Verismo gets $17M funding boost; Time Warner's 'HBO Go' set to go-go-go

> Web-enabled TV services provider Verismo has raised $17 million in new funding to help market and expand the base for a set-top box that streams Internet content to televisions and lets service providers deliver Web content along with traditional channels. Intel Capital, incidentally, led the fundraising. Story.

> Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable) is ready to widen the opportunity to access HBO online via what it calls "HBO Go." The pay TV service has been suffering unprecedented subscriber losses--as many as 1.5 million this year--and is looking to regain some ground by making its wares available on the Web and mobile devices. Of course there won't be a free lunch for anyone to see what HBO has to offer; you'll still have to subscribe to HBO to get HBO Go. Story.

> The numbers are adding up and they don't look good for cable TV. SNL Kagan data said that U.S. cable operators lost a whopping 741,000 basic video subs in the third quarter, "the single largest quarter dip for cable since SNL Kagan began compiling data for the segment in 1980," the analyst firm said in a news release. To make matters worse, it appears that it was just cable's problem. Telco TV gained 476,000 customers and even DBS added 145,000. News release.

> And there's still more bad news. A list developed by and based on a survey published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) placed three U.S. cable operators--Charter (1), Comcast (3) and Time Warner Cable (5) among the 18 "Worst Companies in America." Even Cox Communications, generally considered a good cable operator, didn't escape unscathed, ending up at number 12. DirecTV slid in at 17. Story.

And finally... a study conducted by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy found that when prices are held constant, rural small businesses get less service compared with metro small businesses and that when services are held constant, the rural guys pay higher prices than metro guys, showing "a lack of competition in broadband providers is having a negative impact on rural small businesses," Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for Advocacy said in a news release.