Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp-backed online-television streaming startup Aereo has made a deal to add Bloomberg TV as its first cable network offering. Aereo is paying Bloomberg for the privilege, according to the Wall Street Journal. Terms weren’t disclosed. Aereo streams over-the-air broadcast signals to NYC residents for a monthly fee. The major broadcast networks have sued Aereo in federal court alleging copyright infringement. Bloomberg, which lacks full traditional distribution, gains an outlet, and Aereo gains content unencumbered by litigation as part of a broader effort to expand Aereo’s service. Aereo said today it plans to add up to 15 cities its service early next year. Meanwhile, Aereo and the broadcasters are awaiting a critical appeals court decision.
Today’s order from the regulatory agency’s Media Bureau means that by tomorrow Bloomberg TV will be located next to other news channels such as CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News in about 158 of Comcast’s systems. The bureau pretty much sided with Bloomberg, ruling that the cable company had to move the business news channel’s standard definition feed into the so-called “news neighborhood” of the dial in 32 systems even if it meant that another service had to be displaced. Also, Comcast couldn’t just move Bloomberg on the HD tier. “When coupled with the Bureau’s earlier mandate that Comcast place Bloomberg TV in 126 Standard Definition news neighborhoods by July 1, this stands as a big win for the public and independent programmers,” says Greg Babyak, Bloomberg’s Head of Government Affairs. The order clarifies a May 2 Media Bureau decision that Comcast discriminated against Bloomberg TV by positioning it away from other news services. It’s a sensitive issue because Bloomberg competes with CNBC: Before Comcast bought NBCU, it promised the FCC that it wouldn’t favor its own channels vs rival services. Comcast said it wasn’t discriminating against Bloomberg; it was already separated from other news services on Comcast systems before the NBCU deal. The cable giant has said that it will appeal the ruling. Comcast wouldn’t comment on today’s Media Bureau ruling.
This is essentially the job that respected producer Dan Colarusso had up to November when he leaped to Reuters. Arnall will set the daily editorial agenda and oversee bureaus in cities including Washington and San Francisco. But Arnall will be more focused on multimedia than Colarusso was as head of U.S. newsgathering. Bloomberg TV reaches about 67M pay TV homes. Here’s the release:
New York, January 30, 2012–Veteran business news journalist Dan Arnall has joined Bloomberg as Executive Producer of News for Bloomberg Television. The announcement was made by Andrew Morse, head of Bloomberg TV in the U.S.
Arnall brings more than a decade of experience covering the economy, American business and the impact of financial regulation, among other major stories. Based in New York, he will oversee Bloomberg’s television newsgathering and editorial in the U.S. Arnall will also work to integrate video content across the company’s multimedia properties including Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg Mobile, which together reach millions of users per day.
Trish Regan’s been seen a lot lately on Good Morning America and appeared as recently as last night on ABC World News. She was represented in this deal by Octagon’s John Ferriter and George Arquilla. Here’s Bloomberg’s release:
New York, December 19, 2011– Bloomberg Television announced today it has signed Trish Regan, former CNBC anchor and CBS News correspondent, as an anchor. The announcement was made by Andrew Morse, head of Bloomberg Television in the U.S.
Regan will co-anchor Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart” which will air from 3-5 pm ET weekdays from Bloomberg Television’s global headquarters in New York, beginning January 9, 2012. She will also anchor a number of primetime specials and help lead anchor coverage of the 2012 Presidential election campaign for Bloomberg TV.
UPDATE: 6:20 PM: Bloomberg LP has responded to Comcast’s rebuttal with a statement this evening saying it is confident that the FCC will enforce the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger conditions that “Comcast expressly accepted,” including the one that guarantees protections for independent sources of news. “Despite these strongly worded concerns, Comcast is not obeying clearly defined conditions, as Comcast continues to assert that ‘now’ does not mean ‘now’ and that their programming neighborhoods are not neighborhoods,” says Bloomberg head of government affairs Greg Babyak.
PREVIOUS, 5:15 PM: You won’t want to mess with Comcast’s lawyers when you see how much work they just put into refuting Bloomberg TV’s charge that the cable giant is playing an unfair game with its channel lineup. The financial news service complained to the FCC last month that Comcast is helping a channel it owns — CNBC — by relegating Bloomberg to the nose-bleed section of the cable dial. That allegedly violates Comcast’s agreement, when government officials approved its purchase of NBCUniversal, not to discriminate against competitors. Today, Comcast told the FCC in a 75-page filing that Bloomberg’s request to be moved close to CNBC in a news “neighborhood” would “confuse and frustrate customers” by creating a domino effect of channel relocations. ”In some cases, adjacent channel positions are occupied by broadcasters with statutory rights to be carried on their off-air channel positions or other positions where they have had historical carriage,” Comcast says. And other channel spots are “occupied by popular cable networks that Comcast would be required to displace from their long-standing channel positions in order to accommodate (Bloomberg) and other independent news networks.”
Bloomberg Game Changers last night profiled News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch with interviews including former No. 2 Peter Chernin and current Fox Sports chairman David Hill. There’s some good stuff in here, including Chernin talking about Murdoch’s hands-on approach:
Bloomberg last week said it planned to file a complaint with the FCC against Comcast charging that the cable operator is discriminating against services like Bloomberg TV that compete with NBC Universal channels like CNBC. Today, Bloomberg made the complaint …