The Friday Five

5:00 PM -- Here's our quasi-weekly look at a handful of other stuff that happened in the world of cable this week that bears sharing or repeating:
  • Double vision: The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision that requires cable operators to deliver "viewable" video signals to customers after the February 2009 digital television transition. Most cable operators have already agreed to deliver "must carry" broadcast channels in digital and analog form after the transition. (See FCC OKs Dual TV Carriage Rules.)

    The programmers that filed the suit -- Discovery Communications, A&E, The Weather Channel, TV One, and Scripps Networks -- had argued the dual carriage provision violated their First Amendment Rights.

    FCC chairman Kevin Martin, meanwhile, was pretty pleased about the court's decision. (See FCC's Martin Cheers DTV Decision.)

  • Another form of must-carry: The FCC also upheld an earlier arbiter's finding that Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) discriminated against Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) by denying carriage on the analog tier in North Carolina. The MSO is now required to provide analog coverage in the state to the programmer, which has no direct corporate/ownership ties to Time Warner Cable.

  • Satisfaction R Us: Here in the U.S., cable isn't kicking DSL's tail only the subscriber front. Apparently some MSOs are also (stop the presses!) doing a pretty good job with consumer satisfaction, too, according to J.D. Power and Associates . (See Cable ISPs Shine in Study.)

  • Spaced in: The White Spaces vote is still on the FCC docket for Nov. 4, and it's probably gonna stay there, despite the protests from the cable and broadcast TV industries. Apparently even the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) won't be able to stop this one. (See AFM Opposes White Space Plan, Red Alert! , and Cable to FCC: Slow Down .)

  • For grins: The Onion wonders if Halloween has become "overcommercialized." Have we truly forgotten the true meaning of Halloween: "Appeasing evil spirits, to ward off sickness, and ensure a bountiful harvest."

    In The Know: Has Halloween Become Overcommercialized?

Have a fun and safe weekend…

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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