• Today’s Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) features CableLabs’ OpenCable Application Program — or as the Journal calls it, "the new technology with the cumbersome name of OCAP" that’s being tested in two Comcast markets and six Cox Communications systems this year. Time Warner Cable will deploy its first OCAP set-top boxes in May "and is scheduled to have all of its systems OCAP-ready by July."

Cablevision‘s Optimum Lightpath unit launches a VOD channel to encourage businesses to switch to Ethernet. A  promotion through April 30 offers the first month free, kicks in a Cisco router and more. [Read CT‘s Jim Barthold on cable operators and the Metro Ethernet Forum]

• COMPETITION

Missouri passed an AT&T-backed bill on Tuesday that allows statewide franchises. [Springfield (MO) News-Leader]

Verizon will start selling local ads on FiOS TV next month in partnership with Viamedia; its rate card is still "under construction," VP/GM of FiOS Media Jason Malamud tells NY’s Newsday.

EchoStar invests $40 million in South Korea’s TU Media Corp. and plans ’08 satellite launch.

MLB‘s proposed deal to put "Extra Innings" baseball package exclusively on DirecTV earns a brickbat from AP.

• PROGRAMMING

HGTV introduces Rate My Room, a social networking feature on HGTV.com. [Red Herring]

IFC distributes its indie movies on iTunes.

ION Media Networks (fka Pax TV) launches ION Life, a broadband network with digital aspirations.

MTV‘s TRL weathers last week’s cancellation rumors by inviting fans to guest-host the week of May 14.

NBC strikes "biggest ever" digital deal for My Name is Earl.

NBCU could get dumped by GE if Jeff Zucker doesn’t perform, says outgoing chairman Bob Wright. [Fortune]

Spike TV and GameTrailers.com (both owned by MTV Networks) enhance Game Head, "the most watched video game television show" with new on-air and online features.

VH1 brings Australia’s Next Top Model to the U.S. starting Mar. 5 and launches CelebrityFitClub.com, a subscription weight loss site in partnership with Rodale; the 5th season of its celeb-slimdown series premieres Apr. 15.

• VENDORS

Cisco buys XML enabler Reactivity for $135 million.

Narad raises $10 million in additional funding.

Pace Micro Technology integrates C-COR VOD tech into its set-top boxes.

• DIGITAL

N2N Buzztime launches Text2TV service.

Raketu.tv claims to be the first IPTV/social networking site using peer-to-peer technology. – Shirley Brady

The Daily

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Locast Heads to Madison

Locast expanded its service area to include the Madison, Wisconsin, market Friday. Residents in the city and the surrounding rural areas will now

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