Audi has named Verizon as the supplier of wireless connections for its new cars, supplanting AT&T, which had won a multi-year deal with the German automaker in 2016. Verizon said it would provide "advanced connectivity and embedded in-vehicle Wi-Fi" to the Audi A5 and A4 cars coming out this year.
AT&T has upgraded its network in Miami ahead of the Feb. 2 Super Bowl, the telecom announced saying it spent more than $85 million making permanent and short-term improvements in and around the stadium as well as hotels, arenas, airports and convention centers. The moves have also boosted the coverage of AT&T's FirstNet emergency response network.
Windstream Wholesale will expand its long-haul fiber network by contracting with Infinera to build a 1,000-mile link from Salt Lake City to Portland, Ore., and Seattle using the vendor's FlexILS solution. The telecom also announced it finished 2019 with 1.3 million broadband locations.
Federal Communications Commission member Michael O'Rielly
is seeking information and opinions regarding "payola" policies from Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment in response to consumer complaints about ongoing cases of the practice, which involves financial incentives for song frequency and other promotions. O'Rielly, in a letter to the groups, asked questions about policies and practices, while acknowledging that the fact that other music platforms do not have to contend with payola rules could potentially harm radio as an industry.
The National Association of Broadcasters will honor KCVM-FM of Cedar Falls, Iowa, with a Crystal Heritage Award in recognition of that station's continued commitment to serving its local community. KCVM will be the ninth station to receive the award, which recognizes stations that previously have earned five Crystal Awards for community service, in the 33 years it has existed.
Broadcasters at SMPTE's NextGen TV Summit last week held discussions regarding how to market NextGen TV technology to consumers now that the standard has been approved and electronics manufacturers have unveiled television sets designed for NextGen signals. "There's a lot of competition and disruption; you have to 'keep up with the Joneses' in digital media," says Lynn Claudy, the National Association of Broadcasters' senior vice president of technology.
Actress Drew Barrymore will join the daytime talk show crowd this fall with "The Drew Barrymore Show," CBS Television Distribution Chief Operating Officer Steve LoCascio confirmed this week. The show will launch on Nexstar, Weigel, Sinclair, Gray, Scripps, Tegna, Mission and Meredith stations, reaching viewers in 85% of US homes.
Political television advertising prices have jumped by 20% across the country, driven by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's unprecedented ad spending of $248 million in eight weeks. Broadcasters are also stepping up coverage of 2020 election campaigns, with both Sinclair and Nexstar announcing a greater focus on political news unaccompanied by commentary.
The Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act of 2020 would require that each state have a cybersecurity leader to speed up response times and improve communication with the federal government. The state coordinators would be appointed and overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.
Freeform has succeeded by focusing on four basic elements, leader Tom Ascheim said at last week's Television Critics Association event: Showing a coherent philosophy, pushing boundaries, using stunt programming and putting all original content on streaming services. The network also announced it has ordered the original dramatic series "Last Summer" and will program an eight-night block around Valentine's Day.