Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, August 3 »

Oxygen cut the first ad sales deal using the eBay Media Marketplace, the controversial online TV buying exchange, to sign first-time advertiser Intel to a third-quarter campaign, reports MediaPost. The blue chip advertiser, a Universal McCann client is one of the national advertisers backing the eBay system, which was rejected in April by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. The CAB is promoting commercial ratings as its preferred currency for cable ad buys, forming a commission in May to develop processes and standards with Nielsen.

Adelphia founder John Rigas is repentant but defiant as he and son Timothy prepare to report to prison on Aug. 13. Opening his home to Buffalo press this past week, he tells NBC affiliate WGRZ, "it’s something I live with every minute of every day." The 82-year-old Rigas (who’s seeking an 11th hour retrial) adds, "I am not responsible for anything that’s criminal and I should not take that responsibility. We turned everything over to our auditors. Our lawyers were at all our meetings, they would take the minutes. They would fill in the reports for the SEC for years, we never had any problem with the SEC, we didn’t make that our business, we just asked them to let us know, but there never was any problem until this incident happened." He adds, "As CEO, I can’t duck responsibility for the business. But I’m not an accountant at that level and I’m not an SEC expert at that level." Expressing regrets to anyone who lost money in the debacle, he concludes, "it’s just a Greek tragedy." His interview can be viewed here.

The New York Yankees’ YES Network investors’ tire-kicking, which Fortune broke yesterday, is followed in today’s New York Times. Goldman Sachs began searching for new investors this spring, when Yankees president Randy Levine says the network started "testing the market for our financial partners, not for the Yankees’ stake. The whole network isn’t for sale. The YES board has clearly stated that we’re not authorizing a sale." Besides Goldman Sachs, YES investors hoping their stakes attract "wild offers" (as the NYT puts it) include Providence Equity, the network’s former CEO Leo Hindery Jr. and veteran cable executive Amos Hostetter Jr.

The Senate Commerce Committee yesterday passed the Child Save Viewing Act, which requires the FCC to develop a "super V-chip" to monitor content on TV and beyond, including cable set-top boxes, satellite receivers, online, cell phones and other devices that transmit video. [Reuters/Hollywood Reporter]

FCC chairman Kevin Martin defended the agency’s new wireless auction rules on a visit to North Carolina, his homestate, noting: "It’s going to put additional competitive pressure on the existing carriers to make sure that they’re responding to the technological changes and innovations that are actually occurring." Jim Barthold has more.



• PROGRAMMING

Click here for Seth Arenstein’s reviews of TNT‘s The Company, BBC America‘s Jekyll and other cable premieres this weekend.

Discovery Health will re-air Raising 16 Children and On the Road with 16 Children Monday night in honor of the Duggar family, which just welcomed their 17th child. A new special, Duggar Family Album, will premiere next month.

ESPN2 viewers may be disappointed Sunday night, when David Beckham is likely to miss his MLS debut when the Los Angeles Galaxy play Toronto’s Raptors. [AP]

HDNet will cover Tuesday’s Space Shuttle Endeavour launch in a live broadcast.

MTV will name Maira Suro SVP and head of West Coast series development, from head of scripted TV at Renegade 83, where she developed USA Network’s The 4400. [Hollywood Reporter]

SCI FI has cancelled Dresden Files, the San Jose Mercury News confirms.

Sundance Channel‘s eight-part Nimrod Nation docu-series, which premieres Nov. 26, was previewed in the Michigan hometown of the series’ subject: local high school basketball team, the Nimrods. [AP]

TNT kicks off its NBA regular season coverage on Oct. 20, when the San Antonio Spurs play the Portland Trail Blazers followed by a Houston Rockets/Los Angeles Lakers game.



• IN OTHER NEWS

Suddenlink completed the sale of its Virginia systems to Jet Broadband. [BizJournals.com]

Comcast held its first multicultural intern day at its Philly HQ.

Massachusetts is spending $25 million to speed broadband deployment. [Boston Globe]

San Francisco’s municipal Wi-Fi plan is on hold; the city’s board of supervisors delayed voting on the plan this week after EarthLink failed to respond to a request for contract changes. [MarketWatch]

Google, Microsoft and other tech companies lobbying for TV white spaces spectrum to carry high-speed Internet connections are going back to the drawing board after the FCC shot down their proposal this week. [Washington Post]

Panasonic launched Living in HD, a research and marketing campaign, complete with mobile tour, looking for 30 families to receive (and keep) $20,000 worth of high-def equipment. In return, they must let clipboard-wielding students from Columbia University’s Center for Market Research observe how they use Panasonic’s HD line including a 50-inch full HD 1080p plasma TV, an HD camcorder, digital cameras and a Blu-ray DVD player. The pitch: "Using the products, the families will complete challenges that test just how well the amazing detail and clarity of HD can help them work as a team." Directors Kevin Smith and Brett Ratner will vote on the entries (due Aug. 31) with winners announced in March. Ratner will also shoot a documentary on the winning families.

Yahoo is revamping its Web video site to better compete with YouTube. [Bloomberg]

Movie producers Jay Kanter and Alan Ladd Jr. were awarded $3.2 million in their lawsuit claiming Warner Bros. short-changed their cut of movie licensing deals to TV and cable networks. [AP]

BBC America is bumping its weekday block of cooking shows to Sundays in September (WSJ.com), while fans of Brit teen soap Hollyoaks are fuming over its move to 3am ET. Comcast subs on the East Coast (OK, Steve) are peeved that West Coast feeds have been dropped while TCM is only available to sports/entertainment package subscribers. In Seattle, Comcast’s new GuideWorks EPG is also, apparently, having some teething pains, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer‘s tech blog.

Click here for Thursday’s 360AM news briefing »

Got a tip? Contact Shirley Brady at sbrady@accessintel.com

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