thePlatform's mpx emerges from beta; town gets studio funding with Comcast renewal

> The "gold release" of thePlatform's video management system is out of beta and into the market after three years of development work, the Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) independent subsidiary said. In a blog post by CEO Ian Blaine, the mpx is described as a "brand new video management system built on a true service-oriented architecture" with multiple layers to ingest, share, publish, feed, entitle or play content. The development process, Blaine said, was like "changing the engines on a flying plane ... difficult to build something new while maintaining and improving the old."

> Newburyport and Amesbury, Mass. have gone into the TV business as part of a new 10-year franchise agreement with Comcast. "When Comcast renews contracts in any community, they are doing away with their ... in-house department for doing PEG television access in the community," explained Amesbury Community Television executive direct Russ Monroe. To make up for that, and as part of the 10-year deal, Comcast will turn over the studio to the city and provide $215,000 toward the city-run studio's first year of operation. Story.

> In other Comcast news (and sometimes it's tough to determine where cable ends and Comcast begins), the American Cable Association (ACA) has provided the FCC with "a thorough explanation" of what conditions it thinks the Commission should impose on the merged Comcast-NBC Universal entity, including one that "Comcast-NBCU must sell its NBC broadcast stations and regional sports networks on a stand-alone basis to all pay TV distributors." That should raise some hackles in the Philadelphia ivory tower. News release.

> Speaking of sports (and a tip of the hat to the late Howard Cosell) a group called the Sports Fan Coalition is taking issue with Fox Networks for pulling its programming off the Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH), claiming that it "blindsided sports fans." A little digging by Radio Business Report/Television Business Report revealed that one of the SFC directors works for Dish and two advisory board members are Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). If that's too vague for you, the site paints it in Phillies red: "It's not surprising SFC is taking Dish's side in this dispute." Maybe. But TWC and Verizon siding with Dish? Story.

And finally... Looking ahead to DOCSIS 3.0 and IPv6, network performance/video quality management vendor Cheetah Technologies said it has enhanced its end-of-line RF monitor to "dramatically expand cable system operators' ability to perform critical digital measurements on QAM video carriers. News release.