Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Dec. 6 »
FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s claims that the cable industry has gotten too big and needs to be regulated got a quick response this week from the market itself. Comcast’s stock took a hit as brutal competition among cable, satellite and telco distributors and cost-cutting measures by consumers caught in the housing slump took their toll. No one is likely to be spared by this cycle—neither cable nor its competitors.
As expected, after announcing on Tuesday that it had lowered expectations of its 2007 cable subscriber additions and revenue, Comcast saw its share price fall 12% yesterday, according to BusinessWeek. Standard & Poor’s analyst Tuna Amobi told BusinessWeek that “‘this is just the beginning’ of bad news and stock declines for the company.” Comcast, which blamed Verizon’s price cuts on its FiOS TV service and discounts on EchoStar and DirecTV’s offerings for its revised forecasts, plans to counter with marketing focused on its high-definition offerings. [BusinessWeek]
Verizon has rolled out high-definition video on demand to FiOS TV customers in Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Pittsburgh, CNNMoney reports. Customers in the Washington, D.C., metro area, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will be getting the service soon, according to Verizon. [CNNMoney]
Cablevision shares dropped on news that Comcast lowered its 2007 revenue forecasts. [Market Intelligence Center]
CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves’ plans to run edited versions of some Showtime series on CBS aren’t sitting well with the Parents Television Council, says the Hollywood Reporter. The conservative watchdog group feels that shows like Dexter, which stars Michael C. Hall as a crime-fighting serial killer, might not be appropriate for children. Moonves wants to air episodes from premium network Showtime on corporate sister network CBS to fill programming gaps created by the writers’ strike. [Hollywood Reporter]
ESPN says its Patriots-Ravens Monday Night Football game this week attracted the largest household audience in cable television history.
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