The Edmond Sun

Business

April 26, 2014

Netflix cracks cable market in deals with 3 providers

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix Inc. has signed deals with three U.S. pay-TV operators, putting the video-streaming service on an equal footing with traditional cable networks like HBO for the first time in the domestic market.

The three small operators, RCN Telecom Services, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications, will offer Netflix on living-room TVs through set-top boxes made by TiVo Inc., according to statements from the companies Thursday.

While the three total fewer than 1 million customers, the deals mark a big step in efforts by Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings to simplify access to his service. With TiVo, consumers will be able to sign up for Netflix and search for shows without toggling between inputs on their TVs. Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix has similar deals in Europe.

"What we're doing is really a watershed moment for the industry," said David Isenberg, Atlantic Broadband's chief marketing and strategy officer. "This partnership with Netflix really signals the beginning of the broadband TV era."

Financial terms weren't disclosed. In the past, Netflix has agreed to pay set-top box makers and others certain fees when subscribers sign up through their equipment.

Netflix has discussed partnerships with Comcast Corp., the biggest cable company, and other providers that don't offer TiVo boxes to their customers. Hastings said this week those talks are continuing.

San Jose, Calif.-based TiVo began shipping new set-top boxes in recent months with faster processors that let users load the Netflix service more quickly. Atlantic Broadband, owned by Montreal-based Cogeco Cable Inc., was the first U.S. provider to deploy the most advanced box, called Roamio.

"Our view has long been that the marriage of linear television and streaming over-the-top TV is the future of television, and Netflix has clearly emerged as a must-have over- the-top service," TiVo President and CEO Tom Rogers said in an e-mailed statement.

Sweden's Com Hem and Virgin Media, a British-based unit of Liberty Media, began offering Netflix last year as part of their rollout of TiVo set-top boxes in Europe. Under those deals, people still would have to sign up for the streaming service, and Netflix would control its own billing.

Cable companies are beginning to embrace Netflix as an adjunct to their live TV and on-demand services. The subscription service's library of past seasons of television shows complements cable's lineup, Isenberg said.

Until recently, Netflix couldn't offer its service through cable set-top box providers because it hadn't obtained rights from content owners. The three cable providers say that, with those now secure, they will promote Netflix by adding a dedicated channel on their program guides to access the service.

 "This is all part of continuing to improve and enrich our customers' viewing experience," said Jim Holanda, CEO at RCN and Grande Communications.

Customers of Atlantic Broadband, Grande or RCN who want Netflix under the new arrangement will pay separately for the service, in addition to their usual cable package.

The companies provide TV services in the eastern United States, Chicago and Texas.



 

1
Text Only
Business
  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • Planning Commission approves rezoning

    The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district.  Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
    “They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”

    July 25, 2014

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • UCO campus 3.jpg University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment

    The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.          
    Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council approves funds toward ADA update

    City Council members have approved a $398,800 professional services contract with Accessology, a McKinney, Texas, firm, to establish an Americans With Disabilities Act transition plan for the city.
    Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to make their programs and services accessible to persons with disabilities. It includes access to government facilities, programs and events and relevant policy changes.
    Accessology was selected out of a pool of five finalists by a five-member committee to create Edmond’s plan. The firm will partner with Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm located in North Carolina.
    Edmond’s last ADA transition plan was created in 1992.

    July 21, 2014

  • Panel approves jail services agreement

    City Council members have approved renewal of the city’s jail services agreement with Oklahoma County for prisoners incarcerated at the county jail on city charges.
    The current annual agreement expired June 30. It provides the feeding, care, housing and upkeep of said prisoners. Edmond uses the county jail when the city jail is at capacity.
    The sheriff’s office proposed a slight increase from $46.25 to a $46.50 daily rate per prisoner. City staff said the current agreement is working satisfactorily and believe the proposed rate is reasonable. The new agreement took effect July 1. The city can hold prisoners in its current jail  up to 10 days; a new jail with 10 male and five female cells will be available inside the new Public Safety Center next year when the facility opens.

    July 21, 2014

  • Panel establishes 911 phone rate

    City Council members have established the rate for the 911 emergency phone service fee for calendar year 2015
    Council members set the rate at 3 percent of the recurring charges as designated by the tariff for exchange telephone service or its equivalent within Edmond beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
    Fees collected by wireless and voice over Internet protocol companies are established under a separate statute. To continue collection of the locally authorized service fee on landline phone bills, local governments must approve a resolution on an annual basis to set the actual fee.
    Governments must also through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments notify the appropriate incumbent local exchange carrier and competitive local exchange carrier phone companies by Sept. 1, 2015.
    ACOG recommended for calendar year 2015 to maintain service fees at their current level of 3 percent.

    July 21, 2014

  • Council approves $2.5M extra for utility

    City Council members have approved the transfer of a $2.5 million appropriation for Edmond Electric.
    The action was needed due to higher natural gas prices. Those increased prices caused wholesale electric purchase costs to exceed the department’s budget estimates for Fiscal Year 2013-14. To cover the increased costs, a transfer of funds from the “Transfers” category to the “Other Services and Charges” category was necessary.
    It will maintain state law requirements and not increase Edmond Electric’s budget.
    The action occurred during Monday’s meeting and was approved unanimously.

    July 21, 2014

Stocks