FCC waking up; Genachowski says retrans is on its screen

> The FCC, for which the issue of retransmission has been about as dormant as last summer's tomatoes, is apparently turning over new ground as the situation continues to rot with players like Fox Networks, Cablevision Systems(NYSE: CVC) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) circling the blackout drain. "We will work with different parties to try to encourage deals being done in a timely way," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told Broadcasting & Cable. Of course he said something similar last Spring when planting season was just beginning. But who's keeping track? Story.

> You know the old saying, what's lightning without thunder? You don't. Well Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) does--or at least something similar--since it's adding Dolby Digital Plus 5:1 SurroundSound to its streaming service. Now all you need to do is hook up those extra speakers on your laptop and you're ready to lose yourself in a wall of sound. Story.

> In case you were left hanging the other day on who was going to buy the excess spectrum Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) is putting up for sale in an effort to make about $5 billion, here's an update. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) says it's not interested. "We're not participating in the Clearwire auction," said spokeswoman Nancy Stark, who, unless she's Philadelphia Eagles' coach Andy Reid, has probably provided the definitive answer. Story.

> Here's a blast from the past. Rumor has it that AOL (remember them?) is planning a takeover of Yahoo!--or at least a merger of sorts of the World Wide Web's founding icons. "There's actually some sense in this combination of two admittedly tarnished brands," writes Dan Gillmore in Salon.com.

And finally... This one comes as a bit of a surprise. Switched digital video (SDV for the conversant techs) is making a comeback with cable operators delivering IP-based and cross-platform video services. The surprise is that it's coming back when most in the cable industry never knew it was gone. Story.

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