Verizon Wireless is jumping into the growing instant messaging business, getting ready to launch a service that will allow its customers to use MSN Messenger, AOL IM, and Yahoo! Messenger on some of its handsets. Initially, users will be charged 10 cents to send a message and 2 cents to receive a message.
Ad-supported basic cable is set to beat broadcast in audience share for the second year in a row, a preliminary analysis of Nielsen data suggests. Cable appears to be topping broadcast in the younger demographics advertisers covet.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered to raise its bid for Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets to $11.5 billion but threatened to withdraw the offer if Vivendi didn't provide financial information detailing Universal's ties to cable companies and other parties.
Cablevision said it is buying back the 20% stake in AMC, IFC and WE: Women's Entertainment it sold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 2001. The deal boosts both companies' efforts to acquire Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets.
John Malone's Liberty Media, film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, General Electric, oil tycoon Marvin Davis and Edgar Bronfman Jr., submitted bids for Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets. Liberty Media is viewed as a frontrunner because it has a large pool of cash. Absent from the bidding was Viacom, which reportedly is interested mainly in the Sci Fi channel.