• PROGRAMMING

CNBC and MSNBC will air the first Republican presidential candidates’ debate, Oct. 9 in Dearborn, Mich. CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews co-moderate the event, which will run live on CNBC at 4pm and repeat on MSNBC at 9pm.

Comedy Central will premiere Important Things with Demetri Martin, a sketch and variety show featuring The Daily Show contributor, in the second half of next year. The deal marks Comedy Central’s second series with Jon Stewart’s Busboy Productions.

DirecTV‘s The 101 original channel will premiere (exclusively) Hooters Calendar Girls 2008, which may lead to a spin-off reality series. [Variety]

Discovery Holding Co. chairman and CEO John Malone’s recent purchases of DHC stock (he now holds about 91.4% of Class B shares, including indirect ownership via his wife’s shares) have been "dwarfed by that of his fellow insiders’ stock sales. But the cable mogul’s transactions carry more weight for investors," writes the Wall Street Journal.

ESPN‘s Monday Night Football (Tennessee beating New Orleans, Sept. 24) was the top-rated cable show of the week ending Sept. 30, with 10.79 million viewers.

HBO acquired the rights to Stuart Taylor Jr. and K.C. Johnson’s book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. [Variety]

HBO is licensing (to others) The March of Times, the classic black-and-white newsreel series produced by Time Warner sibling Time Inc., via its HBO Archives arm.

HSN is promoting National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October by partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in a multiplatform campaign.

Lifetime‘s 2007 Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign features an original movie, Matters of Life & Dating with Ricki Lake, on Oct. 22; a multiplatform campaign called "Be My Strength, Be My Support, Be My Bra" that incudes PSAs featuring Whoopi Goldberg and other celebs; and its biggest participation to date from cable operators (over 100 million homes) in addition to partnering on a Breast Cancer Hope VOD/broadband channel with Comcast. Details are here.

Lifetime‘s Long Island drama pilot signed Sopranos alum Lorraine Bracco to a starring role. [Variety]

Oxygen‘s Bad Girls Club is now available as a 3G game for mobile phone users worldwide.

New Frontier will expand from 2 to 3 adult services on DirecTV, which will carry TEN Clips, Juicy and Real in a two-year deal through Oct. 14, 2009.

PBS Kids Sprout is expanding its cable distribution to Bright House Networks, starting in Bakersfield, CA.

Russia Today launched on Time Warner Cable‘s NY/NJ system. It’s also creating a spinoff service, Rusia Hoy, in Spanish to complement its English-language and Arabic versions.

Setanta, the Irish-owned sports network, sold a less than 5% stake to EchoStar.

Showtime attracted just over 1 million viewers to the premiere of Dexter Sunday night, a 67% increase of the series’ 1st season premiere and a new premiere record for Showtime. The second season bow of Brotherhood that followed drew 371,000 viewers.

Showtime‘s Smithsonian Channel HD is using Motorola‘s MPEG-4 technology.

TBS will try to minimize ads during its exclusive MLB playoffs coverage that starts today, as Turner Sports president David Levy tells the Wall Street Journal. "We don’t want to take away from the programming itself," he says. "But there will be pop-ups and other things to promote our programming. One of the things that attracted us is this is going to be high-rated programming, and it’s a great way to promote [our] other programming." More on TBS’s MLB gameplan in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

USA‘s Law & Order: Criminal Intent launch, following its move from NBC, is seen as reinvigorating the franchise, according to this story in the LA Times.

Veria, a new channel pegged to Veria Wellness Centers in Texas and beyond, launched on Dish Network‘s America Top 250 Package.


The Weather Channel‘s ad sales unit released Shades of Green, proprietary research on green consumers and awareness.

VH1‘s Rock of Love finale Sunday night scored a 4.0 rating and 5.4 million total viewers (4.1 million average viewers) to become the top-rated show on cable for the night.

Wheels TV is expanding beyond VOD, broadband video and DVDs to create a social network for car buffs, MyWheelsTV Garage, and mobile content, according to founder/CEO Jim Barisano.

Zee Sports America, an Indian cricket, golf and other sports net from Zee TV, is getting a U.S. launch on Dish Network.



• ONLINE

In an interesting test of online downloading pricing, Radiohead fans who were free to name their own price to download the band’s new album averaged $10 per digital download. [Wall Street Journal]

MLB.com is providing extensive video around the 2007 Division Series playoffs that begin tonight, and announced the first World Series of Fantasy Baseball.

Time Warner Cable‘s NY/NJ market has boosted its Road Runner high-speed online service to 10Mbps standard, 15Mbps for Road Runner Turbo and 20Mbps for Road Runner Extreme, according to Broadband Reports.

Turner tapped Kaneva to creat virtual worlds around its entertainment brands.

YouTube‘s buzz clip of the week, at almost 3 million viewers: David Letterman grills Paris Hilton.



• TECHNOLOGY



Intel joined the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA), "giving it the licenses necessary to develop chi[s that support a coax-based scheme that shuttles data, including high-definition video, over a home network at a theoretical 270Mbps," reports Light Reading.

Texas Instruments is the first chip-maker to announce its cable modem chipsets will be tested for DOCSIS 3.0 compatability by CableLabs. Motorola confirmed to Connected Home News it will be participating in the DOCSIS 3.0 trial, with Scientific-Atlanta, Broadcom and Conexant Systems not yet announcing if they’re involved in the CableLabs tests.


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