Comcast will gain a new rival in Montgomery County, Md., after officials there signed a tentative deal that will allow Verizon Communications to offer its FiOS TV service. The pact, which must be approved by the county council, was hammered out after Verizon in June filed a federal lawsuit that claimed the county's franchise approval process violated U.S. antitrust and communications laws.
A group of seven wireless carriers have formed an organization to promote the development and standardization of next-generation wireless broadband technology. The carriers are China Mobile; KPN; NTT DoCoMo; Orange; Sprint Nextel Corp.; T-Mobile; and Vodafone Group.
News Corp. President Peter Chernin said mobile entertainment represents a huge avenue for growth, but that all the parties involved must work closely together to capitalize on the opportunity. "If you look at the history of entertainment, partnerships with our distributors have been key to our success as an industry," he said. "That's what we need to do with wireless. And we need to do it now. It's too big of an opportunity to waste time."
Advertisers have been holding back from sponsoring Web video and podcasting, because the media lack an effective means to automatically link ads to relevant content, as is the case on search engines. But that may be about to change, as companies like Podzinger, TVEyes and Blinkx roll out tools that allow users to search for video and audio content and perform text searches using voice recognition software.