Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Oct. 4 »

TiVo could earn 75 cents/mo for each of its DVRs that Comcast deploys — but if TiVo defeats EchoStar in a legal spat that goes before a panel of federal judges today for a preliminary hearing, the DVR-maker could start charging other cable operators (including Cox Communications) $1.50/mo per box "because they’d all be infringing on TiVo’s patents," Bear Stearns analyst Kunal Madhhukar tells the Hollywood Reporter. "If I’m a cable company, I’d definitely have an executive watching this hearing." A verdict in favor of TiVo could also impact EchoStar’s plan to split into two separate companies. Update: AP reports the judges seemed, at least partly, in favor of TiVo, while a final ruling could be months away.

Verizon is being sued by a media firm alleging it overstated FiOS TV subscriber counts to advertisers. Digital Art Services of Great River, NY, claims (in what it hopes will become a class action suit) Verizon improperly based ad rates on subscriber counts that merge pending and actual FiOS TV customers in New York City, where Verizon lacks a cable TV franchise agreement. Verizon says it’s a ploy to wriggle out of a contract. [Wall Street Journal | Bloomberg]

Claxson closed on the sale of its Latin American basic pay TV networks — Space, I.Sat, Retro, MuchMusic, HTV, Infinito and Fashion TV — to Turner Broadcasting for $234 million. As part of the sale, Turner will handle sales for Claxson and other third-party nets in Latin America. Space, MuchMusic, Retro and Fashion TV originate in Canada, where they were acquired this summer by CTVglobemedia as part of its purchase of Chum Ltd.

A day after Nielsen‘s first HDTV research, consumer research firm J.D. Power this morning released its 2007 Large Screen HDTV usage and satisfaction study. Details are here.


Major League Baseball agreed (reports AP) to let ESPN sets on location at MLB division playoffs in exchange for ESPN talent mentioning where viewers (TBS, TNT or Fox) can watch the games. RCN added TBS HD yesterday in time for last night’s start of the 2007 division playoffs, while Turner launched a Spanish-language SAP feed of TBS’s playoff coverage on CNN en Español last night.

Cablevision is "shrugging off" Tuesday’s $11.6 million sexual harassment verdict against NY Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, Cablevision CEO James Dolan and Madison Square Garden. The ruling shouldn’t impact Cablevision shareholders’ Oct. 24 vote on the Dolans’ privatization offer. [AP | NY Newsday]

Time Warner Cable launched Road Runner Music, a subscription and download store featuring 3 million songs, commercial-free radio and music videos. MediaNet Digital‘s MusicNet arm and Synacor are also enabling a companion Road Runner Music Portable service. TWC also offers Music Choice songs and videos on broadband.

Comcast will next year start reclaiming about 240 MHz of spectrum, equivalent to about 40 channels, using swtiched digital video and other bandwidth-saving technologies. [Light Reading]

NBCU head Jeff Zucker yesterday outlined aggressive global expansion plans for USA, SCI FI and its other networks, and addressed the need for an international clampdown on counterfeiting and piracy. [CNET | Bloomberg]

Comcast Spotlight is now inserting ads on 7 additional Spanish-language networks (for 10 in total) in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market.


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• Nominations are due Friday for CableWorld‘s 2007 Top 50 Women in Cable.


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