Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, Dec. 28 »

The Cable 360 newsroom today is thinking of the men and women serving in our armed forces, including those who’ve returned, those who won’t and their families. Good morning.

The  Jan 13 broadcast on NBC of the Golden Globes awards gala is threatened by the specter of 3,000 picketing writers keeping away a multitude of Hollywood stars, The NY Times says. The resulting uncertainty is snagging advertisers, film makers, studio execs, party planners and  “celebrity hand-holders.” Writers Guild strike leader Jeff Hermanson promised yesterday that his members would make a scene Jan 13 on the sidewalks outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the Globes’ venue. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is considering scotching the broadcast and going with a Webcast or a private ceremony.
[The NY Times]

The late-night shows will return next month, but hosts like cable’s Jon Stewart, a Writers Guild member, technically are banned from planning and writing monologues and sketches. In addition, celebs are reluctant to be the first to cross the picket lines and appear on the shows. Stewart’s Daily Show and Stephen Colbert’s show are set to return Jan 7. [The WSJ]

Coca-Cola entered into a two-year agreement with ExerciseTV that anticipates the on-demand channel highlighting Coca-Cola products. The pact includes creation of original programming integrating Coke’s messages and products.  Product placement and signage on ExerciseTV original and non-original programming is expected. Exercise TV is In 23 million U.S. homes via Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bresnan.


Briefly Noted
As their state’s caucuses loom on Thursday, Iowans are being bombarded with campaign ads by presidential candidates, The NY Times reports, with Democrats setting records for television spending, Obama spent $8.3 million, Clinton $6.5 million. The article does not break out cable vs broadcast spending. [The NY Times]

Wal-Mart closed its video download service Thursday, officials said. [Reuters]

Another attack on traditional media as 46% of Millennials and 38% of Xers claim to be producing consumer generated content, Deloitte’s new State of Media survey says. The genre is growing fast. More than two-thirds (69%) of consumers make it part of their media consumption, up from just 52% last year. [MediaPost]

Warner Music Group plans to sell songs and  albums without anti-copying software through Amazon’s digital music service, joining 2 other major music companies. [The NY Times]

20th Century Fox might offer movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes rental service. [The NY Times]

Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal picks HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm as one of the year’s best, saying it was “a breakout year” for the Larry David vehicle, as it delivered “a consistent blazing hilarity stronger than any shown before—which is saying a lot.” [WSJ]

A NY Times reviewer says the slang in BBC America’s Catherine Tate Show (tonight, 9:20pm) is tough sledding for American viewers, but hilarious nonetheless.  [The NY Times]

The NY Times on Christmas Eve weighed in on ESPN’s and Yahoo’s prolific luring of sports writers from newspapers and magazines, noting that at ESPN, the addition of high-priced writers “generates far more profit — about $2 billion a year — than any other business built around a cable network.”  [The NY Times]

TBS’s annual 24 Hours of a Christmas Story marathon on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day scored its best average delivery of adults 18-34 (775,000); adults 18-49 (1,556,000); adults 25-54 (1,506,000); viewers (2,802,000); and households (1,682,000). For the 24-hour timeslot (Dec. 24, at 8 p.m. – Dec. 25, at 8 p.m.), TBS ranked as ad-supported cable’s #1 network among adults 18-34, adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and viewers. The Christmas Eve 10 p.m. telecast was #1 during the marathon among adults 18-34 (1,196,000); adults 18-49 (2,181,000); and adults 25-54 (2,112,000).  It also beat all broadcast programming on Christmas Eve (8 p.m.-midnight) among adults 18-34.

Kid Rock, Velvet Revolver and The Bravery will be performing from The Pontiac Garage Stage in NY’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve as part of the free television feed being made available again to domestic and international television outlets, vlogs, IPTV and user generated sites by the Times Square Alliance. [Click for info]

Today in CableFAX Daily: Cable execs and their predictions—serious and not—for 2008.

Editor’s Note: Cable 360 will be intermittently active on Dec 31 and Jan 1, returning to full force Jan 2. Happy New Year. [Yesterday’s 360AM]

• Got a tip? Email sarenstein@accessintel.com.

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