Auction Network has yet to receive any carriage bids from cable ops, but the online venture hopes its presence at The Cable Show will lead to gavel strikes announcing linear sales. Launched last year with former TV Guide Nets execs Pam McKissick (CEO) and Fontana Fitzwilson (GM) playing key roles, the venture is humming along at AuctionNetwork.com, where users can participate in live auctions such as the Keeneland Yearling Sale (horses) and watch related streaming content—all in HD. On May 31, the site, which now counts 250K monthly uniques, will allow participation in an auction featuring musical items from U2 band members. Also, the net was recently involved with a London guitar auction through which 1 of Paul McCartney‘s instruments fetched $190K. A good start, to be sure, but the overarching goal remains carriage. "We’ve had lengthy and ongoing discussions with a satellite player, which would really kick us off," said McKissick. As for cable, meaningful discussions have yet to commence, she said, but a week in New Orleans may help the cause. The net is set to exhibit at the show, where it will also play a prominent role with additional musical instruments. As the NCTA‘s exclusive auction network, said Fitzwilson, the net will handle the silent auction surrounding the show’s Battle of the Bands charity fundraiser. Items up for grabs include a guitar signed by B.B. King and a Fender used by Eric Clapton during his ’92 tour. The effort will "show the industry what we can be," said Fitzwilson. Currently in the content can are more than 500 mini segments across 25 auction categories. Execs also envision customized synergies with established cable nets, as the categories cover a wide content swath. Plus, said McKissick, the net’s tech allows for simple integration with cable systems. "This is sort of ESPN meets Ebay," McKissick told me last year, describing Auction Net. A few more important hurdles and sales remain. CH

"Left for Dead," Tues, 9pm, Nat Geo. Yes, we know. You climb Mt Everest because it’s there. But, still, who wants to pay $15K to head up 29K feet in bitter cold to reach the summit? Climbing Everest is like "being on a treadmill while breathing through a straw," says veteran climber Lincoln Hall. Indeed, the atmosphere is the wild card. It’s impossible to predict how the body will respond to it. Still it’s personal for Hall, who’d tried Everest 24 years ago, but had to turn back. This time, in 2006, he reaches the top, but coming down becomes the problem when he suffers frostbite and a cerebral edema. It’s a riveting story told with original footage and radio transmissions. SA

"Not Going Out," Tues, 8:40pm, BBCA. Not as good as "Coupling" but fun with singles seeking love. SA

"M*A*S*H* Marathon," Sat, 8pm, TV Land. Some of the best eps, including the finale (11pm), and a reunion special (9pm). But AWOL is the ep where Lt Col Henry Blake’s homebound plane is downed over the Sea of Japan. — "Fishing Adventurer," Sun, 8:30am, ESPN2. It’s not a fluke if you see former Multi and CFAXscribe Steve Donohue catching a blue under the Verrazano Bridge. SA

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FCC Seeks Comment on NAB NextGen Petition

The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on NAB’s petition regarding the treatment of multicast streams under the NexGen TV local simulcasting rules.

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