News briefing for Thursday, April 3, 2008 Cable360 tipster Brain Clark has taken credit for coining the term “walxting” to describe the act of walking while text-messaging. Good day.

Echoing CableWorld magazine’s former voice in the wilderness, Paul Kagan, long after the fact, Wall Street analysts are now saying that investors overreacted to the telcos’ entrance into the pay-TV market, and that cable stocks should be given a second look. Cablevision’s recent results indicate that cable operators are able to compete with Verizon’s FiOS TV, the Wall Street Journal reports, and that now may be the time to invest in the top cable operators, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. [Wall Street Journal]

Comcast’s rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 technology begins this week in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, CableFAX Daily and the New York Times report. For $150 a month, Comcast’s Internet customers will be able to take advantage of the increased throughput offered by DOCSIS 3.0, which Comcast is deploying to counter the Internet speeds of Verizon’s FiOS service. Twin Cities customers opting for Comcast’s fastest Internet tier will get download speeds of up to 50 mbps and upload speeds of 5 mbps. Comcast will be rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 with plenty of fanfare in the next couple of years in its attempt to present itself, and cable in general, as a more-than-worthy competitor to FiOS’ broadband offering. [New York Times]

Briefly Noted
Elvis Costello signed a deal with the Sundance Channel to host a weekly variety show called Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…, Variety reports. The show premieres in December; Elton John will be its executive producer. Spectacle will be taped at NBC’s studios in New York’s Rockefeller Center. [Variety]

DirecTV has added Disney HD, Toon Disney HD and ESPNews HD to its lineup. [engadgetHD]

Verizon now offers hi-def VOD to its FiOS TV customers in California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas, according to TVPredictions. New York and Oregon are next. [TVPredictions]

AT&T will resell Dish Network service in the Southeastern U.S., the Associated Press reports. [AP]

Late Stories
Sí TV launched a venture with nonpartisan voter registration organization Voto Latino to engage young Latinos in the presidential election process. The venture, Crash the Parties, starts with a nationwide search for two young Latinos to cover the Democrat and Republican National Conventions as reporters for Sí TV. Hopefuls can enter through May 6 at www.crashtheparties08.com or at events in Chicago, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Jose. CNN anchor Rick Sanchez will mentor the winners.

No reason for April angst since CBSSports.com will stream the Final Four championship game to computers live next week. It will be the first time that a major U.S. sporting event has been shown live and in its entirety on the Internet, CBS says. This year was also the first time all 63 games of March Madness were available live on the Internet. Traffic for NCAA March Madness on Demand has reached 4,333,207 total unique visitors in the first 8 days, a 147% increase vs 07 figures. CBS says its decision to drop registration requirements for the on demand product greatly increased traffic to its NCAA video player. The one-click access gave CBSSports.com the ability to distribute links to a network of more than 200 sites, including ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports and SI.com.

No doubt, Hallmark knows how to throw a party. To celebrate the launch of Hallmark Movie Channel HD yesterday, Henry Schleiff and co headed to Peoria, to see “how it would play in Peoria.” Along for the ride were actors Ernie Borgnine and David Carradine, with the 90+ Borgnine reuniting there with the family of his former Navy commander.    Got a tip? Contact sarenstein@accessintel.com and sgoldstein@accessintel.com.

Wednesday’s Top Stories

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Don’t expect NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell to be the latest media executive to announce a major merger or acquisition. He’s more than happy with what he’s got.

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