Broadband Briefs for 1/13/10
• Cablevision board OKs Madison Square Garden split
By The Associated Press
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) – Cablevision Systems Corp. said Tuesday that its board has approved the spin-off of its Madison Square Garden Group.
The unit, which has been a drag on Cablevision earnings, includes the famous sports arena, Radio City Music Hall, and the New York Knicks and Rangers.
On Feb. 9, Cablevision plans to distribute one Madison Square Garden Class A share for every four shares of Cablevision Class A stock held as of Jan. 25. Cablevision's Class B shareholders will get the same distribution in Madison Square Garden Class B shares.
• In the media: Wal-Mart might buy Vudu
By Brian Santo
Wal-Mart is considering the acquisition of Vudu as a means of getting into the content delivery business, according to All Things Digital.
Wal-Mart has a couple of failed attempts at content distribution on its resume. It attempted to provide a streaming movie service similar to the ones provided by Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster and others, and when that failed, it tried to create a downloading service, which also went nowhere.
Vudu started out selling its own box in a field crowded with single-purpose boxes (Boxee, Roku, etc.), although it also licensed its technology to LG and Mitsubishi, which incorporated Vudu capabilities directly into their consumer electronics products. Vudu recently shifted away from its hardware business to pursue licensing opportunities; it recently signed deals with Sanyo, Sharp, Mitsubishi and Toshiba, which will incorporate Vudu into broadband HDTVs.
• Judge denies new trial for ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio
By Catherine Tsai, The Associated Press
DENVER (AP) – A federal judge in Denver has denied former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio's request for a new trial on insider trading charges. Prosecutors said he sold $52 million worth of stock in 2001 while knowing that Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. risked missing its publicly stated sales targets. Nacchio was sentenced in 2007 to six years in prison and was ordered to pay $71 million, but he has appealed the sentence.
Nacchio also argued he deserved a new trial because testimony former Qwest CFO Robin Szeliga gave in a more recent deposition in a related civil case differed from testimony she gave at Nacchio's trial. U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger ruled Tuesday that the testimony wasn't substantially different and probably wouldn't lead to an acquittal.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year declined to review the case. Nacchio is still fighting a related civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.