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CBS CEO Les Moonves got Time Warner Cable to pay higher fees to broadcast CBS. Time Warner Cable now will be able to broadcast CBS, as well as its Showtime networks, through 2013. Moonves also told a Citigroup conference that CBS expects to increase upfront ad sales in 2009. Moonves noted that CBS, currently the number one broadcast network, is in a better position than other networks to increase upfront ad rev.
Apple announced yesterday at MacWorld that they will drop DRM from music sold on iTunes. The iTunes store will also adopt a new three-tiered variable price scheme to replace the fixed $0.99 rate for a single song. The new price scheme will have the “vast majority” of songs at $0.69, while the most popular songs will be sold for $1.29.
HBO has obtained the exclusive broadcast rights for President-elect Barack Obama’s initial inauguration ceremonies. The star studded event, which will be free and open to the public, is expected to draw celebrities like Bruce Springsteen, an avid Obama supporter, and Stevie Wonder. HBO will present the show commercial free, and it will be available to anyone with cable or satellite, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to HBO.
The producers of the David Mamet play Speed-the-Plow are pushing for an investigation into Jeremy Piven’s unexpected exit from the show. Piven, who eats sushi twice a day, left the show early, claiming “mercury poisoning”, with producers a week away from recouping their $3.5 million investment. The producers didn’t have star insurance, however, under the Actor’s Equity contract, they can have Piven’s medical records re-examined. If Piven’s claim turns out to be phony, the producers will sue to recoup loses.
Plus, today’s consulting question, “Universal Music Group lost its lawsuit against Veoh. What does that mean?” Shelly has the answer on today’s MediaBytes.