Cable360AM — News briefing for Monday, Oct. 22 »
The Motion Picture Association of America is talking to high-speed cable and DSL Internet service providers, including Comcast and AT&T, about adopting policies and technologies that would discourage users from illegally swapping movies and TV shows over their networks, reports the New York Post. The move comes as Comcast faces mounting criticism over its bandwidth management and peer-to-peer file-sharing policies, highlighted by AP’s tests that were reported Friday.
Comcast Interactive Media president Amy Banse disputed any net neutrality charges and defended her company’s broadband and P2P policies (reports Information Week) at last week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, where she said 0.1% of Comcast.net residential subscribers are flagged for "excessive use," at which point "we call the customers and offer them the commercial service." More on Banse’s remarks at InfoWorld. TorrentFreak, meanwhile, is advising file-sharers how to thwart Comcast. [More: Wired | ZDnet | Ars Technica]
Banses’s comments followed AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson’s Web 2.0 Summit remarks criticizing government meddling in Web matters. Stephenson also said he doesn’t see a business model for the 700 MHz space, even though AT&T may still bid in the FCC’s upcoming wireless spectrum auction, reports Barron’s.
AT&T‘s U-verse IPTV service experienced nationwide outages yesterday, AP reports; the cause has not yet been determined.
As the Dolan family faces Wednesday’s shareholder vote, and likely revolt, on its $10.6 billion Cablevision buyout offer, lead institutional investor Mario Gabelli’s opposition has helped send its stock price $4.75 below the price offered by the Dolans, which has cost his Gamco Investors "$150 million in the short term based on his belief that, longer term, the Dolan offer places too little value on the company," writes the Wall Street Journal.
SanDisk today released Sansa TakeTV, a USB device that stores and moves digital video between a PC and TV set; and also launched a still-in-beta Internet video site called Fanfare, that offers free, ad-supported TV shows including content from Showtime, CBS, Smithsonian Networks, TV Guide and the Weather Channel. [AP]
Comcast and Meredith will launch Parents TV in December, an ad-supported VOD/online channel that covers parenthood "from conception to college." Its original video content will expand on Meredith’s Parents.tv web videos tied to American Baby and Parents; Meredith also publishes Family Circle. [Broadcasting & Cable | Mediaweek]
Members of the Writers Guild of America voted Friday in favor of a strike if they fail to sign a new labor contract with the studios before their current agreement expires on Oct. 31. Nearly half of the WGA’s 12,000 voting members cast votes, with 90.3% of those who voted supporting a walkout. If that happens, viewers can expect a lot more reality TV, reports the New York Times. Talks continue today. [More: Wall Street Journal | Deadline Hollywood Daily]
The bill passed Thursday night by the Senate Intelligence Committee giving telephone service providers immunity for their role in President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program now moves to the Senate Judiciary Commitee, whose chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has expressed reservations. [Wall Street Journal]
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