We upgrade our recommendation on
Liberty Global plc.
) to Neutral following its recent acquisition of Virgin Media.
The acquisition has positioned the company as the largest pay-TV
operator globally. Liberty Global currently has a Zacks Rank #3
Why the Upgrade?
On Jun 2013, Liberty Global completed the acquisition of
British cable MSO Virgin Media. Together, Liberty Global and
Virgin Media had approximately 24.5 million subscribers at the
end of the second quarter of 2013. In the U.K., the merged entity
poses serious competitive threat to British Sky Broadcasting
Group plc. and
BT Group plc.
Recently, Virgin Media decided to offer the video-subscription
service of the online video streaming service provider,
). With this, for the first time in the global pay-TV industry,
web-based service will be integrated into cable system.
Initially, Virgin Media will test run the Netflix service with
its 40,000 subscribers who use the company's next-generation
set-top boxes developed by
At the end of the second quarter of 2013, the company had over
1.7 million video subscribers who use TiVo developed set-top
boxes. This new converged digital TV platform provides improved
graphics, on-demand video content, catch-up TV service, and
web-based applications including games and personal video
recorder. The set-top box integrates the Internet and live TV on
one screen through fiber-optic cable.
Liberty Global has launched a hybrid IP video gateway called
"Horizon TV" in Netherlands and Switzerland. This innovative IP
gateway will combine cable operators' video services with
web-based content through an integrated cable modem. This modem
includes an open software developer platform and application
Further, customers can view TV programs on multiple screens
such as PCs, iPhones and iPads. Horizon TV also features an
in-build application store for YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook.
This service will be introduced in Germany and Ireland by the end
of this year.
BT GRP PLC-ADR (BT): Free Stock Analysis
LIBERTY GLBL-A (LBTYA): Free Stock Analysis
NETFLIX INC (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis
TIVO INC (TIVO): Free Stock Analysis Report
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