The Morning Fix: New York fights back against the cable guy! Ben Affleck's second career. I want my MTV.
After the coffee. Before tuning in to yet another media-investor conference in search of a nugget of news.
It's payback time. Tired of being kept waiting by your cable guy? Well, it may be time to think about moving to New York. A new deal that Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have signed with the city says if a technician doesn't show up on time on a service call (you know, within that vague four-hour window the cable company provides), you get one month's worth of free cable! In 2012, should Verizon FiOS' rival pay-TV distribution system be up and running, the penalty drops to $25 for a late call. That's the old "competition will improve things" theory we all know works so well. More on customer-friendly agreement from the New York Times.
Netflix love. Netflix, the company that put Blockbuster on the ropes and is now making headway in the digital game, apparently may be believing its own hype. "We’re heading down the freeway in a Ferrari, and we’re fine-tuning the engine and polishing the chrome,” Steve Swasey, a corporate spokesman, told the Wrap. Well, that sounds a wee bit cocky, but too many people have underestimated Netflix only to later regret it, as Slate reminded us in piece earlier this month.
Cable after dark. The New York Post (of course) has a story about how Time Warner Cable in New York has added a bunch more adult-entertainment channels. That alone is not newsworthy, but we're linking to this piece because the Post suggests that the reason Time Warner Cable has added these channels is to help the company make up for increased programing costs from its new deal to carry channels owned by Walt Disney Co. A Time Warner spokesman said it was just a coincidence.
Show me the money. Speaking at a conference on film funding, Chip Seelig, a managing director of Dune Capital Management, which invested in "Avatar," was less than enthusiastic about investing in movies.
"This business itself has never been that profitable; now investors may not see enough return to compensate for that risk," Seelig said. So why so glum? While that's that DVD market and what the Internet will do to the business. We won't even get into quality. More on the worries from investors from Variety.
Did Sumner approve of this story? Peter Lauria, the reporter at the Daily Beast who keeps writing very amusing stories that don't exactly cast Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone (they have to do with his interest in a young girls group and tussles with staffers) in the best light, got access to executives at Redstone's MTV for a relatively positive piece on how the cable network is on a roll lately thanks to "Jersey Shore" and other new programs. Still, not sure this will get Lauria invited to the Viacom holiday party.
What I really want to do is direct. Ben Affleck takes another turn behind the camera with the bank-robbery heist "The Town." The movie, which is Affleck's followup as a director to "Gone Baby Gone," will drive Yankees fans crazy, as its full of Boston accents. USA Today talks with Affleck about his new career path.
Here's one "ripped from the headlines" story we won't see on "Law & Order." The Hollywood Reporter has the dirt on a legal battle between Christine Wolf, ex-wife of Dick Wolf, and a financial firm she is suing, claiming she was misled on the value of "Law & Order" and hence didn't get as much out of the divorce as she could have.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kevin Spacey on portraying lobbyist Jack Abramoff. James Rainey on some questionable local news practices (are there any other kind?). The Screen Actors Guild expects less tension in its next round of negotiations with the big studios. We'll see.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter because unlike John Mayer, I won't abandon you: Twitter.com/JBFlint