Mark Lazarus, the former president of Turner Entertainment Group, has been named president of the newly formed NBC Sports Cable Group, which comprises Comcast's Golf Channel, Versus and the 11 regional Comcast SportsNets. Along with the move, the company named Jon Litner president of Versus and SportsNet.
AT&T, Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications International won the right to participate in what is being deemed as the largest U.S. government telecom contract, valued at $48 billion. The contract spans across a minimum of six federal agencies and will involve a host of services and technologies, including voice, video and data.
Gemstar-TV Guide International will buy out privately held rival Aptiv Digital for roughly $16 million in cash. Aptiv Digital develops interactive program guides for set-top boxes, and its customer portfolio includes Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and RCN.
Although sales are up for flat-panel HDTVs, nearly half of sets sold are not used for viewing high-definition programs because buyers haven't gotten the necessary equipment from their cable, phone or satellite services, according to a poll by Leichtman Research Group. To get consumers on the right HDTV track, Panasonic has created the "Plasma Concierge" customer-service program and Best Buy is offering discounts of up to $300 to offset hardware and setup costs.