News Briefing for Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Cable360 tipster Brain Clark tells us he’s on the run from hit men, who have been hired to prevent him from developing online-ad-skipping software. Good day.

Apple is expected to announce today that it will sell episodes of HBO shows on iTunes for more than the standard $1.99 price it normally charges for TV shows, the New York Times reports. HBO shows would become available on iTunes when they are distributed as DVDs, rather than the day after being first broadcast, as is the case with other deals iTunes has struck with programmers. The Times speculates that the higher price for HBO shows could lead to other online content distributors changing their pricing structures. [New York Times]

The restructuring of Charter’s heavy debt load and reinvestment in its offerings continues to pay off for the company. Charter’s average revenue per subscriber increased 13% in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, helping the company to reduce its overall losses. Charter enjoyed revenue gains from its video, broadband and telephone products, and added both digital video and phone subscribers. President and CEO Neil Smit said during Charter’s earnings call that the company is considering various wireless partnership options, and will test DOCSIS 3.0 later this year. [New York Times | Cable Digital News]

ABC will present its new audience measurement system to advertisers at its upfront presentation today. The network’s “Advertising Value Index” breaks down measurement criteria into 15 categories, the Wall Street Journal says, and is intended to persuade advertisers that broadcast TV’s value remains high despite its yearly loss of viewers to cable, broadband and DVRs. [Wall Street Journal]

ESPN  and Disney Media Networks announced today at the ESPN upfront presentation in New York that it will develop an emerging media and advertising research lab, which will be housed in a 3,000-square-foot facility in Austin, Texas. The lab will research audience engagement and physiological reactions to advertising, and will test traditional and alternative models for advertising. Duane Varan, executive director of the Interactive Television Research Institute and chair in New Media at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, will be among the experts guiding the lab’s research.

Briefly Noted
Dish Network reports its first-quarter results today. Kaufman Bros. analyst Todd Mitchell expects an increase in customer churn. [CNNMoney]

Motorola received DOCSIS 3.0 certification for its SURFboard SB6120 and SBV6220 cable modems and DOCSIS 3.0 bronze qualification for its BSR 64000 cable modem termination system/edge router. [NewsBlaze] Monday’s Top Stories

Don’t forget to enter our MSO of the Year and Independent Operator of the Year contests.

What are the best companies to work for in the cable industry? Help CableFAX: The Magazine decide by nominating the companies you think should be on our list of the Top 10 Places to Work in Cable by completing our online nomination form.  We will run the Top 10 Places to Work as a Web exclusive on Cable360.net and on CableFAX: The Magazine’s home page.

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

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It was a very newsy November, with Fox News , CNN and MSNBC all breaking records during the month. Fox News was the most-watched cable network in both total day (1.941mln) and primetime (3.941mln) for total

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