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CABLE PROGRAMMERS have submitted a letter to Kevin Martin calling his a-la-carte proposal “devastating” for consumers, who will suddenly find themselves missing channels they expect to have with cable service. The letter also questioned the FCC’s legal right to enforce such a measure. It was signed by the heads of ESPN, MTV, Turner, Fox Networks Group and more. Some of you will ask, “why should I have to pay for channels I don’t want.” Well, right now, the answer is: “because the a-la-carte proposal is ‘devastating’ for the cable industry.”
FOX has released the movie “Juno” through iTunes on the same day as the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release. The company will consider similar releases in the future on a case-by-case basis. “Juno” is particularly well-suited for an iTunes release, with its soundtrack one of the most popular albums on the iTunes store. However, the release is also an indication that movie studios may be warming up to early iTunes releases.
PLUGGEDIN MEDIA will launch a new service today letting users stream high-quality music videos from the major labels. PluggedIn will offer 10,000 videos from EMI, Vivendi, and Sony BMG. The site will split ad revenue with the labels. Warner has yet to sign on fully but will offer some of its videos during the launch. PluggedIn is backed by Overbrook Entertainment, a production company owned by actor Will Smith and producer James Lassiter.
COMCAST claims it wants to create a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to guide Internet service providers in handling file-sharing traffic. Pando networks has come out in support of the concept. Comcast says a Bill of Rights is the way to solve the P2P issue “without getting the government involved.” Of course, the government is already involved. Comcast is already under investigation by the FCC for throttling access to file-sharing networks.
GOOGLE saw continued slowing of growth in clicks on its paid ads. Clicks grew only 2.7% during March.
AOL has purchased Sphere Source, a company that populates sites with content found on the web that relates to a specific theme. Over 60,000 sites have such arrangements in place, including major publishers like CNN.com, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. AOL hopes to use the service for its own sites and to sell ads on sites already using the service. The acquisition reportedly cost around $25 million.
THE DISNEY-ABC TELEVISION GROUP will announce the SOAPnet advertising network, a collection of 45 smaller sites that will distribute SOAPnet content and allow it to sell advertising on their behalf. SOAPnet.com is the group’s hub for all things relating to soap operas.