Video services

Dish's Big Spectrum Buy Meets Static

Good day, cable crew. Legal battles, a new over-the-top competitor in Canada and a Jeff Zucker sighting comprise today's cable news compendium.

  • Creditors of DBSD North America Inc. are making Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s lawyers work overtime to close his $1 billion deal to buy the bankrupt satellite company and its wireless spectrum. A judge is worried that the proposal could block other bidders. (See Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)

  • Former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann just announced he joined Current Media as chief news officer. (See Twitter & Current TV: The Future of Media.)

  • It's lights out Wednesday night for the football drama series revived by DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV).

  • Speaking of DirecTV, the satellite-TV giant paid Kansas $185,000 as part of the $13.25 million settlement it reached to fix deceptive advertising claims, but that didn't stop it from hiring Usher to play at its Super Bowl party.

  • Some Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) subscribers in Panama City, Fla., watching the Super Bowl in standard definition recalled the infamous "Heidi Game" when a glitch caused Fox's broadcast to switch over to NBC programming during the Steelers' final drive.

  • Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is taking a run at Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) in Canada with the launch of its Qriocity streaming video service, charging $4.99 to $5.99 for HD movie titles.

  • Big cable MSOs won't carry Al-Jazeera English partly because they're afraid of getting grief from the talking heads at the all-news networks, according to this theory from former NBCUniversal LLC chief Jeff Zucker. (See Egypt Protests Throttle Up Web Video Traffic.)

  • Straining Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s relationship with Hollywood, some of its own employees are allegedly using BitTorrent Inc. and other file-sharing networks to download movies on the public Wi-Fi network at Google's headquarters. (See FCC Blesses Condition-Laden Comcast-NBCU Deal.)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)’s iTunes Store remains the top Internet video seller, holding off competition from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Wal-Mart and other over-the-top video firms.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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