Daily Marauder


BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Former HBO chief Chris Albrecht, in his current role as head of global media at IMG, is working around the clock to develop and market a new sport called SlamBall, a high-flying mix of basketball, rugby and trampolines. In 2002 and 2003, the sport made a brief appearance on Spike TV, but Albrecht thinks it could have potential: “This [is] not just a sport that would be fun to watch, but it’s a business that we can build.” (The Wall Street Journal 4/18)

It’s like basketball on gymnastics crack.  I agree with Albrecht on this one.  I found the video pretty damn exciting to watch and as a female with a general aversion to sports of all kinds (except soccer), that’s saying something.

SlamBall


Oxygen’s Tuesday night debut of Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love (1030p) scored the highest viewing audience ever for an Oxygen series premiere. The opening episode drew in viewers numbers such as 438,000 among A18-49; 334,000 with W18-49; and 579,000 total viewers. (Cynopsis 4/18)

Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate on ABC (8-10p) between Senators Clinton and Obama was the most-watched verbal contest of this current political season. The debate which was presented by ABC News, the National Constitution Center and WPVI/Philadelphia and moderated by Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, averaged 10.7 million total viewers and a 3.5/9 with A25-54 and a 2.7/7 among A18-49. (Cynopsis 4/18)

China wants CNN to make a “sincere” apology for remarks made by commentator Jack Cafferty, who called the nation’s leaders “goons and thugs.” China’s Foreign Ministry says: “This despicable scheme will not dupe the Chinese people.” A Web site has been set up called anti-cnn.com. (Iwantmedia 4/18,  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=aVIfJJeTKWMc 4/17)

Now this is interesting.  The site wasn’t created to bash CNN but to speak to the “propaganda” distributed by the western media.  Particular consideration is given to the topic of freeing Tibet.  Check out the video from the French senator and his views on theocracy in Tibet; a perspective which I haven’t heard before at least.

News Corp. shares have been Wall Street favorites in recent years, but in recent days a couple of analysts have cut their rating and/or price target on the media conglomerate’s stock, citing growth concerns, particularly at its online assets, led by MySpace. (Iwantmedia 4/18,  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3iaeef0c1a4b682082b7f73c92222e32d5 4/18)

“Code Monkeys,” an animated comedy about video game developers on Comcast-owned G4, will officially kick off its second season June 1. The series will present a sneak-peak episode, “Code Monkeys: The Story of 4/20,” this Sunday at 5 p.m. (Multichannel News 4/17)

Viacom’s Logo will present a live concert by the band Scissor Sisters on Thursday. The event is notable, channel executives say, because it will be the first time a gay-themed TV network has televised in high definition. (Multichannel News 4/17)

Comcast customers in New Jersey can now order a movie through video-on-demand, watch the first half on one TV and finish on another TV in the house. The AnyRoom On Demand service currently is available only to those with Motorola digital set-top boxes, but Comcast said it would roll out the free offering to New Jersey residents with Scientific Atlanta boxes — as well as other markets — later this year. (CED Magazine 4/17)

The so-called “addressable advertising” test that Comcast will conduct in Baltimore later this year will involve about 80,000 subscribers, far larger than a recently concluded trial in Huntsville, Ala. “It will be a much bigger trial, much more massive in terms of the total number of households and set-top boxes that will be involved,” said Paul Woidke, senior vice president of technology at Comcast Spotlight. “We can expect to have greater learning with broader demographic groups than we had before.” (Light Reading 4/17)

Executives of the NFL Network say they will file a formal complaint with the FCC against Comcast’s decision to place the cable channel on a sports tier and not on basic cable. Comcast, however, maintains it has the right to put the channel on a sports tier so that customers can opt out if they want. (Broadcasting & Cable 4/17, TVWeek.com 4/17)

Cable companies should not be burdened with excessive and costly regulation as they expand their roles as broadband providers, FCC Commissioners Deborah Tate and Robert McDowell said during Thursday’s meeting on net-neutrality issues in California. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, usually a vocal critic of the cable industry, said ISPs should be allowed to manage the traffic on their networks, as long as the process is made transparent to users. (The Washington Post/paidContent.org 4/18, Reuters 4/18)


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