NEWS BRIEFING FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008 With Tricia Helfer joining the cast of USA Network’s Burn Notice, you have to think it’s going to be a very hot summer. Good day.

The NFL has no interest in  leaving the cable space despite a year of difficulties, Commissioner Roger Goodell said last night at NFL Network’s upfront, The Hollywood Reporter says. Network head Steve Bornstein didn’t rule out an equity stake for cable affiliates in return for carriage, although he said that’s not his preference. And there was no word on the fate of Inside The NFL, the weekly football review that thrived for years on HBO, but departed the Box in February. [THR]

Despite Pivot’s demise, Comcast’s wireless play is far from over, GigaOM argues, noting that cable’s top MSO hired wireless vet Dave Williams earlier this month to be its SVP of wireless. Williams is the former CTO of Telefonica O2 Europe; his hiring by Comcast, GigaOM believes, was, ahem, pivotal. “At the end of the day, a company doesn’t hire someone with Williams’ experience building and managing networks to resell wireless service from a separate provider,” GigaOM concludes. [Gig]

Briefly Noted
Long Beach, CA, cable personality John Craig died Monday of a heart attack, aged 65, The Gazette reports. Craig hosted Talk of the Town and Pep Talk, produced locally by Charter. [LBG]

Broadband provider TidalTV signed a content partnership with NBC News and TV Guide Network to feature their programs on its website. [TMC]
 
The  C3 metric gets a thumbs up from sellers and buyers, Media News reports. [MDN]

The NY Times calls Amy Poehler’s Mighty B series (debuts on Nickelodeon tomorrow at 10:30am) “smart and amusing.” [NYT]

The Senate soundly defeated the FCC’s proposal to relax or outright jettison some media ownership rules. The action was taken as reports arose that Rupert Murdoch’s become the main player in an acquisition of the newspaper Newsday. [THR]

Isiah Thomas cost Jimmy Dolan $187 million during  his 4-year tenure, BusinessWeek says. [BW]

LATE STORIES
Cybill Shepherd will join the cast of  USA Network’s Psych when the series premieres its third season July 18. She’ll play Madeleine, mother of Shawn (James Roday) and ex-wife of Henry (Corbin Bernsen). Psych creator Steve Franks was partly inspired to create the show after Moonlighting, the show Shepherd starred in with Bruce Willis. Franks’ father, a police officer, worked on the Moonlighting set. He brought his son to the set daily.

There certainly won’t be enough coverage of the NFL draft on ESPN and NFL Network this weekend. Well, not if you want local reports on your club’s picks. SNY will jump into the fray tomorrow with Jets Nation: Draft Day 08, live from the network’s plaza across from Radio City Music Hall at 2:00pm. SNY promises interviews with every Jets draft selection, plus interviews with coach Eric Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum from outside the draft room at Hofstra University. 

WrestleMania XXIV will be the first sports category title to be released on Blu-ray disc in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada, WWE says. The double disc set goes on sale May 20, the same day as a three-disc DVD version. The Blu-ray disc set emphasizes WWE’s commitment to HD, which started earlier this year.  Today in CableFAX Daily: WealthTV completed filing program access complaints with the FCC against the 4 MSO owners of InDemand, depositing papers this week against Comcast, which, it claims, has unjustly refused to carry the network.

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

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