Liberty wanted to buy a stake in HDNet? The Mark Cuban-backed net told the FCC Tues that Liberty, "with full knowledge of our deteriorating relationship with DirecTV and the adverse and discriminatory carriage terms to which we were going to be subject," approached HDNet LLC with the suggestion that it sell it a 50% stake in the channel. "When it became clear that HDNet LLC was not coming to an agreement with DIRECTV on its future carriage, Liberty ceased expressing an interest in acquiring a share of HDNet," it said in an FCC filing. Liberty declined comment Wed. HDNet is arguing that the Commission shouldn’t transfer News Corp’s DirecTV stake to Liberty without conditions to protect independent programmers carried by DirecTV. It points to a lawsuit it filed over DirecTV’s plans to move HDNet and HDNet Movies from their current tier, which customers get for a flat $9.99 fee, to a tier that will cost extra money. "This action, although initiated while News Corp still retains control of DirecTV, will benefit favored partners, including Dr [John] Malone and his Discovery-related affiliates, among others," HDNet said, noting that Discovery HD Theater is among the nets remaining in the standard $9.99 tier. Other HDNet claims: Discovery "wrongfully" terminated an ad agreement for HDNet on the channel because the ads may result in customers demanding their MVPDs make HDNet nets available on their platform; and DirecTV wants to kill HDNet and HDNet Movies to obtain programming for its own new network, "The 101." — Meanwhile, HDNet said it won a temporary restraining order in its DirecTV lawsuit that’ll keep the net from being moved to a tier at least for a little while. A hearing is slated for next month.

The Daily


Altice USA Kicks Off Optimum Rebrand

Altice USA is rebranding its mobile product from Altice Mobile, all part of a larger plan to align all Altice USA brands under the Optimum name.

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