Cable360AM — News briefing for Wednesday, Dec. 12 »
AT&T will cease reselling DirecTV satellite service in 2008, according to a Dow Jones report picked up by CNNMoney. After it acquired BellSouth Corp., AT&T was contractually obligated to resell DirecTV’s services. In a related move, AT&T is planning to launch U-verse TV in BellSouth’s former territories in the Southeast, beginning with Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. A small group of homes in Atlanta will begin receiving the service before this year is out.
A Comcast executive told the Journal-Constitution that the cable operator is responding to its new local competitor by adding more high-definition channels and more on-demand content. Comcast also hired 700 new employees in an effort to improve customer service. [CNNMoney | Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
AT&T’s share price rose after the company told investors yesterday that its U-verse TV service will be available to 30 million homes by 2010, CableFAX Daily and Variety report. U-verse TV launched in St. Louis this week.
Verizon is rolling out FiOS TV service in Oregon’s Washington County, the Oregonian reports. Verizon and local cable operator Comcast’s rates are similar, although Verizon’s subscribers will get more high-definition channels for nearly the same price its competitor charges, the paper says. Comcast, on the other hand, offers “a big lineup of video-on-demand shows and movies for premium subscribers and is currently the exclusive home for most Portland Trail Blazers games.” [Oregonian]
Time Warner Cable is opening a retail store in the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, N.C. [Winston-Salem Journal]
Comcast launched phone service for small and medium-size businesses in Florida’s Broward County, according to the Miami Herald. [Miami Herald]
Verizon has been quietly rolling out 7 Mbps DSL service to new residential customers in some Eastern states, according to Broadband Reports.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association said it will go to court if the FCC doesn’t stay a rule passed in October that would invalidate existing contracts between cable operators and multi-dwelling units. [CNNMoney]
Blaming the ongoing writers’ strike, General Electric lowered profit projections for NBC Universal, MediaDailyNews reports. A Wall Street Journal article today said that NBC Universal is giving money back to advertisers that bought spots for prime-time shows that fell short of ratings projections. Normally NBC would offer make goods, but it can’t right now because of the strike. [MediaDailyNews | Wall Street Journal]
It’s official: The writers’ strike has forced the Television Critics Association to cancel its January tour in Los Angeles. [PaidContent.org]
Charter Communications has added WealthTV’s high-definition programming to its lineup.
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