Broadband Briefs for 7/25/08
• Cablevision adds MTVN programming to free VOD library
By Traci Patterson
Cablevision has added hundreds of new programs – from MTV, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic and CMT – to its free video-on-demand (VOD) library, which is available to iO TV digital cable customers.
The on-demand programming from MTV Networks is accessible, at no additional charge, to digital customers with a set-top box through the Free On-Demand menu on the iO TV user interface (UI), Cablevision said.
More than 85 percent of Cablevision's nearly 2.7 million iO TV customers are iO TV digital cable customers. iO TV offers customers access to up to 360 channels, including 53 premium movie channels, 48 channels of commercial-free digital music, more than 3,500 titles available on-demand at all times, an interactive programming guide, 45 high-definition (HD) programming services and interactive television (iTV) applications, including News 12 Interactive.
• AT&T vows to spend $400M on Alabama upgrades
By Brian Santo
AT&T dangled the prospect of investing approximately $400 million in network upgrades in Alabama, should the rest of the city and county governments in that state finally approve new video franchising measures they are each still considering.
By AT&T’s count, there are 34 communities in Alabama that have adopted rules changes that would allow AT&T to start rolling out U-verse and other advanced services, but many more communities, uncounted by AT&T, are still deliberating over similar measures.
Setting the precedent for Alabama, the Birmingham City Council and the Jefferson County Commission, both on July 8, approved agreements with AT&T that will enable AT&T to provide these new services to local consumers.
• Dish Network, DirecTV applaud vote on State Video Tax Fairness Act
By Mike Robuck
It’s not every day that satellite rivals DirecTV and Dish Network issue a joint press release, but such was the case yesterday as the two companies applauded the House Judiciary’s Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee for voting in favor of the State Video Tax Fairness Act.
“Today’s vote was a victory for all consumers, satellite and cable alike, who want to choose their video provider based on price, quality and customer service, not based on which one has a lower state sales tax,” read the joint statement. “The bill, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), allows states to tax any pay TV service so long as the tax is equal across all providers. DirecTV and Dish Network look forward to working with a growing list of supporters to enact this bipartisan, common sense bill into law this year.”
The State Video Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 3679) seeks to stop states from taxing satellite TV services and to create regulatory fairness with cable operators. The bill would require cable operators to pay the same fees as satellite providers.
• Rep. Baca to receive Diversity Advocate Award
By Traci Patterson
U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) will be presented with the Diversity Advocate Award at the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner, which is set for Sept. 17 in New York City.
The Diversity Advocate Award is presented annually to an individual external to the cable industry who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity, according to the Foundation.
The Diversity Advocate Award will be presented to Baca for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of the Latino community, including his current service as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Baca recently received the President’s Achievement Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was recognized by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda for his legislative achievements, and was the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award from Siempre Adelante and the Migrant Leadership Council for his achievements as a California legislator and a leader in the Latino community.
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