Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, August 24 »
Deloitte Touche has dropped all remaining claims against the Rigas family. The accounting firm had filed suit against the family, which founded and controlled Adelphia Communications, alleging fraud and misrepresentation. Last week, a judge in Philadelphia had dismissed one of Deloitte’s three claims, and the remaining claims were slated for a trial in early September. The news comes about a week after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved a settlement regarding a lawsuit Adelphia had filed against Deloitte. As a consequence of the settlement, Deloitte will pay $167.5 million to a trust to pursue litigation on behalf of Adelphia. After Deloitte announced it was dropping claims, James Rigas said his family believes it is entitled to a full trial, and asked his lawyers to request the court for one. [Forbes] [CNN Money]
Time Warner Cable may be heading for court in Cincinnati. The city’s government is filing suit against the MSO, and claims Time Warner owes it an additional $1.5 million for operating its system within the city’s public rights of way. TWC’s agreement with the city reportedly calls for a payment of 5% of annual gross revenues, and the government claims that the operator hasn’t included all types of earnings when calculating its payments. [Business Courier]
CableFAX Daily reports that Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin is floating a Further Notice for Proposed Rulemaking on a la carte regulations that would be part of an order to extend program access rules for five more years.
An Indiana congressman is seeking state help in resolving the standoff between Comcast and the Big Ten Network. Rep. Dave Crooks wrote a letter to the Indiana Untility Consumer Counselor asking for help in greasing the negotiation wheels. [Inside Indiana]
Meanwhile, a PR firm retained by Comcast has apologized to the MSO. An intern in the Lansing, Mich.-based company had posed as a fan and seeded Web site message boards with anti-Big Ten remarks that might have helped Comcast’s cause. [M Live]
Comcast also responded to bloggers who claimed the MSO was attempting to thwart BitTorrent traffic. The MSO says it doesn’t meddle with traffic to its Internet users, but it reserves the right to cut off customers who are using too much bandwidth. [BetaNews]
Nielsen reports that the U.S. TV household universe should edge up 1.3% as of Jan. 1, 2008 over same time last year, to a total 112.8 million homes. The number of viewers should be about 1% greater, to 286 million in the 2+ age category. Thanks to the baby boom generation, the 55-64 age group notched up almost 4%, while adults under 50 grew by a mere 0.3% over January 2007 tallies. Some 51 designated market areas (DMAs) moved up in the rankings, and of them, more than 50% were in the Sunbelt. [Yahoo Finance]
• IN OTHER NEWS
Verizon‘s FiOS TV video service has cleared hurdles in Rhode Island and Long Island. The telco has won a franchise to serve Nissequogue, N.Y., bringing its total Long Island community count to 57. [PR Newswire] Verizon also cleared the first of three necessary licensing hurdles to serve 12 more Rhode Island communities with its video service. [Providence Journal]
CartoonNetwork.com beat its past performance in July; the site’s visitors spent an average 77 minutes per person, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The site features full-length episodes and clips of the cable network’s shows, along with 170 free online games. [Yahoo Finance]
Verizon rolled out its sophisticated interactive program guide to FiOS customers in California. In the future, the guide will allow users to call up Internet radio, videos, podcasts and games. The EPG is already available in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Rhode Island. [Yahoo Finance]
Comcast added VoIP service to its system in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Triple Play price point of $99. [The Gazette]
CNN and CNBC are among a handful of broadcast and cable networks that are airing special programming tied to the second anniversary of hurricane Katrina. Spike Lee and Soledad O’Brien teamed up on the CNN documentary Children of the Storm, debuting next Wednesday. And CNBC’s Against the Tide: The Battle for New Orleans, airs Sunday. [Hollywood Reporter]
Time Warner Cable and Cisco have joined forces on an "HD Clear and Simple" Web site (www.twcinhd.com) that aims to educate consumers on how they can get the complete high definition experience. [CNN Money]
Janet Stilson is filling in for Shirley Brady, who is on vacation.