The House yesterday voted to approve higher fines for broadcast indecency, raising the maximum fine per violation from $27,500 to $500,000, which would apply not only to networks, but to talent as well. The NAB and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists opposed the bill.
A few big companies announced yesterday new broadband products that incorporate new technologies: Yahoo! said it was teaming up with BT to launch a service that enables consumers to make VoIP calls over Yahoo's IM service; Gateway unveiled a DVD player equipped with Wi-Fi; and Microsoft, along with TWI Interactive and Vidiator Technology, launched a digital video service for mobile phone users.
The two companies reached a deal late Thursday that restored Viacom programming to EchoStar's Dish Network. Of the deal, EchoStar Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said, "I don't think we got as good a deal as we wanted, but we got a deal that was good enough."
Universal Pictures is scheduled to show the first 10 minutes of its movie, "Dawn of the Dead," on USA Network on Monday night -- part of an effort to promote the film. In a similar move, Warner Bros. is showing the first nine minutes of "Taking Lives" online at Yahoo! Movies to whet potential moviegoers' appetites.