KEVIN MARTIN is proposing a 75% reduction in the rates that cable operators can charge to lease extra channels. To promote more diverse programming, prices would drop from 40 cents a month per subscriber to 10 cents. The plan will be voted on this month and could be enacted next year.
GOOGLE is reportedly in talks with British entrepreneur Simon Fuller about a new service that will “change television.” Details on the TV venture are extremely limited at this time. On Monday the company furthered its plans to upset the mobile phone industry by offering $10 million in prizes to developers that create the best applications for Android, its new mobile operating system.
WARNER BROS. TV has unveiled MomLogic.com, a site targeted specifically at mothers. It will offer filtered news, original online shows, how-to articles and more. Warner Bros. has already seen great success with niche site TMZ.com, which focuses on celebrity gossip.
LIFETIME NETWORKS will also target a niche female audience by overhauling LifetimeTV.com and turning it into a women’s social networking portal. The site has been renamed myLifetime.com and will be populated with content from Hearst, About and Glam Media. Lifetime looks to double its online presence by creating an online Lifetime Network (a collection of niche female sites) and by providing content to the Glam Media network of sites.
PUBLICIS GROUPE will create Insight Factory, a new entity that brings together elements of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, and Leo Burnett. Insight will allow clients to get services from a single provider and the three units will share resources from the joint venture, which is expected to begin next year. Publicis CEO Maurice Levy drew attention this week by calling Microsoft’s $240 million Facebook investment “insane” and saying there is not enough advertising money to support the recent explosion in online advertising services. Levy compared the current state of online advertising to the Internet bubble of the late ’90s.