Cisco building 'IP momentum' for cable; Shaw gets Canwest, shifts management

> If Cisco Systems' (Nasdaq: CSCO) new universal broadband router CMTS line actually "accelerates the transition to an all-IP network" for the cable industry, as Advertiser Talk gushes, it would be an unheard-of example of the tail (a vendor) wagging the alligator (MSOs). More likely, the technology was developed and will be deployed at the behest of Cisco customers like Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Cox Communications. Story.

> The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as anticipated approved Shaw Communications' $2 billion acquisition of Canwest's specialty channel portfolio and global conventional network assets. Concurrently, Shaw announced that Jim Shaw would relinquish the role of CEO to his younger brother Brad while continuing as executive chair of the company. To further complicate the chain of command, Peter Bissionnette will remain as president.

> It's not exactly the settlement everyone was hoping for, but there's apparently been a truce between Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and McAllen, Texas over the placement of public TV channels on a digital tier. After meeting with a federal judge, the two sides agreed to delay any changes until after another meeting on Nov. 8. Story.

> A legal trust chasing down claims from bankrupt Adelphia Communications has managed to do better than get blood from a stone; it's gotten money from banks. Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the always-around "other banks" agreed to pay the legal trust $175 million to settle claims that the banks aided and abetted Adelphia's fiduciary irresponsibility. Eighty-five-year-old Adelphia founder John Rigas got 12 years in the pokey for the breach while his son Timothy got 15 more. Adelphia, itself, once a cable stalwart, went bankrupt and was chopped into pieces that were devoured by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Story.

> Talk about network congestion! The ITU, in its latest Facts and Figures report, estimated that two billion people will be online by the end of 2010 and more than 70 percent will be in "developing countries." Story.

> Virgin Media has acquired video-on-demand rights to a selection of series from NBC Universal International Television Distribution for use across Virgin's TV, online and mobile platforms in the U.K. starting Dec. 1. Story.

And finally... Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) subscribers may have problems accessing Fox Networks cable channels right now and may even lose Fox broadcasting channels come Nov. 1, but they will automatically receive free, unlimited on-demand online access to primetime content from TNT and TBS as a result of a deal the satellite provider cut with Turner Broadcasting System. Story.

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