Fast Track

NFL, TiVo Team Up

The NFL has settled its differences with TiVo over a feature that allows users to remotely access recorded shows. Both sides called the deal "an important milestone" in efforts to ensure that broadband content is protected and preserve consumers' rights to copy and store programming for personal use. The NFL had complained that TiVo's copy-protection technology, though approved by the FCC, would allow illegal, real-time transmission of live NFL games to remote locations. TiVo agreed to work with the NFL to protect against transmission outside of a subscriber's local TV market. The NFL also said it will develop unique content for TiVo subscribers.

O'Reilly Suit Settled

Bill O'Reilly
and Fox News
have settled the caustic sexual-harassment suit filed by Andrea Mackris, former associate producer on The O'Reilly Factor. Terms of the deal were not revealed, but O'Reilly says the settlement states there was no wrongdoing on either side. He did not discuss how much, if any, money changed hands but did say he will "never speak of it again."

Mets Say Cablevision Is Off Base

filed a temporary injunction last week against the planned 2006 move of the New York Mets games to a new regional sports network backed by Time Warner
and Comcast, arguing that it violated Cablevision's existing agreement. A judge denied the request. Saying Cablevision had not informed it of the planned move, the Mets countered in a statement that, under that agreement with Cablevision's MSG Network, either party could buy out of the deal for $54 million, which the Mets did in May. (See cover story.)

Fox Affiliates Fined by FCC

affiliates think they have grounds to escape their share of a $1.18 million fine the FCC
proposed against stations that aired Married by America. The fine came as a shock to Fox's 140 affiliates, which each face a $7,000 levy for airing an episode that featured raunchy bachelor and bachelorette parties. The stations were floored by the decision because CBS
affiliates, unlike the network's O&Os, were not penalized for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl fiasco. This time, the FCC said, affiliates should be fined because the Fox program was taped and stations could preview and preempt it. Stations vehemently disagreed. "It's simply a feed that comes over the satellite when the show airs," says Kurt Wimmer, a Washington attorney for TV-station groups. Fox affiliates have until Nov. 12 to file a formal appeal.

Gore Chooses Running Mates

David Neuman, most recently chief programming officer for CNN
and former head of programming for Channel One, will serve as president of programming for the unnamed youth-oriented cable network backed by former Vice President Al Gore
and legal-services entrepreneur Joel Hyatt. Anne Zehren, the founding publisher of Teen People, will be president of sales and marketing. Details on the network are sketchy, but at last spring's National Cable & Telecommunications Association
gathering, Gore and Hyatt revealed they had acquired Vivendi Universal Entertainment's digital news network News World International
and planned to convert it to a network for younger viewers.

NAB Fights for TV Joint Sales Deals

Small-market and lower-rated TV stations could be forced to cut news or go out of business if the FCC
makes it harder for them to hire outside ad brokers, says the NAB. The warning was included in comments on an FCC proposal to consider two stations in the same market as commonly owned if they enter a joint sales agreement.


Lynne Elander is general manager for marketing for Microsoft. Also, Microsoft has a deal with Comcast to deploy its Foundation Edition 1.7 onscreen user interface. (The Next Wave, 10/18, page 24.)