Broadband Briefs for 04/13/09
• Cox adds new channels to lineup
By Traci Patterson
Cox Communications has added NESNplus and NESNplus HD to its channel lineup.
NESNplus and NESNplus HD cover Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games. When the teams' games are on simultaneously or overlap, viewers can catch one game on NESN/NESN HD and the other on NESNplus/NESNplus HD.
"We are thrilled to be the only cable provider in Rhode Island delivering NESNplus HD to our customers this season," said Doreen Studley, vice president of marketing for Cox New England. "We are committed to providing our customers quality and compelling high-definition programming at no additional cost. This is just the latest example of how the 'Cox customer experience' is unrivaled in this market."
• Dish teams with MTV, BET for HD channels
By Traci Patterson
Dish Network has formed an agreement with MTV Networks and BET Networks and is launching high-definition feeds of BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV and VH1 at no additional cost to its subscribers.
"We are pleased to now offer our customers these top-rated high-definition channels, and we look forward to a long-term partnership with MTV Networks and BET Networks that includes broad video-on-demand and Internet streaming rights," said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish Network. "The launch of these channels is a testament to our continued HD leadership, as no one has more HD channels or a higher quality picture than Dish Network."
The HD channels are now available to Dish customers who subscribe to Classic Bronze 100 HD and above. BET HD is now available to customers who subscribe to Classic Silver 200 HD and above. And consumers who sign up for satellite service with Dish may qualify to receive high-definition programming for free for the first six months, along with a free HD DVR and free installation.
• Cable glitch switches religious program to racy ad
By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Philadelphia cable network's early morning broadcast of a Good Friday service at the Vatican abruptly changed to something wildly different – a 30-second "Girls Gone Wild" ad.
Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander says the 2 a.m. Friday programming glitch was due to a required test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). He says such tests are usually done in the overnight hours. The test automatically tunes viewers to a pre-selected channel that would provide information in the event of an emergency. But during tests, the channel airs regular programming, which in this case included a paid advertisement for the racy videos.
Alexander says the problem affected the network's entire local area, but that only one person called to complain.
• EU may force carriers to allow VoIP
By Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week
The European Union (EU) could force carriers to allow VoIP to run on their cellular networks and has already prepared draft legislation that would open smartphones to the technology, according to a report published in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper.
VoIP allows consumers to place much cheaper calls than those placed over cellular networks. European carriers view the technology as a threat to their business model and have widely banned VoIP from being used on their networks.
Currently, EU member states independently regulate blocked Internet services. However, EU telecom commissioner Viviane Reding recently said that “action” should be taken against carriers that use their large market share to “block innovative services.”
• Report: Jobs still busy at Apple
By Wireless Week Staff
Apple CEO Steve Jobs remains closely involved in key aspects of running the company, despite being on medical leave, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, citing people familiar with the matter (story here).
COO Tim Cook runs the day-to-day operations, but Jobs continues to work on strategies and products from his home. He was particularly involved in the user interface (UI) of the new iPhone operating system (OS), and the company is working on new iPhone models and a portable device that is smaller than a laptop but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch, the report said. The expectation is that Jobs will return in June.
Meanwhile, Apple said nearly 1 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store. Its running tally can be found here.