Video on What? For years now, EchoStar has blatantly, and smartly, called its DVR-set-top box “video on demand.” They stole the cable hole card fair and square. Because cable allowed it to do so. No matter “only” cable (and, well, telco now) could truly claim it so. Soon, though, cable’s sky competitors are going to be able to deliver a service more like cable’s VOD than cable once thought possible. Both competitors will be able to do so, by the way. They can mix satellite download on a sort of pay-per-view or ask-per-view basis for some product… and the rest of the content accessible on demand will be via broadband connections… by DSL, of course… and maybe even via cable connections (why not? The net is agnostic, right?). This is sort of like what British Telecom is doing in the UK; and sort of like what AT&T is doing with HomeZone in some markets. The equipment is shipping. Some is being installed. For both DirecTV and DISH subs. The advertising blitzes might start as early as July 4… or sooner. More confusion in the marketplace? Sure. Opportunity, too. (Ancillary benefit for DBS: they’re learning how to dynamically manage their bandwidth… something cable is slightly behind in doing… but will catch up. This also suggests that content owners might want to revisit network DVR for their best distributors). Random Notes

  • Backyard BBQ? In New York City? Well, why not? Only Cable Positive would dare… a week from today, 6-9 pm at 411 3rd Avenue at 29th St. For details and tickets: http://www.cablepositive.org/chapter-ny.html.
  • POP Next? (Ever get the feeling that CP is a social event organizer par excellence?). And next Tues… more from CP with the 6th Annual POP Awards. Details: http://www.cablepositive.org/programs-pop.html.
  • Last Chapter of the Rigas Saga? Jail? Sad story. Exhausted appeals. One can sympathize (without empathizing or even understanding). Just sad. And why Sarbanes-Oxley isn’t all bad (should be revised and simplified, though).
  • Political Advertising: Interesting stuff from the BCFM conference last week when a current political ad guy talked about national cable advertising for the primaries. Just another unintended consequence? Maybe, maybe not. But an interesting opportunity for the CAB to match the primary states with national ad buys beginning late this year. Here’s a time for even better ad sales cooperation among the networks and their affiliates…
  • Meanwhile, Who’s Watching What for What Reason? Reminds me of an old limerick. Wasn’t the Scarborough Research on political affiliations compared/contrasted with channels watched a fun – but somewhat obvious–exercise? (Details from amongrain@scarborough.com). It probably won’t take anyone more than 30 seconds to guess each correlation… but it is fun to see all of one’s guesses prove out. Although, I confess, I just don’t get that Democrats are 29% more likely to watch SoapNet. Would be fun to take all of the research and run it against age/income/other demographics matrices… and I’m sure they’d do it for you for a fee.
  • Idolatry: “American Idol” proves an old adage: ___________. … and I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blank.

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Turner Strikes MLB Deal Extension

Turner Sports re-upped its rights deal with Major League Baseball , signing a seven-year deal valued at nearly $3.75bln. Turner will pay approximately $535mln/year through 2028 to carry America’s

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