5 cable companies cut the cord, offer free Wi-Fi roaming

A wireless network comprised of 50,000 free hotspots will appear in the coming months, but there’s a small catch: To use the free Wi-Fi service, you’ll need to be a subscriber to one of five cable television providers. The Wi-Fi roaming revolution is finally here.

If Comcast can’t make it in the wireless biz, who can?

Comcast claims it tried but failed to build a wireless business multiple times before it sold out to Verizon. Assuming Comcast is being honest, its failure has big implications for U.S. mobile competition. If Comcast can’t make wireless work, what hope is there for a newcomer?

Cable is discovering the joys of Wi-Fi; why not mobile?

An alternate wireless network has been emerging in the U.S., one not built by the mobile operators but by cable providers. Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast have all launched reams of Wi-Fi hotspots in their MSO footprints, and last week Bright House joined the club.

Verizon building a spectrum empire with cable deal

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks are selling off the spectrum remnants of their stillborn wireless venture, SpectrumCo, to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion. The deal allows Verizon to double up on its LTE network, while creating a new alliance between Verizon and cable.

Vid-Biz: Vudu, Bright House, TV Ads

Vudu Debuts New High-End Box; the XL2 Internet movie player is designed for home theater installation, lets users download and watch movies in Vudu’s high-def HDX format; can going high end save the troubled set-top company? (emailed release)
Bright House Launches Road Runner Video Store; online VOD site will offer movies for rent or purchase from TV networks and movie studios, similar to Comcast’s Fancast site. (CED)
eMarketer: U.S. TV Ad Spending to Decline in 2009; research company says the ad spend will drop 4.2 percent next year to $66.9 billion, online video ad spending as a percent of TV ad spending to grow from less than 1 percent this year to 1.7 percent in 2010. (eMarketer)
DivX Sues Yahoo Over Toolbars; lawsuit comes after Yahoo backed out of a two-year agreement; DivX has not yet removed the toolbar option from its downloads. (Rueters with additional reporting by NewTeeVee)
Sanctuary Picked Up for Second Season; former web series finds success on Sci-Fi Channel, moves on to sophomore outing. (Hero Complex Blog)
Xbox Adds Magnolia Pictures to its Marketplace; films like The Host and The World’s Fastest Indian added to the lineup of movies offered. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Theatrical Movie Revenues Up, Attendance Down; at $8.148 billion, the 2008 box office tally has already surpassed 2007 — but attendance is down 3.56 percent. (Deadline Hollywood Daily)