BEST OF MULTICHANNEL.COM1/17/2011 12:01 AM Eastern
CES Draws 140,000 to Tech Extravaganza
LAS VEGAS — More than 140,000 people attended the 2011 International
Consumer Electronics Show from Jan. 6-9, according to preliminary figures
from the Consumer Electronics Association, which produces the world’s
up at least
for the 2010
record 30,000 international attendees and 22 top CEOs participating in keynotes,
including Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner
Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt.
Other data points, per CEA: More than 80 tablets were launched at the
show, and Twitter users posted more than 158,000 CES-related tweets since
Monday, Jan. 3.
“The 2011 International CES was a phenomenal worldwide event that
spanned global industries including technology, automotive and entertainment
markets,” CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “This
global technology gathering featured more innovation, more news, more social
media buzz and more international attendance than any other show in CES
BigBand Cuts Staff Ahead of Results Report
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — Video equipment vendor BigBand Networks, one of the
leading providers of switched digital video gear, will cut 9% of its staff — or
40 employees worldwide — as part of cost-reduction measures.
The company disclosed the layoffs in announcing preliminary results for
the fourth quarter of 2010. BigBand expects the job cuts, along with the consolidation
of certain facilities, to achieve annualized cost savings of approximately
$8 million. As a result of these measures, BigBand expects to incur a
one-time charge of approximately $2 million in the first quarter of 2011.
For the fourth quarter, BigBand expects to report revenue of about $26 million,
with a net loss of approximately $0.09 per share.
The company has been hurt by faltering sales and undertook a management
shakeup last spring. In May 2010, the company said it would cut 6% of
its work force, representing about 30 full-time employees and contractors.
BigBand is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2010 earnings on Feb. 1 after
RGB Networks Gears Up for IPO in 2011
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — Video-equipment vendor RGB Networks is gearing up for
an initial public offering this year, touting a 60% increase in shipments for
2010 and forecasting similar growth in the next 12 months.
RGB CEO Jef Graham said the company was profitable for 2010 and ended
the year with a record backlog of orders and positive cash flow from operations.
While he declined to specify revenue figures for the year, he said RGB
has sold nearly $200 million in products and services to more than 200
cable, telco, satellite, over-the-top video and mobile operators in more than
30 countries since 2005.
“As I’m preparing to go to market, I”m trying to illustrate the fact that
we’re a growing company,” Graham told Multichannel News.
Compared with some vendors in the cable sector — Graham called out
BigBand Networks, which announced a 9% headcount reduction this week —
RGB is not as dependent on the U.S. cable market. In 2010, 25% of the company’s
business was non-U.S., mostly in Canada and Latin America. This year
Graham expects that to increase to 40%.
Graham said RGB’s growth engine will be the Video Multiprocessing Gateway,
which is designed to be a carrier-class, highly scalable platform for delivering
video to “three screens.” In June 2010, RGB acquired RipCode, a mobile
IP video startup, and has integrated its technology into VMG.
Intelsat Gets Grip on Galaxy 15
WASHINGTON — Intelsat in late December re-established control over Galaxy
15 — about nine months after the operator lost contact with the so-called
“zombie” satellite — and may be able to put it back in service as early as
On April 5, 2010, Galaxy 15 stopped responding to ground controllers because
of what now appears to be a problem with the firmware in its telemetry
and commanding subsystems, Intelsat vice president of satellite operations
and engineering Toby Nassif said in a teleconference with reporters Thursday.
“We have confirmed the best-case scenario … and we have recovered full
functionality,” Nassif said.
Intelsat is aiming for Jan. 31 to complete testing and would potentially be
able to return Galaxy 15 into commercial operation at that time, vice president
of corporate communications and investor relations Dianne VanBeber
Galaxy 15 was launched Oct. 13, 2005, and is expected to remain in service
Harmonic Ups Carrington to Sales Post
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Harmonic elevated Mark Carrington to vice president of
worldwide sales, while separately announcing the departure of Omneon president
The changes come after Harmonic closed the $273 million acquisition of
Omneon, a provider of video-production and playout systems, in September.
“Our integration work with the Omneon acquisition is proceeding on track
and combining the entire worldwide sales teams under Mark is a natural step
for the combined company,” Harmonic president and CEO Patrick Harshman
said in a statement.
Last November, Harmonic promoted Carrington, previously vice president of
service and support, to head Harmonic sales, taking over for vice president of
sales Matt Aden, who left the company “for personal reasons.”
Carrington originally joined Harmonic through its $1.7 billion acquisition of
C-Cube Microsystems’ DiviCom unit, completed in 2000.
Vasudevan is leaving to pursue another opportunity, Harmonic said.
Disney/ABC Hires Comcast’s Karin Gilford
Gilford reports to Albert Cheng, executive vice president of digital media for
Disney/ABC Television Group. She will be responsible for ABC’s digital-media
initiatives, including ABC.com as well as the network’s digital efforts on mobile
platforms and interactive TV technologies.
At Comcast, Gilford was senior vice president of online media at Comcast
Interactive Media, where she was involved in the operator’s initial launch of
authenticated online content.
Before joining Comcast in July 2008, Gilford spent eight years with Yahoo
in several roles, including vice president and general manager of Yahoo Entertainment
where she led all programming, content and business strategy for
the company’s entertainment consumer websites. She also previously held
positions in business development and finance at Paramount Pictures International
Television and Ernst & Young.
— All items by Todd Spangler