Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, Oct. 5 »
Cablevision investor Mario Gabelli is spoiling for a fight ahead of the Oct. 24 shareholders’ vote on the Dolans’ privatization offer. Gabelli, whose Gamco Asset Management firm holds an 8.3% stake in Cablevision, says he’s considering going to court to force a higher per-share price than the $36.26 proposed by the Dolans. [AP | New York Post | New York Newsday]
AT&T is girding for battle with Connecticut Attorney General Ralph Blumenthal, who issued a statement this week saying he wants to "ensure that both AT&T — and the DPUC — follow the law in the face of a clear-cut court ruling and obtain a proper cable franchise license." Blumenthal’s remarks followed Tuesday’s federal court ruling denying AT&T’s request to reconsider U-verse‘s status as a cable service.
AT&T, meanwhile, is waiting for a statewide video franchise to bring U-verse to Illinois by Feb. 1; Ars Technica has more.
DirecTV is now up to #41 (on its march to 100 HD networks) with yesterday’s addition of MHD, MTV Networks’ hybrid music channel. [TV Predictions]
TBS averaged 5.2 million viewers and a 4.1 HH rating for its primetime first-round coverage of the 2007 MLB playoffs, making it the top network on cable Wednesday night. Over the course of its three games televised Wednesday, TBS averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 4.0 HH rating. More MLB ratings-crunching in Variety, while USA Today knocks TBS’s promos and ad interruptions.
Boston Red Sox fans, meanwhile, are fuming over the lack of TBS HD in New England, after enjoying the Sox on NESN HD this season. Their beef: Despite Comcast‘s TBS HD deal, the channel is not on Verizon‘s FiOS TV, on Charter Communications, or on the New Hampshire systems Comcast acquired from Adelphia. [Boston Globe]
Comcast and CSTV‘s Mountain Sports Network is taking its carriage fight with DirecTV and EchoStar national. The Mtn is buying spots during college football games on broadcast networks urging sports fans to call Dish Network and DirecTV and request the channel. [Denver Post]
Comcast‘s Versus sports net signed Dennis Miller to host a new weekly talk show, which will be taped in front of a live studio audience for same-day broadcast. Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller, which starts Nov. 6, will blend his sports commentary, monologues and rants with guest interviews.
CableFAX Daily reports that Cox Communications corporate affairs and communications head Ellen East is heading to Time Warner Cable to replace TWC’s retiring EVP of corporate affairs, Lynn Yaeger. (Update: TWC officially announced East’s appointment as EVP of corporate communications; she starts her new job, based in NYC, at the end of this month.)
Sprint Nextel is looking to replace CEO Gary Forsee, reports the Wall Street Journal. WSJ’s Deal Journal blog suggests a few candidates, including one intriguing (but far-fetched) name: NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein.
Speaking of top women — today is the last day to nominate candidates for CableWorld‘s 2007 Most Powerful Women in Cable list.
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