The state of Wisconsin produced 35.1 billion pounds of cheese during the 17 years that Brett Favre started 253 consecutive games for the Packers, ESPN says. Good morning.

Some irony on the morning after Brett Favre’s announced retirement. Cable sports execs will be on Capitol Hill at 9:30 ET for a House Energy subcommittee hearing on regional sports nets, sports tiers and why professional sports leagues are, gasp, forcing fans to watch sports on cable instead of free broadcast TV. BusinessWeek reports. [BW]

In NYC, Cable Positive’s annual fundraiser was positively successful, with $1.2 million added to the coffers to fight HIV/AIDS, continuing the industry’s record of raising $1 million or more for 11 consecutive years, although Cable Positive budgeted to raise $1.4 million.

CP chief Steve Villano stepped up his usual eloquence, speaking about some his heroes, including those who lived “committed lives,” like FDR, Martin Luther King Jr. and a 92-year-old immigrant, who passed away just 11 weeks ago. Like the millions living with HIV/AIDS, Villano’s mother lived with polio. “She lived with it, not died from it,” Villano said, and raised 4 children from her wheelchair. She also made others’ lives better. This spirit is what helps keep Cable Positive enthusiastic in its quest to eradicate HIV/AIDS some 25 years after it was discovered, Villano said. The group honored Insight CEO Michael Willner, MTV Networks Vice Chairman Bill Roedy and CARE CEO Dr Helene Gayle.    

Briefly Noted
Landmark is expecting The Weather Channel to fetch $5 billion as early bids come due next week, Reuters says. Parties interested include Time Warner Cable, NBC-U, Comcast and CBS, sources told Reuters. [R]

Nickelodeon named Ann Taylor exec Jennifer Goodman Linn to the newly created post of SVP, brand marketing, The Hollywood Reporter says. [THR]

It doesn’t happen every day (and it certainly doesn’t make the papers), but props to Great Plains Cable, which is receiving glowing reviews from Cook County, Neb., subs after GPC acquired the system from Charter, the McCook Daily Gazette reports. [MDG

Turner Networks Pres Steve Koonin tells Forbes that the broadcasters’ “disarray about pilots” and their “ratings [being] down in the high teens” shifts the momentum to cable companies like Turner. [F

Following similar moves by MySpace, Facebook is considering starting a music service that would counter Apple’s iTunes store, The Financial Times reports. And Facebook poached Google senior exec Sheryl Sandberg to generate revenue for the site, The Wall St Journal notes. [FT] [WSJ]

Ascent Media signed agreements to enhance its relationship with WWE. Under the agreements, WWE is using Ascent studio space for wraparounds and Ascent is providing HD-capable fiber optic links to WWE.

The NY Times’ Alessandra Stanley blasts broadcasters’ coverage of the primaries, arguing “networks no longer cover news, they slap it onto the bottom edge of their regular programming like Post-it notes.” Cable’s coverage, including from BBC America, fares better, she writes. [NYT]

NEWS BRIEFING FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2007 Today in CableFAX Daily: Cable’s Wonderful Women

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

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