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Google Spruces Up Its TV Interface

Buckle up for today's cable news roundup...

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has launched a new user interface for Google TV, and will soon support 3-D programming and multiple user profiles. (See Dish's Google TV Exclusive Will Be Brief .)

  • Reactions were mixed Wednesday amid word that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving the agency to join Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) as SVP of government affairs, NBCUniversal LLC . Attwell Baker voted in favor of Comcast's takeover of NBCU in January. (See FCC Blesses Condition-Laden Comcast-NBCU Deal.)

  • Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced ad venture, plans launch a national platform for video-on-demand advertising later this year. It's been testing multi-vendor VoD ad systems at its Innovation Lab since last year. (See Canoe Experiments With VoD Ads.)

  • Cox Communications Inc. expanded its switched digital video (SDV) deployment with BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) to more markets that rely on both Motorola Mobility LLC and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-made set-top boxes. Cox and BigBand started rolling out SDV in 2007 in Northern Virginia, Phoenix, and Orange County, Calif. (See Cox Flips BigBand's DV Switch .)

  • ESPN, which already costs affiliates $4.50 monthly, may be able to use distribution rights to the Olympics to grow affiliate revenue, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Iger told analysts.

  • Facebook admits it hired a PR firm to trash Google.

  • RCN Corp. hired another 57 staffers for its customer service call center in Plains Township, Pa.

  • Epix named former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. executive Douglas Lee EVP of programming acquisitions, strategy and enterprises. (See EPIX Gains Traction With 'TV Everywhere' Model.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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