Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Jan. 31 »

TNS Media Research will be gathering set-top box usage data from 100,000 households that subscribe to DirecTV, the Wall Street Journal reports. The data gathered by the new TNS DirecTView service is intended to provide advertisers with an alternative to Nielsen’s established audience measurement service, which relies on 14,000 households nationwide, the Journal says. TNS DirecTView will provide second-by-second data about which TV programs and commercials are watched live or through a digital video recording device. [Wall Street Journal]

If cable operators are to compete successfully against the telcos in the small and medium-size business market, they must interconnect their Ethernet-based networks and quickly roll out DOCSIS 3.0, website ITBusinessEdge reports. The recent announcement made by Charter and Time Warner Cable that they will interconnect their optical services for business customers is a step in the right direction. [ITBusinessEdge]

Google confirmed that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and the CEO they brought to the company in 2001, Eric Schmidt, informally agreed in 2004 to retain executive roles at the company for at least 20 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. The news was released to quell worries among investors that Google would be forced to bid to actually win in the FCC’s auction of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum, and spend heavily on a wireless network. Google is said to have entered the auction to push all bidding companies to accept open access conditions. [Wall Street Journal]

The so-called informal talks between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood producers aren’t going so smoothly after all. Writer-director Phil Alden Robinson, who is also a member of the governing board of WGA West, is urging guild members to reject any deal that mimics the recent one the Directors Guild of America made with producers, the New York Times reports. Robinson’s critique of the DGA’s contract with producers was posted on the United Hollywood website, which has a link on the WGA West site.
    CBS topper Leslie Moonves was also reportedly peeved that the WGA had plans to host a session with investors that would take potshots at CBS’ financial outlook. The guild has since canceled that presentation, Variety reports. [New York Times | Variety]

In CableFAX Daily: The effect of content digitization on retrans negotiations. Yesterday’s 360AM.

Got a tip? Contact sgoldstein@accessintel.com and sarenstein@accessintel.com.

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The FCC gave the official OK to RSM US LLP as the C-band relocation coordinator. In July, eligible space stations operators selected RSM to serve as the coordinator, which is responsible for

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