March 16, 2013 |
Political pundit Lawrence O'Donnell, a former writer and producer of "The West Wing," has hosted "The Last Word" on MSNBC for 21/2 years, often kicking up a ruckus for his blunt opinions. What's your connection to L.A.? Are you bicoastal? I live in Los Angeles. PHOTOS: Real lessons from fake presidents Why here if MSNBC is based in New York? Because MSNBC was an afterthought in my life. I've never designed anything in my life to accommodate MSNBC. I've had to squeeze it in. And so most of my workdays for MSNBC now are in New York probably, but last week I did the show in L.A. the whole week.
March 5, 2013 |
In the latest sign of how valuable the media industry considers sports programming, News Corp. on Tuesday unveiled plans for Fox Sports 1, a new national cable channel it hopes will eventually challenge Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN empire. Scheduled to launch in mid-August in almost 90 million homes, the channel's initial lineup is to include NASCAR, college football and basketball, ultimate fighting and soccer. Next year, Fox Sports 1 is to add regular-season and postseason Major League Baseball to its lineup.
March 4, 2013 |
This story has been corrected. See below for details. Don't look for HBO to take a page from Netflix and make an entire season of one of its hit series, like "Game of Thrones," available to its subscribers in a single instant. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Miami on Monday, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes dismissed the idea of releasing an entire season of a TV show that way. "We don't want to put it up all at once, we want the water cooler effect," Bewkes said.
March 1, 2013 |
The cable company Cablevision says it's just looking out for consumers in its lawsuit against Viacom, owner of MTV and Nickelodeon, over bundled programming packages that drive monthly bills higher. And the company is correct -- to a point. Cablevision Systems Corp. alleges that Viacom Inc. is violating federal antitrust laws by requiring cable and satellite companies to carry less popular channels in return for paying a reasonable price for the good stuff. In other words, if a cable company wants Comedy Central at a fair price, it also has to take Teen Nick.
February 28, 2013 |
Have the Vikings gotten a bum rap? At least according to popular imagination, they were fearsome barbarians in horned helmets who pillaged their way across Northern Europe during the Dark Ages. And while it's true these seafaring Norsemen were hardly a bunch of peaceniks, the new History scripted series "Vikings" will attempt to bring some nuance to the caricature of the bearded brutes when it premieres Sunday. "The great thesis is, 'You think you know the Vikings, but you don't," said series creator Michael Hirst.
February 27, 2013 |
A New York cable company fired the opening salvo in a long-anticipated media war that could give consumers more choices in subscribing to pay television - and upend the way companies have long done business. Cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp. filed suit Tuesday in federal court in New York accusing Viacom Inc., parent of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, of anti-competitive behavior. At issue is whether Viacom uses its leverage to force distributors such as Cablevision to carry low-rated networks in return for access to its popular channels, a practice known in the industry as bundling.
February 26, 2013 |
Pay-TV distributors Time Warner Cable and DirecTV have come out in support of Cablevision Systems Corp.'s lawsuit against Viacom Inc. The battle is over how Viacom, parent of more than 20 cable channels including MTV and Nickelodeon, sells its networks to cable and satellite companies. Cablevision claims that Viacom illegally forces distributors to carry low-rated channels in return for access to its popular networks. The practice, known as bundling, is commonplace in the media industry.
February 26, 2013 |
Consumers don't ordinarily think of cable TV companies as friends of the little guy. But Cablevision, which won an extremely pro-consumer court ruling on digital video recording in 2008, is waging another legal battle that could be a boon to pay-TV customers in general. The Long Island-based cable operator is suing Viacom -- the entertainment conglomerate that owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET and a slew of other cable networks -- for allegedly violating antitrust law by requiring Cablevision to carry 14 low-value networks in order to obtain access to eight popular ones.
February 14, 2013 |
San Francisco wants to spread the love on Valentine's Day. The city deemed "most romantic" on several travel surveys plans to bring some of its charm to L.A.'s Union Station with an entire train wrapped as a cable car - and even a bit of fog too. The deal: The train is really Amtrak's Coast Starlight that travels from L.A. to Seattle via San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oakland and other cities. Through April 30, it will be covered with a scene of riders on a San Francisco cable car and views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower at each end. To hail the train's arrival, San Francisco Travel will host an event at Union Station with characters dressed as Snow White, star of a current exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio; and the " Girl With the Pearl Earring," from the Vermeer painting on display at the De Young Museum . Free Ghirardelli chocolates will be handed out too. When: The event will be held 7 to 10 a.m. Thursday (today)
February 14, 2013 |
Broadcasting giant CBS Corp. is taking a minority stake in AXS TV, the nascent music-oriented cable channel owned by billionaire Mark Cuban and Los Angeles entertainment giant AEG. CBS will receive an undisclosed interest in the high-definition television channel in exchange for providing programming and marketing to the joint venture. With rights to such prominent events as the Grammy Awards, Broadway's Tony Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards, CBS can give AXS a front row seat and backstage access that other channels lack. Major programs will continue to air on the CBS broadcast network, but CBS plans to provide hours of additional coverage to its tentpole events with extras such as red carpet and backstage interviews. CBS also agreed to promote the channel and its events on CBS' top-rated television network, TV stations, radio stations and even billboards.