Welcome to the hump-day edition of the cable news roundup.
In what's being viewed as an about-face, U.S. MSOs are developing a plan to force the likes of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA), Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) to unbundle their networks so operators can gain more control over how they price and assemble their subscription TV packages, a move that would inch the industry closer to an à la carte regime, reports Reuters. The concept, which will certainly meet with fierce resistance from programmers, is gaining traction among MSOs as they fret over rising programming costs and continue to see video subs leave in droves in favor of less expensive video options. (See Q2 Video Scorecard: Cable, Satellite Get Creamed .)
In a case of unlikely bedfellows, cable programming giant Discovery Communications and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have co-developed a rugged, GPS-capable, water-resistant and dustproof mobile phone under Discovery's Expedition brand. The phone, which aims to boost Huawei's global presence and cater to outdoor enthusiasts, also comes equipped with a compass. It will become available in the fourth quarter.