Cable360AM — News briefing for Wednesday, Sept. 26 »
In a morning-after press victory lap, Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian tells CNET it will be "business as usual" under new owner EchoStar, while he’s "stoked" by what Charlie Ergen (praised as a non-suit) can offer: "EchoStar has built a lot of their own products, deployed more DVRs than anyone in the world. All that software and hardware they built themselves. It’s pretty interesting technology for us to leverage into some of our solutions." Kirkorian adds in the New York Times, "What were other technology companies going to do for us? It’s not about making content for nothing and then just selling the hardware." Board member Ryan McIntyre is also, naturally, pumped about the buy-out.
So what’s next for EchoStar? BusinessWeek says acquiring Sling "raises the bar" for mobile TV and will give Dish Network a competitive edge. UBS analyst John Hodulik (via Om Malik) points to EchoStar’s contemplated split, which he believes "improves the chances that AT&T will eventually acquire EchoStar’s video business."
With FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s a la carte push emboldened by last week’s sweeping class action suit, the Parents Television Council yesterday launched an online campaign, HowCableShouldBe.com, which purports to calculate a cable bill minus unwanted networks. While its a la carte calculator doesn’t work, PTC drives home the point with this video and features about media ownership and tying of networks.
The FCC ruled yesterday that start-up network The America Channel qualifies as a regional sports network, a status that forces Comcast back to the carriage negotiating table with TAC under the RSN arbitration conditions of Adelphia’s sales to Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
According to the NCTA‘s FCC filing Monday updating the cable industry’s progress since the set-top integration ban went into effect on July 1, the top 10 cable operators have deployed more than 650,000 CableCARD-ready set-tops. The top 5 MSOs accounted for more than 246,000 of boxes with CableCARD slots.
NBC‘s use of accumulated ratings—by cuming Monday’s season premiere of Heroes with Saturday’s upcoming repeat for one supersized number—has got other broadcast networks crying foul this fall TV season kick-off week. NBC is "doing nothing wrong," ABC research head Larry Hyams tells Variety. "But morally, they’re playing with the weekly averages. … You could see where this could lead to abuse." TV By the Numbers has more.
Sprint says it will feature more full-length mobile premieres of fall TV shows than any other wireless carrier, for subscribers with Sprint Power Vision phones.
Verizon‘s FiOS TV service will transition to an IPTV model over the next three years, notes Engadget. FiOS TV content acquisition VP Terry Denson tells Light Reading the goal isn’t exclusive content but a better network.
Time Warner Cable NY/NJ partnered with the Guardian Angels’ CyberAngels program to create a multimedia Web safety campaign that includes a PSA and a guide (in both English and Spanish) to help parents teach and monitor sare Internet safety at home. NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg declared yesterday the first Cyber Safety Day in the Big Apple in honor of the initiative.
Millennium Digital Media formally rebrands to Broadstripe on Oct. 1, after unofficially adopting the new name in mid-August.
Scripps Networks‘ outgoing (in the new year) EVP of affiliate sales and marketing John Baird landed a big pre-retirement fish: a national rollout across Comcast‘s systems for HGTV HD and Food Network HD. Cox Communications is adding NFL Network HD in its Northern Virginia market.
Disney Channel will run High School Musical 1 and 2 back to back on Sept. 30, while the American Forces Network will premiere HSM, HSM2 and HSM2: Sing-Along on Oct. 5.
E! is developing Tales From the Hoff, a Curb Your Enthusiasm-like sitcom starring David Hasselhoff and exec produced by Ryan Seacrest. [Variety]
Fox News tapped Maven for online video duties across its networks’ websites.
HBO attracted more than 1.6 million visitors to HBOVoyeur.com in its first month. [Hollywood Reporter]
USA Network‘s planned Didja.com site that was announced in August for a 2008 debut is being shelved. USA will now participate (here’s the press release) in ION‘s Firebrand TV commercial portal launching Oct. 22, when Ion will also launch an hour-long on-air TV show under the same title. Firebrand content will also be made available on iTunes, MSN and mobile, while Microsoft is also an investor. The New York Times has more.
The BBC is taking over FX‘s old NYC studios on Park Avenue, reports the New York Post.
TV Guide Broadband signed a distribution deal with Comcast.net and will be a launch affiliate for Fox/NBC’s Hulu.com.
ReelzChannel added former Lifetime head Doug McCormick to its board.
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