Cable News: Dec. 13

Internet video is driving cable news today, from ivi Inc. ’s expansion into Chicago, to last-minute lobbying on net neutrality.

  • It’ll be a busy week for attorneys in the Windy City, after ivi Inc. announced the addition of 12 Chicago TV stations to its live Internet video lineup. Ivi TV, which was already retransmitting stations from New York and Seattle on the Web, boasts that it offers more content than Hulu LLC . (See Q&A: ivi Inc. Founder & CEO Todd Weaver.)

  • Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeffrey Bewkes says he doesn't buy all the hype surrounding Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), telling The New York Times, "It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world? I don't think so."

    Netflix may be riding high on subscription growth, but Bewkes says the party may be over next year when Netflix's distribution deal with Starz Entertainment LLC expires. (See TW Cable Chief Disses Netflix Streaming and Netflix Bypasses Studios With Starz Deal.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Bresnan Communications LLC (soon to become part of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)), and other pay-TV providers may face more competition in Colorado. Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is lobbying lawmakers in the Centennial state to draft legislation that would allow for statewide video franchises. The telco gave up on efforts to launch a pay-TV service in 2007 after a statewide video-franchise bill died.

  • You can count on some intense lobbying on net neutrality this week, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to deliberate on a draft of new rules that will be voted on on Dec. 21. (See Net Neutrality Sweep: Everyone's Ticked.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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