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TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

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Marianne Paskowski



Cablevision to Bid in Wireless Auction

December 7, 2007 12:28 PM

According to published reports today, Cablevision Systems, a cable MSO with only 3 million subscribers, has filed the paperwork to bid in the FCC’s January auction of wireless spectrum next month. Oh sure.

I’ll believe it when I see it, given the cast of players who have announced their intentions to participate in the auction. Oddly, the nation’s largest MSOs, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are sitting on the sidelines and will not be participating. The only other cable operator that said it would bid is Cox Cable.

So enter Cablevision, to a fray of deep pocketed companies including AT&T, Verizon, and yes, Google, the search giant that is morphing into god knows what.

Cablevision doesn’t have a hope here. So here’s my two cents: Google now has a market cap higher than some of the largest media companies in this company, dwarfing giants like The Walt Disney Co. Google appears unstoppable, with its stock trading over $700 per share, again.

So the question is, do we want Google in the wireless space? I don’t. I see a bubble in the making that could drag down other players in the tech sector.


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Comments (9)

Dear Marianne,

Welcome back.

I've been too busy the past two weeks with the end of the semester to participate in here as I would have liked but when you managed to place dwarfs, giants, and The Walt Disney Company all in the same line you really got my attention.

When can we talk about whether NBC Universal will change the name of Oxygen and re-brand it?

I'll bet you ten pounds of dog food delivered to your door that they do.

PS: You've opened the door for me to get something off my chest that's been there ever since I did PR for The Disney Channel over a decade ago. Why is it that journalists insist on dropping the capital "T" in The Walt Disney Company? If Walt Disney the man names his company "The Walt Disney Company," then who is any journalist to deprive him of his capital "T?"

You don't go around dropping the capital "M" in "mattel" do you?

No doubt Walt is smiling upon you, Marianne, for restoring his cherished capital "T" in the "The" of his "The Walt Disney Company."

Not "the Walt Disney Company."

Nor "Walt Disney Company."

It's "The Walt Disney Company."

Thank you for getting it right.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cory,

Doubt NBCU would change Oxygen's name, so I'll take you up on that bet.

Now, about The Walt Disney Company. Personally, I spell it the way the company spells it. But the hubris of it all, like Disney owns the word The in its trademark?

Happy holidays,
Marianne

Dear Marianne,

Consider this our handshake. The bet is on. Next up: we have to determine how long we give NBCU to take or not take the air out of Oxygen.

But first.

The hubris?

You're baiting me, aren't you?

If, as you say, a company spells their name The Walt Disney Company, then that's the way it ought to be. Nobody is saying the company owns the The.

Likewise, your parents branded you Marianne Paskowski.

What gives The New York Times the right to demote you to marianne Paskowski?

OK, back to the bet.

Let's give it a year. If I remember correctly that's about how long it took Mrs. Laybourne and Mrs. Sweeney to change the name of The Disney Channel and re-brand it.

Before they arrived on the scene The Disney Channel was The Disney Channel.

For some reason, however, that wasn't good enough for them, so they changed it. Now it's Disney Channel.

Taking the The with its distinctive Capital T out of The Disney Channel?

That's hubris.

PS: Dirt Devil (aka DD The Magical Disney Dog, or DD for short) enjoys Pedigree and the bow should be red and green because one year from now it will be Christmas.

Chi-town Mike:

When I think of Google, I think immediately of Microsoft. Microsoft (or M$) is notorious of independent software developers making a great application and then buying the rights to it. Bill Gates has been quoted for saying, "Good artists copy, but great artists steal" when he was confronted by Steve Jobs (his former boss) when Jobs accused Gates of stealing a GUI Operating system. Microsoft will get things one way or another in the end. Either by stealing it from you or making you an offer that you can't refuse... :)

Chi-town Mike:

Part 2

Anyway I said that Microsoft reminds me of Google. Like MS, Google waits for great products to be made and then buys the rights to them. For example You-Tube was created by 3 young adults (Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim) that wanted to make a name for themselves after leaving their former employer, PayPal. YouTube originally had it's bumps and bruises, but when it finally took off in 2005, Google acquired YouTube for modest 1.65 billion in 2006. Google overall is not entirely bad, their email-(gmail) and Google Earth are solid applications. The main problem with Google is that if they get into the cell phone industry, they would have a humongous advantage over everyone else in terms of bells & whistles. iPhones might end up in museums next to pagers, because of the clear advantages Google would have in the industry.

Competition is a consumers best friend and that's why we need the current players (ATT&T, Verizon, ETC...) running the show because it's keeps everyone honest. If Google does get into the cell phone business, then the only true competitor would be WiFi phones such as Skype because of the low cost, although we are not ready for WiFi phones at this time. (it's tough enough to get a good signal at Starbucks already with a laptop)

The bottom line: Whether Google gets into wireless or not (hopefully not) expect new and improved changes from them. Their bread and butter search engine has many people looking for better alternatives such as "dogpile", "draze", and the new & much improved "ask". Personally I believe that Google should spend more time improving their "search engine", and less time "searching" for something that might too big for even google to handle...

Sam Webber:

I have AT&T and love them! I'd hate to see Google causing issues for a cell-phone company that works for me. My work uses Verizon. It's good for coverage but the phones keep breaking and I too use Dogpile.com over Google because it's much faster. Would it be a monopoly if Google took over with cell phones?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Guys,

Awhile ago I owned Google and took my money and ran. Google is a PR machine, issuing a new press release every day about whatever.

But the wireless space is another play, and Wall Street really doesn't understand the company any more, even though investors still want a piece of the action.

Like Chi, I wish Google would invest more in its core business search.

Marianne

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