News Briefs: ABC Wins Two Technology/Engineering Emmys

Sep 19, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The ABC Network is set to receive two Emmy Awards when The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences holds its 57th annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards Sept. 29 at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, N.J., NATAS announced last week. The award winners include Ampex and ABC for slow-motion color recording and playback for broadcast as well as ABC, PBS and the Consumer Electronics Association for closed-caption standardization. In addition, The WB and IBM are Emmy winners for pioneering development of locally integrated and branded content using IP Store and forward technology, and Canon, Fujinon and Angeniux are being recognized for lens technology developments for solid-state imager cameras in high-definition formats. The winners of several other categories will be announced at the ceremony.

Legislation Would Ease Telcos’ Video Efforts

Bipartisan discussion draft legislation released last Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee would clear the way for telephone companies to offer video services over their broadband networks without having to get local cable TV franchises. Under the measure, phone companies would still be obliged to pay franchise fees to local governments and meet many of the other regulatory obligations that cable TV operators face, including must-carry regulations. But the phone companies would essentially be free to begin offering video to their customers after putting the Federal Communications Commission on notice of their intentions.

ESPN, MLB Sign Eight-Year Deal

ESPN and Major League Baseball have agreed to an eight-year deal, ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced last week. The agreement includes eight regular seasons, from 2006 to 2013, including the continuation of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” series, a revitalized “Monday Night Baseball” series and exclusive team appearances on the network. ESPN said it will have “virtually no blackouts” as the franchise will co-exist with local carriers. ESPN and MLB had already reached long-term agreements covering rights for ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN360, the company’s broadband service.

Time Warner Explores Microsoft Stake in AOL

In a move that could bolster the fortunes of its struggling America Online unit, media titan Time Warner is holding talks with Microsoft about the software giant taking a significant stake in AOL. The talks, on which neither company would comment, are at a preliminary stage.

Digital TV Legislation Votes Postponed

House and Senate leaders last week announced that they had postponed votes until late October on a massive budget reconciliation bill, a move that gives lawmakers additional time to work on digital TV legislation. The DTV legislation, which will include such important elements as the DTV transition’s date, was previously expected to be completed by Sept. 16, the original deadline for inclusion in the budget reconciliation package. But House and Senate leaders agreed to postpone the budget deadline to allow lawmakers to focus on efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Under the new timeline, the Senate Budget Committee is supposed to vote on budget reconciliation Oct. 26. The House Budget Committee’s vote will be during the week of Oct. 24.

Fleishman Joins Warner Bros. Entertainment

Susan Fleishman has been named executive VP of corporate communications for Warner Bros. Entertainment. She will report to Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO of the company. In her new post, which she will assume Sept. 26, Ms. Fleishman will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all of the company’s corporate communications strategies and activities on a worldwide basis.

Povich Extends Deal With NBC Universal

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has signed Maury Povich to a new multiyear contract and has renewed his syndicated talk strip “Maury” on the majority of the Tribune Broadcasting and Sinclair Broadcasting stations through 2007.