360AM — Morning news briefing for Friday, Mar. 23 (Updated: 8pm ET)

Cablevision lost its landmark network DVR case yesterday, when Judge Denny Chin of the New York District court in Manhattan sided with studios and TV networks suing the operator for its planned service. "We are disappointed by the judge’s decision, and continue to believe that remote-storage DVRs are consistent with copyright law and offer compelling benefits for consumers—including lower costs and broader availability of this popular technology," Cablevision said in a statement defending its planned RS-DVR. It’s considering appealing the decision. [Reuters | PDF of Chin’s decision]

Comcast is rebranding its VOD barker channel to ch1. The old school VH1-like logo is being promoted with a mock newscast here.

here! Networks this week sent a complaint to the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Their beef: the national organization to promote fairness in the media and visibility for the gay community isn’t practicing what it preaches by barring gay programmers from competing in its annual GLAAD Media Awards, a high-profile tribute that holds its first ceremony Monday in New York. GLAAD’s ban on submissions from gay-oriented networks is blatant discrimination, argues here! SVP Stephen Macias (who used to work at GLAAD) in his letter. Macias notes that BET isn’t excluded from competing in the NAACP‘s Image Awards. GLAAD’s ban primarily impacts here! and MTVN’s Logo, although Logo (for the third year running) will broadcast the awards on Apr. 21. Huffington Post blogger Gabriel Rotello spoke with GLAAD about its "mainstream media need only apply" policy and concludes it’s "a stain on its good name."

Verizon launched FiOS today in Long Beach, Huntington Beach and 10 other Southern California cities. The dozen cities, plus unincorporated areas in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, are the first to launch under a new state law aimed at easing the entry of phone companies into the pay-TV market. [Los Angeles Times]

Bad day for Vonage, with a federal judge barring the company from using three of Verizon‘s VoIP patents. The decision for a permanent injunction will be made at a hearing in two weeks [CNET | Reuters | Vonage response].

CBS next month starts live "mobilecasts" of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric on Sprint TV. It will also offer full episodes of Jericho plus clips from its three CSI series, Numb3rs, NCIS, Survivor, Entertainment Tonight and its late-night shows with David Letterman and Craig Ferguson; plus clips from classic series in the CBS Paramount library including The Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy.

TV Guide next month will launch an online video search tool that will search dozens of sites such as AOL.com and Fox.com to find network and original programming from major media companies. [AP]

Nielsen is scrapping plans for new people meters in mid-size TV markets; instead, it will integrate the infrared technology into current meters so the top 60 DMAs will use the same measurement technology. [MediaPost]

DirecTV is launching a "Public Places Program" to bring its service to shops, restaurants and other places frequented by Americans of Indian and South Asian descent. The grassroots marketing campaign is pegged to DirecTV’s carriage of the current Cricket World Cup, which features rivals India and Sri Lanka. [Release] Separately, a group of high profile South Asian Americans are lobbying MTV Networks to save its trio of MTV World diginets. The online petition‘s sponsors include the first Asian Indian Senator in the U.S., Satveer Chaudhary (D-Minn.), actors including Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) and comedian Aasif Mandvi, a full-time correspondent on another MTVN property: Comedy Central’s The Daily Show [Indiawest Online]. One advertiser that appreciates the Asian market: Chase, which is sponsoring a TV series aimed at Chinese immigrants that will air on Asian nets in New York and L.A. [Release]

The Onion launches a broadband video channel Monday: Onion News Network, which will produce fake TV news reports with real ads (such as Dewar’s) to off-set its $1 million start-up costs and 15 staffers producing daily webcasts. There’s even a C-SPAN parody, dubbed O-SPAN. ONN’s tagline: "You’ll never read again." [Wall Street Journal]

Time Warner Cable paid for its own wrist-slap this week in Moorpark, CA. In an uncommon coda to its franchise agreement inherited from Adelphia, TWC funds the $25,000 line of credit which the SoCal city uses to collect fines for such breaches as customer service response times, which TWC’s being chastised for in Moorpark this week. [Los Angeles Times | AP]

AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre took home $31.5 million in pay last year, a 94% increase over 2005, plus $4.4 million in deferred compensation. [New York Times]

Major League Soccer is ready for its U.S. closeup. For the first time in league history, every MLS game will be televised when the season kicks off Apr. 7. ESPN is broadcasting its 28-game MLS roster in HD, while David Beckham’s pending arrival has triggered a marketing frenzy at Target. [Wall Street Journal]

World Championship Sports Network will pool its coverage of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships, which begin Sunday in Australia, with ESPN360. WCSN earlier agreed to share its footage with Joost and FSN.

VH1 tonight premieres Jack Black’s Acceptable TV at 10pm ET; it’s already streaming at Acceptable.tv.

Lifetime‘s Blood Ties vampire detective series is now on iTunes, with the first episode available free.

The New York Times shadows some set-peepers: fans of The Sopranos observing the final episodes’ location shoots in New Jersey.

Netflix gets an unusual offer from the Brooklyn, NY public library system: enable DVD and movie home delivery for library card-holders. [New York Post]

Multicultural Web broadcaster JumpTV reports Q4 results.

Shirley Brady

• Click here for 360AM news briefing for Thursday, Mar. 22 >>

The Daily



Seth Arenstein reviews the week’s biggest premieres, including HBO Max’s “What Happened, Brittany Murphy?”

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