Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Dec. 11 »

A Luddite in the Cable360 newsroom posed this troublesome question yesterday: If HD is so great, why would I still rather watch an episode of the old Bob Newhart Show? Good morning.

Consumers know that HD is something they want for Christmas, even if they’re still not entirely sure what it looks like or what’s involved in getting it. Does that new flat-screen TV they just bought deliver high-definition programming? Or do they need to make a call to their satellite or telephone company and ask for it? The brochure they just got in the mail tells them that Verizon’s FiOS TV will give them enough high-definition channels to make their eyes bleed. Wait—maybe it was DirecTV’s brochure that said that.
    New York area cable operator Cablevision, in an effort to make certain that consumers, in their befuddlement, do not assume that "cable" and "HD" are mutually exclusive terms, kicked off its "44 Days in HD, on iO TV" campaign, which will promote a different high-definition channel offered to the company’s digital cable subscribers for 44 consecutive weekdays. Cablevision will direct attention to each day’s spotlighted HD channel with press releases and TV banners. The company is also making the point in this campaign that it does not charge its digital cable subscribers extra for HD programming, unlike its competitors. [PRWeb]

AT&T launched U-verse TV in parts of St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Local cable operator Charter plans to fight its new competitor with additional high-definition programming, faster Internet service and a discounted bundle of cable, Internet and phone services. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones visited Texas’ House Regulated Industries Committee yesterday in Austin and asked legislators to broker a deal between the NFL Network and cable operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable. [El Paso Times]

MTV Networks’ freelancers went on strike yesterday in New York. Many are long-term, full-time freelancers, or “permalancers,” who are seeking a just benefits package from the company. The striking freelancers want MTV Networks, which is owned by Viacom, to drop its plan to reduce freelancers’ health and dental benefits, the New York Times reports. [New York Times]

FX is pulling out nearly all the stops this morning in New York as it announces a
 branding effort for the channel that now has six dramatic series running, a 
record for cable networks. Along with FX chief John Landgraf,  talent
 Michael Chiklis, Glenn Close and Denis Leary are expected to attend the announcement. [Seth Arenstein]

Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg was named CEO of the Year by 24/7 Wall St. [Silicon Valley Insider]

The Apple TV set-top box has been a bust. [AppleInsider]

In CableFAX Daily: More on Jerry Jones’ self-serving pleas to Texas legislators.
Yesterday’s 360AM
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• Got a tip? Email sgoldstein@accessintel.com.

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