news digest


Soros invests in satellite radio

Billionaire investor George Soros reported in a regulatory filing Wednesday that his fund has taken stakes of 1.21 million shares in Sirius Satellite Radio and 103,265 Class A shares in XM Satellite Radio. The shareholders of the rival companies voted in favor on Tuesday of a planned $5.1 billion merger that still needs approval by the federal government.

Blue Collar joins Web comedy team

Or Die Networks, the rapidly expanding online home of FunnyOrDie, is adding another partner: Blue Collar Comedy, the franchise featuring Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall. Blue Collar production company Parallel Entertainment and former Viacom executive Lawrence Lyttle launched on Wednesday, adding an online arm to a franchise that has already spawned movies, TV, merchandise and more.

Vudu in three-studio HD VOD deal

NEW YORK — Vudu, a movie download set-top box, has partnered with Paramount, Universal and Lionsgate to deliver HD titles on a VOD basis, the company is set to announce today. The Vudu box went on sale last month and has more than 5,000 titles in standard definition. It has agreements with all the major studios and 22 other independent and international film distributors.

Court TV trims staff ahead of rebranding

NEW YORK — As part of Time Warner's plan to rebrand Court TV as truTV, the company is making several major changes to the network's online business, eliminating 16 Web staffers and shifting all digital trial content to In addition to the online staffers, Court TV is "reducing positions in some other areas — six in operations and two in daytime," GM Marc Juris said.

NBC memorabilia on auction block

NBC Universal Video, Music & Product Development and Delivery Agent in conjunction with the NBC Universal Online Store is set to launch a live online auction at of select items from some of NBC and Universal Media Studios' top shows, including "Heroes," "30 Rock" and "The Office." A portion of the auction's proceeds will benefit the United Way and its partner organizations. The first auction, which kicks off Monday and runs through Dec. 3, will feature props, wardrobe items and other rare collectibles like three original paintings that were seen on "Heroes."

Beyonce to experience d-cinema

Beyonce is the latest recording artist to book a digital-cinema date. "The Beyonce Experience" will be shown on 96 2-D d-cinema theater screens nationwide for a one-night-only engagement Monday. The distributor is the Bigger Picture, the alternative content distribution division of Access Integrated Technologies. The Beyonce concert film was lensed Sept. 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Summit high on 'Seven' remake

SEOUL — The thriller "Seven Days" is set to become the latest South Korean film to get a Hollywood remake, according to Korean distributor Prime Entertainment. Prime said "Seven" has been sold to U.S.-based Summit Entertainment for $1 million, the largest sum ever paid for the remake rights to a Korean film.