News Briefing for Monday, June 9, 2008 It’s expected to reach 97 degrees outside the Cable 360 newsroom today. While it’s one thing to weekend in oppressive heat, it’s quite another to work in it. Good day.

Well, hallelujah, The NY Times has woken up to the realization that broadcasters are filling the airwaves with shows like CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights (borrowed from cable, by the way), while the cable networks are offering quality fare like The Closer, Mad Men and Saving Grace. In addition cable’s ratings are rising for series like these, as broadcast numbers remain flat. Only thing we object to in this otherwise uplifting piece for cable, is the notion that
cable’s been hatching a “sneaky plan to produce quality programming to get quality audiences.” [NYT]

Oh, and speaking of cable and broadcast, USA Today notes the migration of cable series to broadcast, including the aforementioned EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, The Bill Engvall Show—which gets an airing on CBS tonight before its second season begins on TBS Thursday—and Nashville Star, which goes from  CMT to NBC, among others.  [UST]

What a surprise. Comcast leaked to The Wall Street Journal. Today’s news is that Comcast’s Versus will announce a deal today for English-language rights to the Tour de France, according to “a person familiar with the details.” The 5-year, $27.5-million deal was signed with Amaury Sport Organisation, which organizes the doping scandal-ridden event. [WSJ]

The NY Times reports on the flip side of all-digital television, the slew of new digital subchannels offered via multicast by local broadcasters. You know, the ones that Kevin Martin says cable must carry. The Times’ headline—More Channels Are Coming. Will Anyone Be Watching?—says it all. The business of offering subchannels generally has been a bust, the paper says, but things could change for networks like RTN and LATV, it adds. [NYT]

The FCC launched a proceeding on the question of allowing video distributors to remotely block consumers from recording newly released movies on their DVRs, Ars Technica reports. The Motion Picture Association of America supports such blocking by Selectable Output Control. [AT]

Briefly Noted
The NY Times reports that the second-best-selling tee-shirt at cnn.com reads: “Anderson Cooper, ‘you’re not my boo.’” [NYT]

#2 actors union AFTRA approved an agreement with studios late Friday that gives actors more residuals from Internet-distributed work, the AP reported Saturday. #1 union SAG remains in talks with studios. [WSJ] Today is the final day to nominate your company (or someone else’s) for CableFAX: The Magazine’s Top 10 Places to Work in Cable. Complete our online nomination form to let us know why your or someone else’s employer is the best.

Visit Cable360  to respond to the poll question: Which political party are cable operators, satellite distributors and telcos more likely to contribute to in the general election for the presidency?

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

Friday’s top stories

The Daily

Subscribe

Cable Pioneers Headed to Primetime

The 54th annual class of the Cable TV Pioneers is ready for their close-up. With the pandemic putting a kibosh on the annual Pioneers’

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up