October 25, 2007
360AM: Dolan Rollin' On; TV Decency Debate Heads to Supreme Court
Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan moves on to next battle; Justice Dept. gets ready to appeal TV decency ruling before Supreme Court; and more Thursday news.
By Shirley Brady
Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Oct. 25 »
Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan's rejected bid to take the company private on behalf of his family was the largest rejection of a buyout ever, notes the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal observes that "just eight other deals, out of 1,200 struck in the U.S., have suffered the same ignominious fate." [More coverage: AP | NY Newsday]. Meanwhile, it was back to business with Cablevision resuming its network DVR battle in court yesterday; Reuters has more.
USA Today looks at the looming battle over TV decency, with U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement notifying the Supreme Court that the Justice Department will appeal the 2nd Circuit's June decision siding with Fox by Nov. 1.
Comcast continued to lose basic subscribers in the third quarter (more details here). Also reporting third quarter earnings this morning: Motorola and Scripps. Comcast also started marketing its TiVo boxes this week.
AT&T's U-verse IPTV service yesterday got a green light in IL, continued battling CT and showed off its next-generation features at TelcoTV in GA. Details here.
Verizon also highlighted FiOS TV's coming attractions at TelcoTV, including using poster art to enhance searches, dynamic ad insertion and shorter VOD windows, reports xchange.
Liberty Media shareholders approved the company's split into two tracking stocks: Liberty Entertainment, which will house Starz and its interests in GSN, FUN Technologies, WildBlue Communications plus its DirecTV and regional sports networks stakes after that deal is approved in December; and Liberty Capital, which will house other interests including a stake in the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
Microsoft beat out Google for Facebook's affections yesterday. Microsoft agreed to pay $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the social networking site, which is now valued at $15 billion. [New York Times | Wall Street Journal]
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, separately, said his company may partner on a bid in the FCC's January 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction, reports MarketWatch, although Schmidt added, "We won't make our final decision until the last minute."
Disney committed $2 million to Southern California's wildfire victims and relief efforts, while cable operators continue to fight on the ground, including Charter Communications' all-digital system in Long Beach, CA, which bore the brunt of Malibu-area fire damages. “Ironically, we have a signed contract in hand right now to provide a second link in to Malibu,” Charter spokesman Craig Watson told Malibu Surfside News. However, the fires engulfed the area before Charter's backup fiberoptic could be patched into to the new system.
The NBC/Fox Hulu.com, which is slated to go live next week, is running into skepticism before it launches, reports Investors Business Daily. Hulu's video affiliates include Comcast, Fuel TV, Oxygen, Speed, Sundance Channel and TV Guide. Today's Washington Post looks at a related topic: Apple's fight for TV shows now that NBC Universal's content (including top downloads The Office and Heroes) is checking out of iTunes for Hulu.
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