDN

CHICAGO--Cisco today unveiled its new cBR-8 Evolved Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) product, noting that Comcast is among the cable operators now deploying the box into its network.

DirecTV adds 60K U.S. subs in Q1 as revenue spikes 4% to $8.14B

DirecTV reported U.S. subscriber growth of 60,000 and global customer expansion of 279,000 in the first quarter, driven by its lowest churn rate in six years.

How cable's consolidation could impact the industry's growing Wi-Fi stronghold

The wheel of fortune continues to spin in the cable operator consolidation game, and that could impact cable operators' Wi-Fi services. What strategies are operators like Charter, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications employing to build their Wi-Fi castles?

Canoe: 4-day-old cable VOD ads are more effective than standard TV commercials

Cable industry advanced advertising consortium Canoe says ads stay fresher over time on cable VOD. Citing research conducted by Frank M. Magid, the joint venture said that ads on cable VOD that were viewed four to seven days after their initial airing outperformed general TV commercials, aimed at the same demos and viewed at the same duration after initial broadcast.

Hulu announces distribution deals with 5 more MVPDs

Hulu says it has reached distribution agreements with five more cable operators: Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom Communications, Midcontinent Communications and WideOpenWest.

Comcast's total bill for its attempted TWC buy: $336M

After 14 months of lobbying federal, state and municipal government officials, running ads and shuffling stacks of paperwork to the FCC, Comcast revealed to investors that its entire tab for its failed acquisition of Time Warner Cable comes to around $336 million.

Cisco CEO Chambers finally out, Chuck Robbins in

John Chambers will end his 20-year run as CEO of technology giant Cisco Systems this summer and will be replaced by company executive Chuck Robbins. Chambers' departure comes after years of analyst speculation.

Cablevision CEO: Our video product is losing margins

Cablevision  continued to see a decline in its video subscribers in the first quarter of 2015 although its overall revenue per use increased which helped offset the decline in customers. The company said video customers dropped 28,000 to 2.65 million in the first quarter 2015, down from 2.68 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.  But average monthly revenue per customer was up 4.8 percent to $155.34 per month over the prior year thanks to rate increases and other pricing strategies.

Comcast boosts revenue 2% to $17.85B but loses another 8K video subs in Q1

Comcast held the line in the first quarter of 2015, reporting a 2.6 percent revenue increase year over year to $17.85 billion despite the roller-coaster ride surrounding its failed merger with Time Warner Cable. But its subscriber numbers tell a tale of the cord-cutting tape, as the cable operator added 407,000 high-speed Internet customers but watched its video subscribers continue to decline.

INTX Live 2015

Chicago played host to the NCTA's newly revamped annual tradeshow, INTX, the Internet & Television Expo, from May 5-7, 2015. FierceCable was on hand covering the keynotes, events and panels as they happened at this cornerstone cable show.

Espial looks to update set-top interfaces with G4

As cable operators work to stem the rise of over-the-top providers like Netflix and HBO Now, they may turn their attention toward smoothing the set-top box user interface as one way to satisfy customers and prevent them from straying, according to longtime cable executive Jeff Huppertz.

Pay-TV operators get TKO'd with service interruptions during Mayweather-Pacquiao match

What was billed as one of the biggest pay-per-view boxing events in decades turned out to be a major collective technical failing for the pay-TV industry.

Comcast set to roll fiber in Chattanooga, 7 years after fighting to stop city's FTTH plan

Comcast is set to deploy a 2 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband product in Chattanooga, Tenn., to 200,000 customers in June, directly competing with fiber services provided by not only AT&T but also municipal utility EPB.

Sling TV adds two Latino-focused channel packs, moves Bloomberg to basic tier

Dish Network has once again bulked up the program offering of its three-month-old over-the-top service, Sling TV, adding two Latino-focused add-on packages while moving Bloomberg TV to the service's basic tier.

Suddenlink loses only 6,400 video subs in Q1, still touting decision to cut Viacom channels

Suddenlink reported a significantly slowed rate of decrease in its number of basic video customers in the first quarter, losing only 6,400, compared with a loss of 35,000 in Q4 2014, its first three-month period after dropping Viacom channels.