Cable360AM — News briefing for Monday, Feb. 4 »
How ’bout that Puppy Bowl? Good morning.
Cablevision officially rolled out its DVD/VOD service to its digital subscribers, who will be able to order DVDs of new retail movie releases with their remotes and also gain instant on-demand access of the DVD titles they purchase. Popcorn Home Entertainment is Cablevision’s partner in the DVD/VOD service, which is accessed through Cablevision’s on-screen video-on-demand menu. After ordering a new DVD movie release with their remote, a Cablevision digital subscriber can watch the movie at any time within 24 hours. Cablevision began testing the service last month. New releases cost $19.95; movie studios will get the biggest slice of the purchase price, Variety reports. [Reuters | Variety]
ESPN will be providing website ESPN360’s live sports coverage for free to college campuses and military bases, the New York Times reports. ESPN360 is carried by Internet service providers that have signed cable-style, per-subscriber carriage agreements with ESPN; among those ISPs are AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Charter and, soon, Insight. Bringing ESPN360 to campuses and bases could double the base of users for the live streaming service. [New York Times]
Google CEO Eric Schmidt called Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and offered to help him fend off Microsoft’s unsolicited offer of $44.6 billion for his company, the New York Times reports. That help could come in the form of a partnership or in the solicitation of rival bids for Yahoo. Google is also working to create regulatory hurdles in the event Microsoft succeeds in its acquisition plans. [New York Times]
Microsoft’s offer for Yahoo could negatively affect investors’ reactions to Time Warner Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings report, scheduled for this Wednesday. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes may be intending to sell the company’s AOL division, and a successful acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft would remove two potential buyers from the market, the Financial Times reports. [Financial Times]
The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers may sign a contract this week. [Variety]
Lifetime celebrates Black History Month on Saturday, Feb. 16, with six films, including the Lifetime Original Movie Racing for Time, starring Charles S. Dutton, who also directed the movie.
The NFL and Christian humanitarian organization World Vision will be donating licensed Reebok apparel that indicates that the New England Patriots won last night’s Super Bowl to families in Nicaragua, Romania and other countries. If the Patriots had actually won the game, those families would be getting hats and T-shirts proclaiming the New York Giants the victors.
In CableFAX Daily: Discovery Channel president and GM John Ford discusses the benefits of programming for cable’s sharply defined audiences. Friday’s 360AM.