glasses. Opponents of the FCC's conditional waiver to the

Opponents of the FCC's conditional waiver to the
charter for set-tops with downloadable security, which
includes notably the Consumer Electronics Association,
have until the end of this week to appeal that decision.
A spokesperson for CEA said it was "considering all
options," but FCC staffers are anticipating that it will
appeal the bureau-level decision. It has 30 days from
the FCC's grant of the waiver, which was adopted April
Two commission sources confirmed CEA
representatives have met with commission officials
recently to argue that the waiver went too far, and that
the fact that it does not require the boxes with
downloadable security also to be CableCARD compliant
-- the charter argued it would be too expensive and
delay the move to digital security -- will encourage
others to seek the waivers and effectively eviscerate the
requirement of separating the security and surfing
functions. That FCC move was meant to spur the market
in the retail set-tops produced by CEA members.
Back in December, CEA asked the FCC to deny the
charter's request for a waiver of the FCC's ban on
integrated digital set-top boxes, calling its proposal a
"nominal and partial 'solution' that cannot fairly be
projected to work in the real world."
The FCC in 2007 instituted the prohibition on settops that combine channel surfing with security. Cable
ops were required to use a removable CableCARD
security add-on, a move the FCC hoped would promote
a retail market in boxes, though it conceded a
downloadable software security option would be
preferable to the hardware in the long run.
INFO ON GOOGLE GLASS—Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), cochair of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus,
along with other members of that caucus, has sent a
letter to Google expressing concerns with the privacy
implications of Google Glass, the "wearable computer"
They pointed to Google's own promotion of the
device as able to "take pictures, record and share what
you see hands free, obtain directions, send messages
and basically ask whatever is on your mind right before
your eyes."
They said that given that Google Glass has not yet
been released, and they are unclear about the
associated privacy protections, they want some answers
to a number of questions. One is how Google will keep
Google Glass from inadvertently collecting information
about users, or non-users, without consent.
Google has had to settle claims that it collected info
from Wi-Fi Nets without permission -- Google has said
the collection was inadvertent.
Other questions include what "proactive steps"
Google is taking to protect privacy, whether it will be
able to use facial recognition to "unveil" personal info,
whether the new technology will need to result in any
changes to current privacy policies and more.
The caucus wants answers by June 14.
Other caucus members signing on to the letter were
Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio),
Rep. Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr. (D-Ga.), Rep. Walter
Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.), Rep. Bobby
Rush (D-Ill.) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).
trade Commission has no antitrust issues with Sinclair
Broadcasting's purchase of Fisher Communications.
Sinclair said in March it had agreed to buy the
Fisher's 20 TV stations for $373.3 million.
The FTC Thursday granted the deal early termination,
which means that it found no reason to seek conditions
on or try to block the transfer.
The FCC has not yet approved the license transfers.
According to an FCC spokesperson, the deal has a week
and a half more on public notice. The commission
allows for a certain period of time for the public to
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weigh in on the deal before it makes a decision.
The FTC (or Justice, they divide up the oversight) vets
the deal for antitrust concerns, while the FCC goes
beyond to look at public interest considerations as well
as competition issues. An FTC or DOJ review for
potential competition issues, and the requirement that
companies submit the deal for that review, is triggered
by any transaction valued at $70.9 million or more.
CW CHANGES FIVE NIGHTS— The CW will shake up its
schedule in the fall, making changes on all five nights
according to the 2013-14 primetime schedule the
network released on Thursday.
New drama Reign, about a young Mary Queen of
Scots, will get The CW's strongest launch pad, leading
out of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday. Rookie The
Tomorrow People, about a young man (Robbie Amell)
with special powers, will also get a big push on
Wednesday following Arrow, the network's highestrated new series this season starring Amell's cousin
Its third new fall drama, the Vampire Diaries spinoff
The Originals, will anchor Tuesdays leading into
Supernatural, which moves from Wednesdays. Hart of
Dixie shifts up a day to Mondays at 8 p.m., followed by
sophomore Beauty and the Beast, relocated from
The Sex and the City spinoff The Carrie Diaries will
move to Fridays at 8 p.m. where it will be paired with
America's Next Top Model. Remaining new dramas StarCrossed and The 100 will premiere in midseason, as well
as the just-ordered reality series Famous in 12.
Nikita, which had been airing on Fridays this season,
will also end with a six-episode run in midseason.
In addition to its fall schedule, The CW also
announced a three-year deal with Clear Channel to
broadcast the iHeartRadio music festival as well as its
Holiday Jingle Ball and Ultimate Pool Party. Under the
agreement, the network will also air album release
parties and other concert specials and have the rights to
stream the specials online following their TV premiere.
Thursday picked up its first two original half-hour
comedies to series, ordering Denis Leary's Sirens and
buddy comedy Playing House.
Sirens follows three Chicago EMTs who are skilled at
their jobs but disastrous at relationships. Leary and Bob
Fisher co-wrote the pilot, which is based on a UK
format, and executive produce the series.
The single-camera Playing House is about a motherto-be who asks her single, career-driven best friend to
return home from her job overseas to attend her baby
shower. The series is inspired by the real-life friendship
of co-writers Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who
also star and executive produce.
USA has additionally order the comedy pilot Love is
Dead, about a company that specializes in breaking up
romantic relationships. It also announced that Modern
Family will premiere in syndication on the network on
Sept. 24.
Cable is in talks about taking an equity stake in the Hulu
video hub, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing
unnamed sources said to be familiar with the
Bloomberg said those talks are in the "early stage,"
noting that a deal might not come together. In addition
to providing a new revenue stream, TWC could be
interested in Hulu to help it obtain out-of-market
distribution rights for top TV programming, and help it
deliver subscription-based services outside its
traditional cable footprint. TWC lost 119,000 video subs
in the first quarter. TWC declined to comment on the
TWC's purported interest in Hulu follows other
recent speculation about who is looking to land Hulu,
which recently surpassed 4 million paid subscribers.
Last month, former News Corp. chief Peter Chernin
was reported to have a $500 million bid for Hulu, which
he helped found in 2007. Bloomberg reported earlier
this month that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was
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exploring a bid for Hulu as she looks to reignite Yahoo's
online video strategy. and Guggenheim
Partners reportedly have also shown interest in Hulu.
Jason Kilar, the founding CEO of Hulu, left the
company at the end of March. Hulu senior VP of
content Andy Forssell has stepped in as acting CEO.
COPPA CHANGES—The Federal Trade Commission has
signaled that it will not be postponing the July 1
deadline for companies to come into compliance with
changes in its rule enforcing the COPPA (the Children's
Online Privacy Protection Act).
The Digital Marketing Association, the National
Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture
Association of America and others had asked the FTC to
delay implementation from July 1 to Jan. 1, 2014, saying
they needed more time to implement the changes.
But earlier this week, the FTC began sending letters
to companies advising them of the July 1 deadline and
what they needed to do to comply.
In December, the FTC unveiled the final version of
the FTC's proposed changes and updates, which
includes bringing geolocation, cookies (plug-ins), online
user names, and photos, videos, and audio of kids into
the definition of personal information that can't be
collected without parental permission, and brings
behavioral targeting explicitly within the rule. It also
makes websites responsible for third-party collections.
Companies also have to ensure that any third party
receiving information can protect it and its
confidentiality and is abiding by new rules on how it can
be kept and stored.
SPECTRUM SCREEN MOVE—Leading House Energy and
Commerce Committee Democrats have given the FCC
their take on what incentive spectrum auction
legislation has to say about FCC policy regarding the
spectrum holdings of wireless companies.
In a letter to outgoing chairman Julius Genachowski
(he is exiting Friday, May 17), Ranking E&C member
Henry Waxman and ranking Communications
Subcommittee member Anna Eshoo, both from
California, said the law clearly states in a "carefully
negotiated" addition to the original bill that the FCC
cannot prevent someone from bidding how meets
certain criteria. But it "does not require the FCC to allow
every carrier to bid for every megahertz of a spectrum
band," they said.
In a separate proceeding, the FCC is considering
modifying the local-market spectrum screen it uses to
determine how much spectrum in one market held by
one company should trigger additional review. That
could potentially affect AT&T and Verizon, expected to
be bidders in the spectrum auction. The Dems point out
that the law also allowed for the FCC "to adopt and
enforce rules of general applicability, including rules
concerning spectrum aggregation that promote
They argue that, in addition to the cap, the FCC could
require post-auction divestiture of spectrum, so long as
that was part of a generally applicable rule.
Back in April, the Republican leadership wrote the
FCC to take issue with the Justice Department's support
of ensuring that smaller nationwide networks get a
chance to bid, and of weighting spectrum holdings
according to the type of spectrum as well as the
amount. Lower-band spectrum like that being reclaimed
from broadcasters is more valuable to wireless
companies because of its propagation characteristics -it more easily travel through walls and buildings.
Fox aired the performance finale of American Idol on
Wednesday for a 2.9 rating with adults 18-49, according
to Nielsen overnight numbers. While that was even with
last Wednesday, it was down 34% from last year's
performance finale (which aired on a Tuesday). The
second night of So You Think You Can Dance's two-night
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premiere was up 21% from Tuesday to a 2.3. Fox won
the night with an overall 2.6/8.
ABC grabbed second with a 2.0/6. The Middle and
Modern Family both rose 6% to a 1.9 and 3.5,
respectively. Family Tools and How to Live With Your
Parents were each flat at 1.2 and 2.0. At 10 p.m.,
Nashville was up 13% to a 1.8.
CBS' finale of CSI was down from both last week
(9%) and last year (17%) to a 2.0. Criminal Minds was
even with another 2.5. CBS ended up in third (but
second in total viewers) with a 1.9/6.
NBC aired the finale of Chicago Fire for a 1.9, up 6%
from last week and even with its series premiere back in
October. Dateline was even with its last airing three
weeks ago with a 1.3 and Law & Order: SVU declined
21% to a 1.5. NBC was in fourth with a 1.6/5.
The CW rounded out the evening with a 0.9/3, airing
a pair of finales. Arrow ended its debut season with a
0.7 in the net's targeted 18-34 demo, down a tenth
from last week (it was also down 36% from the 1.1 it
premiered to in October). With 18-49s, the finale drew
a 0.9, flat with last week and down 31% from the show's
premiere (1.3). Supernatural's finale was even with 1834s with a 0.8 and down 10% with 18-49s to a 0.9.
a comedy series from Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead,
King of the Hill) about Silicon Valley's tech boom.
The logline for the untitled series is: A half-hour
comedy set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon
Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are
the least capable of handling success.
The pilot was written by Judge, John Altschuler and
Dave Krinsky, who serve as executive producers along
with Michael Rotenberg and Scott Rudin.
The pickup comes one day after HBO ordered an
untitled Michael Lannon dramedy project.
2015, ESPN will be the exclusive rights holder for the
entire Tennis U.S. Open thanks to an 11-year deal with
the United States Tennis Association announced
ESPN has televised approximately 100 hours of live
US Open matches since 2009; now it will air over 130
hours, adding day-long coverage of the "middle
weekend" -- Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday -plus both the men's and women's semifinals and finals.
The tournament finals, and weekend play, had been
carried by CBS since 1968.
Also starting in 2015, the women's semifinals will be
played on a Thursday in primetime, with the men's
semifinals taking place on Friday. The women's finals
will be on Saturday and the men's finals on Sunday.
All telecasts will be available on ESPN's TV
Everywhere offering, WatchESPN. ESPN also gains
expanded digital rights, with every match on all 17
tournament courts available on ESPN3. Currently, six of
the 17 courts have coverage.
With the deal, ESPN will now have complete rights to
the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. It
shares coverage of the French Open with Tennis
Channel and NBC, which airs that tournament's
"Certain sporting events become synonymous with
when they are held, and there is no better - or bigger way to celebrate the end of summer than at the US
Open in New York," said John Skipper, ESPN president
and cochair of Disney Media Networks. "We look
forward to capturing every match, every star, every
championship and all the drama on this grand stage."
Sources peg the agreement's annual value at as
much as $75 million. That's almost double the current
combined outlay under which CBS and ESPN are paying
$20 million apiece for Open rights. ESPN has offset
some of those costs through a sublicensing deal with
Tennis Channel, which airs some 70 live hours from the
Open, as part of 250 overall with encore programming.
CBS Sports issued the following statement about the
Open: "We are proud of our long-term association with
the USTA and wish them well. Looking ahead, we have
profitable partnerships with all of our key sports
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franchises locked up for many, many years to come,
including the NFL, NCAA Men's Basketball
Championship, SEC Football, PGA Tour and the PGA
Championship. And in the meantime, we look forward
to two more years of tennis on CBS."
SOAPS—Prospect Park will adjust their rollout schedule
for episodes of soaps All My Children and One Life to
The company will now release two episodes of each
per week: All My Children on Monday and Wednesday
and One Life to Live on Tuesday and Thursday. The
Friday recap shows will also be condensed into just one.
Hulu will keep all of the episodes on its free service.
With the new schedule, OLTL and AMC will produce
about 110 episodes this year instead of the planned
In a note to fans, Prospect Park founders Jeff
Kwatinetz and Rich Frank said that the "viewing
patterns resemble more closely the typical patterns of
online viewing rather than how one would watch
traditional television. This leads us to believe we are
posting too many episodes and making it far too
challenging for viewers to keep up."
CBS—Elizabeth Tumulty has been named executive VP
of affiliate relations for the CBS Television Network.
She starts June 1 and will report to Diana Wilkin,
president of affiliate relations. Based in Los Angeles,
Tumulty will work closely with Wilkin on negotiating
affiliation contracts and coordinating with the affiliates
board, among other things. She will also be the West
Coast point person on affiliate issues.
"I'm thrilled to have someone of Elizabeth's
professional caliber joining our team," said Wilkin. "Her
business acumen and vast knowledge of the inner
workings of the affiliate-network relationship make her
well-suited to keep CBS and its affiliates at the forefront
of an always-evolving industry."
Tumulty comes from The CW, where she was
executive VP of network distribution, serving as the
network's head of distribution and affiliate relations
when it launched in 2006. Tumulty's role grew to
include oversight of affiliate marketing, while she added
several key CW Plus Network responsibilities in 2012.
Prior to joining The CW, Tumulty was senior VP of
affiliate relations and communications for The WB
of the annual RTDNA-Hofstra University TV station
surveys, is stepping down as distinguished professor of
journalism and department chair for journalism, media
studies and public relations at Hofstra, to live out west.
He will continue to conduct the surveys on behalf of
Hofstra and the RTDNA, and will retain a distinguished
emeritus professor of journalism title.
Papper, a newsroom veteran at WCCO Minneapolis,
WSYX Columbus and KPIX San Francisco, among others,
leaves New York May 28 and will live in Las Vegas. Born
in New York, he spent his high school years in
Albuquerque. "I never really got the west out of me," he
says. "There's something about it."
The illuminating RTDNA-Hofstra studies look at
profitability, staffing and news output, among other
things, in local TV and radio, and are the definitive word
on trends in local news.
U-VERSE UPGRADES ON-DEMAND STORE—AT&T's Uverse has rolled out a new U-verse On Demand
storefront that is designed to make it easier for
customer to find and access movies and TV shows.
Improved tools for finding On Demand content has
become an increasingly important issue for
multichannel operators as the amount of On Demand
content continues to grow.
"Customers have access to thousands of titles today,
and our new On Demand storefront will help them
quickly discover the best movies and titles," said Mel
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Coker, chief marketing officer, AT&T Home Solutions in
a statement.
The new interface was tested in AT&T Labs in Austin,
Texas and then trialed with customers in Austin and San
Antonio before launching on May 16.
It is currently available in Austin, Bakersfield, Baton
Rouge, Birmingham, Charleston, Charlotte, Cleveland,
Columbia, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Dayton, Daytona
Beach, Decatur, El Paso, Fayetteville, Fresno, Grand
Rapids, Greensboro, Greenville, Houston, Jackson,
Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lansing, Los
Angeles, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Miami, Midland,
Milwaukee, Mobile, Monterey, Nashville, Reno, San
Antonio, San Diego, South Bend, Springfield, St. Louis,
Topeka, Tulsa and Wallingford.
Additional markets will be rolled out over the rest of
the year.
New features include an improve user interface;
advanced search tools; colorful poster art to simplify
the process of finding interesting content; a My Videos
section to keep track of current rentals in one place;
and a My Queue section where users can save titles for
later viewing.
In the future, the telco is planning additional
improvements that will include an advanced
recommendation engine.
has inked an expanded content licensing agreement
with NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution
that adds a variety of shows to its Prime Instant Video
As part of the agreement, Prime subscribers got
exclusive unlimited subscription streaming access to
prior seasons of NBC's Grimm and USA's Suits and
Covert Affairs on May 16th.
Later this year, users will get access to NBC's
Hannibal and in early 2014 will be able to stream Syfy's
new show Defiance.
The deal also includes such shows as NBC's Smash
and Syfy's Alphas, Eureka and Warehouse 13 shows.
In addition, the agreement will make such kids fare as
Curious George and Land Before Time available on
Kindle FreeTime Unlimited.
"We listen carefully to our customers to find out
which TV shows and movies they find the most
entertaining," said Brad Beale, director of digital video
content acquisition for Amazon in a statement. "Our
expanded agreement with NBCUniversal gives Prime
members access to even more exclusive content that
they can stream instantly, at no additional cost."
Frances Manfredi, president, NBCUniversal Cable and
New Media Distribution, added in a statement that
"with Amazon, we're giving our established viewers a
chance to catch up on what they missed while
simultaneously reaching and engaging new audiences
who may not have seen these great series on their
premiering networks."
named Kurt Davis VP of news services, the network
announced Thursday.
Davis will head up the satellite newsgathering team
that supplies CBS' 200 affiliates and international
markets, working out of CBS' New York office.
Prior to joining CBS News, Davis served as executive
news director at CBS' San Antonio, Texas affiliate, KENSTV, following a long career in broadcast journalism at
stations around the country.
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