• The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau‘s annual Cable Sales Management Conference will no longer be a standalone show. Starting in 2007 the annual meeting of cable sales executives will be folded into the NCTA‘s annual conference, The Cable Show, which convenes in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from May 7-9. The motive, according to CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham, is not to pinch pennies but to bring cable advertising issues and advances such as dynamic ad insertion to a wider cross-section of the industry. He pointed to the keynote by Betsy Lazar, GM’s executive director of advertising and marketing, at this year’s CAB conference as an example of the kind of session that deserves a national stage. Cunningham said the CAB portion of the Cable Show ’07 will include panels and at least one advertising-related general session, with topics and speakers still being confirmed. The CAB’s annual Cable Advertising Awards Show will also be held during each Cable Show; for more details, see the press release. The CAB’s annual sales management conference was founded in 1981 by Bob Alter, the first president and CEO of the CAB who died earlier this year.

Verizon had a slew of announcements today: it launches FiOS TV in Pennsylvania (including Greater Philadelphia but not in the city of Philly, which is Comcast’s HQ), expanding by year-end to Delaware and New Jersey. An op-ed in Sunday’s Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post is skeptical that it’s committed to South Jersey; the Philadelphia Inquirer opines on its PA plans; and the Philadelphia Business Journal examines its assault on Comcast. It’s also hiring in North Virginia to deal with FiOS, which was just approved in Dedham, MA. And it may be competing with Comcast for subscribers but the companies are cooperating on the programming front with the addition of Comcast Sportsnet-Philadelphia, PBS Kids Sprout and Versus to FiOS. Verizon also boosted its DSL speeds to 3 Mpbs downstream and 768 Kbps upstream for $29.95/mo. to new customers. Finally, the company today announced a partnership with the University of New Hampshire to promote Web safety for kids.

Comcast co-CFO John Alchin spoke at today’s Credit Suisse media conference in New York; the Associated Press says Alchin pegged Comcast’s penetration figures at approximately 50% of its homes passed taking digital video, 24% taking broadband and 4% signing up for phone. Among other topics, Alchin discussed the company’s performance and outlook for its triple play bundle and related marketing efforts—click here to download Alchin’s CSFB presention for more details.

Time Warner Cable entered into new $6 bln commercial paper program (Marketwatch).

Adelphia filed the voting results for its fifth amended joint plan of reorganization. The majority support for the plan is detailed on its website, AdelphiaRestructuring.com. The Buffalo News reports that Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son Timothy are ensconsed at home ("in the lap of luxury," as the paper puts it) awaiting a verdict in their appeal with hopes of a new trial.

• The Consumer Electronics Association played up its consumer education efforts (including a website, myCEknowhow.com) in comments to the FCC relating to its notice of inquiry regarding competition in the market for delivery of video services.

Buckeye adds NBC News from Toledo station WNWO to its VOD platform.

MetroCast ups its services and pricing (TheDay.com, CT).

AtomFilms launches broadband TV portal, includes content from MTVN siblings Comedy Central and Spike TV.

BET‘s American Gangster debut garnered a 1.6 rating (1.3 mln households, 1.6 mln total viewers).

Bravo adds iVillage Live, an interactive talk show (powered by One True Media) that will be simulcast on NBC owned affiliates and iVillageLive.com.

CNBC relaunches its website with focus on video and new features such as CNBC Plus, a subscription service (costing $9.95/mo.) that streams CNBC’s entire TV broadcast over the Web.

CNN was dropped from a small hotel chain because "a terrorist video CNN aired of Iraqi snipers shooting at U.S. soldiers and making it appear as news footage was offensive," hotelier Jim Thompson tells the Des Moines Register.

Comedy Central ordered Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States, produced by Amp’d Mobile, as a series for its linear TV and mobile channels. The project originated as six 5-minute clips (or mobisodes) for mobile television. The channel is losing Ben Karlin, the Emmy-winning executive producer of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, says the New York Times (reg. req.) Karlin burnt out from the stress of running two back-to-back series airing four nights a week, says Comedy Central president Doug Herzog.

ExpoTV launches holiday promotions.

Fox News is partnering with Yahoo! (USA Today | Press release).

Gemstar-TV Guide named Ian Birch EVP and chief content officer in addition to his role as editor in chief of TV Guide magazine.

GolTV added to Interactive Television Networks for IPTV distribution.

HLN in today’s NYT (reg. req.)

IFC licensed Japanese anime series Basilisk and Gunslinger Girl from FUNimation Entertainment. Both series will debut in January in a Friday night anime block dubbed Grindhouse. IFC introduced its first anime series, Samurai 7, in April.

NBC Universal shuffles the decks, names ad sales replacements for ousted Keith Turner.

Nickelodeon is eyeing a themed hotel on New York’s Coney Island (New York Post).

The Outdoor Channel hired Roger Werner (and de-hired Andy Dale) to push the network into 40 million homes, according to TOC president Perry Massie in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Ovation lures Kris Slava from Bravo (where he was named VP of digital content and acquisitions in March) as its SVP of programming and production; other new hires include Deborah Cuffaro (SVP of ad sales) and Dan Casciato (VP of distribution).

Players Network hits 1st year on Comcast VOD with its Vegas on Demand channel attracting 2mln views/mo.

RFD-TV was ruled too commercial by the FCC and barred from carriage on DBS channels for non-commercial entities.

SCI FI‘s Battlestar Galactica moves to Sunday nights when the series returns Jan. 21.

Showtime‘s Weeds cited by arrested pro-pot preacher.

Sleuth firms up December programming.

TCM‘s eighth annual Young Film Composers competition kicks off Jan. 1. Darrell Raby, this year’s winner, composed a score for 1927 movie The Show, which will air on TCM (with Raby’s music) on Jan. 29.

VH1 debuts The Return of Courtney Love documentary on Dec. 16.

AccuWeather steps up its bid to unseat The Weather Channel, including signing a deal with ICTV’s Active Video Distribution Network to bring broadband content to TV (Centre Daily Times, PA).

• Nashville is becoming a hotbed for cable networks including GAC, The Documentary Channel, Adrenaline Nation TV and RFD-TV, reports The Tennessean. In a sidebar, The Documentary Channel founder Tom Neff outlines his hopes to gain carriage on DirecTV and spur cable ops to follow suit.

Arris is the 100th member of the Metro Ethernet Forum.

Cisco unveiled its Content Delivery System at ITU Telecom World in Hong Kong. The IP-based Next-Generation Network solution is aimed at cable and telco operators "to accelerate the creation and distribution of advanced entertainment, interactive media and advertising services to subscribers’ televisions, PCs, mobile handsets, portable media players and other media-capable devices."

Concurrent celebrates its 40th anniversary.

NDS acquires Jungo.

• Condolences to Dick Lippin, chairman and CEO of The Lippin Group, whose wife Ronnie, the company’s president, died today in Los Angeles; she was 59. Their daughter Alexandra is a senior account executive at the firm.

The Daily


Welcome Back to Wrexham

Watching Season Two of FX’s “Welcome to Wrexham” (premiered on the network Sept. 12, arrived on Hulu the next day) feels an awful lot like coming home, even for those of us that have never visited the Welsh city or set foot on a football pitch.

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