Dish avoids 16-station blackout with short-term extension; AT&T tries to beat Google to the punch in Nashville

More cable news from across the Web:

> Dish Network and Sling TV have expanded their partnership with Willow TV International for the Willow cricket channel. Press release

> Warner Bros. has acquired DramaFever, an SVOD platform dedicated to Korean dramas. Variety story

> Discovery Communications announced that CFO Andrew Warren will step down at the end of the year. Press release

> Dish Network and News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting have agreed to a short-term retrans agreement to keep 16 channels from being blacked out on the satellite service. TV Predictions story

Telecom News

> When it comes to deploying software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) it's no longer a matter of if, but when. According to a panel of top network virtualization experts speaking at the FierceWireless and TelecomAsia executive luncheon, "When Will Deploying SDN and NFV Pay Off for Operators," wireless operators know they have to virtualize their networks, the big question is how and when. Article

> Frontier has set a high bar for its IPTV service, with plans to leverage its existing fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) network to bring service ultimately to 7 million customers across the network territory it will have when it completes the acquisition of Verizon's wireline properties this year. Article

Installer News

> EarthLink is seeing basic fundamentals like best practices around network installation paying off. The competitive carrier reported that it saw an uptick in dark fiber and overall fourth quarter wholesale service sales. Article

> Cincinnati Bell has made considerable progress in rolling out FTTH services in its network territory, but says the factor of network costs lies in whether it installs fiber on existing utility poles or underground. Article

Online Video News

> IneoQuest, which offers quality monitoring and assurance services for over-the-top video providers, is adding to its cloud-based focus by launching three products designed to work in NFV (network functions virtualization) and SDN (software defined networking) environments. Article

> In a meeting that garnered plenty of attention around its decision on the future of cable set-top boxes, the Federal Communications Commission also firmed up some compliance rules around closed captioning. Article

Wireless News

> Xiaomi unveiled its flagship Mi 5 at the Mobile World Congress, here, showcasing yet another impressive-looking smartphone at an affordable price, but providing little insight into when it might expand its business to the U.S. Article

> The news out of Mobile World Congress demonstrates that the term "mobile" is no longer just about smartphones but also can refer to gadgets like Huawei's new 2-in-1 MateBook tablet, Epson's Moverio AR glasses and a range of other devices. As connectivity comes to an ever-increasing number of devices, some have speculated that the importance of the smartphone is waning as we begin to enter a post-smartphone world. Article

And finally… AT&T said it's expanding gigabit services in Nashville, Tenn. ahead of Google Fiber's pending arrival. DSL Reports story