The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network officially notified Time Warner Cable that the cable operator is in breach of its carriage contract, YES Network spokesman Bob Davis confirmed late Friday. The regional sports network alleges that Time Warner Cable breached its contract with YES last month when it started offering its subscribers the choice to drop YES and save $1 on their monthly bill. While Davis would not reveal details about the content of the notification or the manner in which it was delivered, a Time Warner Cable spokesman confirmed the company has been notified of the alleged breach of contract. YES founder Leo Hindery threatened to sue TWC when it announced this move in June. No lawsuit had been filed as of late Friday. TV networks covering the Kobe Bryant case are working overtime, and some are getting boffo ratings for their efforts. Court TV’s The Case Against Kobe Bryant: Court TV Investigates, which premiered Aug. 6, achieved a 1.0 HH rating, tying for ninth place among all ad-supported basic networks in the 8 to 9 p.m. time period, according to the network. The program also tallied a .5 rating in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic, tying for the No. 5 position among basic networks. Last week, the FCC announced its tenth annual review of video competition, and asked for information on a few new items, including the status of HDTV and the conversion of cable systems to all-digital. The notice asked whether the cable industry’s reach had triggered the 70/70 test, which caused a brief flurry of speculation: If cable companies can pass 70% of the homes in America, and 70% subscribe to cable, the FCC can adopt new regulations to ensure diversity of offerings to consumers and control vertical integration of programming and distribution. In 2002, the FCC said that cable passed over 90% of American homes with 67% subscribing. However, Seth Davidson, longtime cable lawyer at Fleischman & Walsh, said that the FCC has asked for similar information since 2000. “Keep in mind that even if it could be established that the 70/70 test has been met, the relevant statutory provision only authorizes [i.e., it doesn’t mandate] the FCC to promote diversity of information services through new regulatory initiatives,” he said. Showtime will premiere this fall a rap music-focused reality series called Interscope Presents The Next…. A&E’s Biography series is profiling California governor wannabe Arnold Schwarzenegger on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m…. Because of scheduling problems, BET founder Bob Johnson, who was to be inducted into the Cable TV Hall of Fame later this year, will now wait until 2004 before joining the club.

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Nexstar named Tom Carter pres and COO, effective Oct 1. Carter will maintain his current role as CFO for the foreseeable future, and he also entered a new employment agreement through Dec 31, 2023. –

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