AT&T pushing launch of internet portal to early 2017, tech vendor Synacor says

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AT&T has pushed back Q4 plans to launch a new fixed and mobile internet portal until early next year, its technology vendor Synacor said. 

“[A] joint AT&T and Synacor team has been working hard on building the new AT&T multiplatform portal populated with rich content enabled with user driven functionality and monetize through search and advertising,” Synacor CEO Himesh Bhise said to investors during the Buffalo, New York, tech company’s third-quarter earnings call Monday. [The transcript comes courtesy of Seeking Alpha.]

“The joint team has also been crafting the launch and deployment plan,” he added. “We are planning the launch of the new AT&T desktop and mobile web portal in the first half of 2017 and deployment will ramp and be completed through 2017 as previously discussed. Our initial estimate at contract signing was a limited Q4 2016 release given the size and expanded scope of this project and after our recent joint planning we've pushed back the official launch date."

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As Bhise noted, a beta portion of the project -- Android app AT&T Live 2.0 -- is already available on Google Play. The app includes curated news feeds and trending video. 

Synacor’s disclosure on the AT&T project came as the company reported another quarter of resurgent sales, exceeding guidance with revenue of $31.7 million, a 20 percent year-over-year increase. The company said the $3.4 million net loss for the quarter came from investment into the AT&T portal project, returns for which just got delayed. 

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Bhise also commented on Synacor’s work on single sign-on authentication. The tech company confirmed that it’s working both sides of the fence. Not only is it enabling the SSO functionality on new Apple TV devices -- which are only supported by DirecTV and Dish Network so far -- Synacor is also working on the cable industry’s version of SSO, which is being spearheaded by the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing.