Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Nov. 22 »
It’s Thanksgiving in the Cable360 newsroom and we’re thankful that you’ve stopped by. Good morning.
Cold Turkey: Comcast Raises Rates
The Record of Stockton, CA, reports Comcast will raise rates by an average 3.2 % starting Jan. 1. In Stockton basic cable will cost $53.65 per month, up from $49.95; digital will begin at $54.65, up from $50.95 monthly. Over in Colorado, Comcast is raising rates on some VOD films by $1 starting Dec. 11, moving from $3.99 to $4.99, The Denver Post reports. Films in the IFC OnDemand category will jump to $6.99 from $5.99.
[The Denver Post]
Strike or Hit?
New seasons of HBO’s Entourage and Big Love are still scheduled for the summer, but could be delayed by the Writers Strike, while season two of Showtime’s The Tudors, set for March, completed taping Nov. 1, The L.A. Times reports in a chart showing which cable and broadcast shows will be delayed by the work stoppage.
Comcast Will Defeat NFL Net, Paper Says
The NFL Network eventually will capitulate in its battle with cable, The Mercury News says, quoting SNL Kagan analyst Derek Baine. NFL Net will lower its rates for Comcast, Baine says.
The Big Ten and Time Warner Cable: Talking/Not Talking
The Big Ten Network and Time Warner Cable can’t even agree on whether or not they’re negotiating a carriage deal, The Detroit Free Press says. The sides haven’t spoken in months, a BTN official insists, but an exec with the MSO says the parties are in contact.
[Detroit Free Press]
A trio of EchoStar execs sold $6.5 million in stock during the past week, perhaps indicating the rumored buyout by AT&T is bunk.
[Rocky Mountain News]
Nearly 90% of Britain’s Internet users are using broadband instead of dial up, although the broadband market is static, a government report says.
Demand for bandwidth could choke Internet capacity by 2010, US-based Nemertes Research said. Billions need to be invested to avoid the slowdown, it said.
The Broadway strike is a traditional effort, while The Writers Strike is about the future, The L.A. Times says.
[The L.A. Times]
Pizza and a movie? Blockbuster is testing movie rental kiosks at Papa John’s pizza outlets and Family Dollar stores. Films will cost $1.
[The L.A. Times]
Some Facebook users are grousing that their privacy is being compromised by a marketing promotion that jets by users in 20 seconds, an AP story in The Hollywood Reporter says.
VH1 Classic spends Thanksgiving giving thanks for Dylan, premiering specials about the rocker beginning at 2pm with Rock and Roll Picture Show: Don’t Look Back and VH1 Rock Doc: Bob Dylan at 6pm.
If your ego can withstand the sight of kiddies 7-14 whacking it 200 yards down the middle, The Golf Channel has the finals of its Mutual of Omaha Drive, Chip and Putt National Championships on Saturday, 2pm.
Frank TV on TBS (Tues, 11pm) debuted with 2.9 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen data. Starring impressionist Frank Caliendo, the sketch comedy show grabbed a 2.1 coverage HH rating and averaged 2.8 million viewers.
The star of Showtime’s The Tudors, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, 30, is on an unlucky streak. After being arrested in Dublin for public drunkenness earlier in the week, his 50-year-old mother died in Cork on Tuesday.
Here’s a good Thanksgiving story, sort of. Mark Cuban and Mario Lopez want to start a celebrity mixed martial arts reality series where celebs beat the stuffing out of each other. Cuban also says the picture quality on most HD channels “sucks.”
It’s always good to remind people that C-SPAN is cable’s gift to America. A USA Today op-ed piece does the reminding, blasting most cable political talkers but lauding C-SPAN for its presidential election coverage and Web site.
The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal has a point. He laments that Loren Zalaznick will oversee NBC Universal’s newest property instead of having it run by NBC’s cable chief. Had the latter been the case, this week’s headlines could have read: “[Jeff] Gaspin For Oxygen.”
Giving Thanks for Cable Women
On Thanksgiving eve, careerwomaninc.com’s blog gave thanks for 11 successful women profiled in a Newsweek article, My Journey to the Top, last month. Among the 11 were 3 cable women, Lifetime chief Andrea Wong, The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick and Food’s Rachael Ray.
Excerpts of what they said:
Wong: “My parents always allowed me to fail when I was growing up, and I think that gave me a lot of strength going forward in my life.” “I think diversity is important not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the right business thing to do.”
Sedgwick: “It took me a really long time to say, ‘You know what? I want this. I want to be successful in my field. I want to be able to make choices on my own and make my own choices based on success.’”
Ray: “I want to help kids feel better about themselves. And I think one of the greatest things about getting any child of any age into the kitchen is that it really builds their self-esteem.”