Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Jan. 29 »

The Cable360 newsroom has devised a drinking game based on HBO’s new show, In Treatment. Good morning.

Rentrak announced that BendBroadband, Blue Ridge Cable, Buckeye CableSystem, Massillon Cable TV and MetroCast are among eight cable operators that have recently agreed to use its OnDemand Essentials video-on-demand usage measurement system. The company says that all but four of the top 25 U.S. cable operators with video-on-demand platforms are using OnDemand Essentials, which analyzes  on-demand viewing data to help operators’ content partners better understand viewer preferences. [CNNMoney]

John Malone’s Liberty Media is attempting to wrest control of IAC/InterActiveCorp from Barry Diller, IAC’s chairman and CEO. Malone wants to replace seven IAC board members and prevent the company from splitting off into five separate entities. Among IAC’s holdings are home shopping network HSN, Ask.com, Match.com, Citysearch and Ticketmaster. [New York Times | Wall Street Journal]

The striking Writers Guild of America  made an interm agreement with producers of the Grammy Awards to allow writers to work on the Feb. 10 CBS telecast, Reuters reports. [Reuters]

Current TV parent Current Media filed for an initial public offering yesterday, CableFAX Daily reports. The company, co-founded by former vice president Al Gore, will sell up to $100 million in Class A common stock and use the proceeds to repay debt.

Total bidding in the FCC’s wireless spectrum auction reached $6.1 billion on Monday, the third day of the auction, Computerworld reports. Bidding resumes today. [Computerworld]

Cable operator Mediacom is launching its HD Family Basic package in southwest Minnesota. The package, free to digital customers, will include TNT HD, TBS HD, CNN HD and Fox Sports Net North. [Worthington Daily Globe]

XM Satellite Radio is launching its ESPN Xtra radio channel next week. ESPN Xtra will feature ESPN Radio talk programs and content produced by ESPN exclusively for XM.

The writers’ strike has sent Kansas City Star readers to Turner Classic Movies, and one of them has learned that movies can be good even if they’re in black-and-white. [Kansas City Star]

In CableFAX Daily: A closer look at Verizon’s fourth-quarter earnings report. Yesterday’s 360 Update.

Got a tip? Contact sgoldstein@accessintel.com and sarenstein@accessintel.com.

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