The race along the road to the White House is beginning to shake itself out. Tuesday is going to tell us even more.

On the one side: John McCain v. Mitt Romney. On the other: Hillary R. Clinton v. Barack Obama.

(OK, I know… Gov Mike Huckabee is still claiming the conservative mantle, but I’m betting he’ll go the way of John Edwards later this week. And I know that Rep Ron Paul is hanging in there, too… for Libertarians sake, I suppose; not to mention to spend the cash he’s raised).

On the one side: a veteran v. a manager. On the other: a long time striver v. an upstart challenger.

What does all this mean for the cable industry?

Of that, we aren’t too sure. (FYI: both Senators Clinton and McCain have been featured guests for fund raisers at DISH‘s Charles Ergen‘s home! We’re not sure what that means exactly, if anything).

But I think we’d all better find out.

* Hi-Def? Super Bowl Sunday? Did you get your newest 105″ plasma hi-def set all connected in time? Or will you keep working on it until the Pro Bowl? Did anyone at Best Buy or Circuit City (or wherever) tell you about all of the HD channels available at your home? Via your local cable system? Local overbuilder? DISH and/or DirecTV? Local telco video provider? 4DTV? Well, beginning today take a look at All the answers in one place.

* Cable Spin-Off? Wednesday the 6th is the day that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes tells analysts what he’s going to do… maybe. Instead, maybe he’ll volunteer to referee the Malone v. Diller brouhaha?

* March Forth! Don’t forget to book for the Cable Positive “Power Awards” dinner on March 4th… 2 great “cable” guys ( Insight‘s Michael Willner and MTV Int’l‘s Bill Roedy) will be joined by humanitarian award winner Dr Helene Gayle of CARE. Go to details today!

* Lake Retreat: Our friends at Argo Systems are gearing up for their annual state of the networks retreat… March 10-12 at Lakeway Resort (on Lake Travis; great place) outside Austin, TX.

* Best Cable Places To Work? Interesting list in the 2/4 Fortune. No cable-specific company in the top 100. But some with tight cable relationships: #1 — Google; #6 — Cisco (SA); #86 — Microsoft; #87 — Yahoo!; and #93 — Erickson Retirement Communities (parent of Retirement Living TV).

* A Favorable Forbes Story on Cable? WOW! Yep. But the story is about programming, not operations. The steadfastly anti-cable magazine (2/11) is bullish on Bonnie Hammer, not necessarily cable. We’re bullish on both. Portfolio liked her, too (and has a great “exit interview” with Gerry Laybourne on the web site).

* Alternative Distribution? Sure. Why not? Starz does it; Sundance does it… so why shouldn’t the soon-to-launch VOD SKI Channel sponsor a film festival, too? And, because it is all about mountains and skiing, why shouldn’t it be a ski film festival? And if you’re going to do that, wouldn’t it be great to do it with the guy who invented the idea of ski films? Personally, I’m looking forward to the first festival—bound to be at a great location—and featuring a special award for lifetime achievement named in honor of Warren Miller. And, I’m certain I’ll be skiing at that festival, too. (And, hey Larry… next year I’ll come to Park City and ski a few runs for sure!)

The Daily


Nielsen Gauges Cross-Platform Viewership

Nielsen launched monthly viewership visualization tool “The Gauge” Thursday. It shows how audiences in the US use streaming services on their TVs and how the streaming usage compares to traditional

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