news digest


Jury sides with Loral in Rainbow suit

Telecommunications satellite firm Loral Space & Communications said Wednesday that it won a $51 million jury verdict in a contract dispute with Cablevision Systems' Rainbow DBS Holdings unit. The dispute stems from Rainbow DBS' sale of a satellite to EchoStar Communications in 2005, for which Loral said it should receive a payment under a previous asset deal. "We did not believe under the terms of the contract that we were obligated to make an immediate payment, however, the jury determined otherwise," Cablevision said. "We are considering our options and have no further comment at this time."

Discovery inks with National CineMedia

National CineMedia, a venture of AMC Entertainment, Cinemark USA and Regal Entertainment Group, on Wednesday announced a multiyear programming deal with Discovery Communications to provide advance footage to moviegoers. Discovery will deliver prefeature programs from its cable channels TLC, Animal Planet and Travel Channel to First Look, National CineMedia's digital prefeature program.

First season only season for 'Behrendt'

Sony Pictures Television's freshman daytime talker "The Greg Behrendt Show" will not return for a second season, the company confirmed Wednesday. The strip, which is averaging a 0.8 household rating season-to-date, is still in production, with a mix of original and repeat episodes scheduled to air through at least May. The news follows the cancellation last month of NBC Universal's rookie talker "The Megan Mullally Show." A third freshman talker, Warner Bros.' "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show," also is not expected to return for a second season.

College TV winners set for Sundance

Winning entries from the 28th annual College Television Awards will be featured on the Sundance Channel and its Web site. The awards, administered by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, will be handed out March 31 at the Culver Studios in Culver City. Awards are presented in 10 categories, ranging from children's programming to comedies. "Sundance Channel has always been committed to showcasing new and undiscovered voices," said Christopher Barry, vp digital media and business strategy at Sundance.

Super Bowl ads tackled by YouTube

YouTube said Wednesday that it will showcase Super Bowl commercials on its site immediately after the big game Feb. 4. As part of the promotion, users also will be able to rank the commercials using a new drag-and-drop voting mechanism, as well as discuss and share the spots. The top-ranked commercial will be featured prominently on the YouTube home page Feb. 6.

ION Television replaces i as net name

ION Media Networks said Wednesday that its flagship TV network i will be rebranded as ION Television beginning Monday, featuring a new "contemporary" look and logo. The company said the move "reflects the energy and vision behind the network's plans to … expand from independent programming to content for broader audiences across various age groups." The network reaches more than 90 million U.S. homes.