MediaBytes 10.04.2007

JEFF ZUCKER told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that content owners are “losing the battle” against piracy. Citing piracy as a cause for massive losses in jobs, revenues, and taxes, Zucker urged the Chamber to make it a top priority. Zucker said NBC Universal is “ripping apart old business models” to deal with the new issues created by digital distribution, and pushed for a united front against piracy from broadcasters, the government, Internet service providers, individual websites, and tech companies.

TIVO and ECHOSTAR will face off today in court, in a long-running patent infringement case. TiVo initially won a $73.9 million judgment that said EchoStar’s DVRs infringed on TiVo’s patents. More importantly, the satellite provider was ordered to disable all of its infringing DVRs. The case is in appeal, but analysts believe TiVo has a good chance of winning. If so, the trial could give a boost to the struggling DVR pioneer, as other companies may cut deals to avoid similar infringement suits.

NIELSEN released the results of a new survey of HDTV owners. The survey found overwhelming satisfaction with picture quality, and severely underwhelming satisfaction with content selection. 85% of respondents identified their picture quality as “above average” or “excellent,” while only 39% gave that rating to the selection of HD content. Nielsen Senior VP Steve McGowan said the dissatisfaction comes from viewers seeing prime-time advertisements for HD channels that are not yet offered by their cable or satellite providers.

VERIZON has been hit with a lawsuit claiming it has overstated the penetration of its new FiOS TV service. DIGITAL ART SERVICES, an advertising company, alleges that Verizon included “pending” customers in its subscriber estimates to inflate advertising rates. The complaint says that advertisers have been paying for subscribers that do not exist, and seeks class-action status. Verizon denies the claim, and has announced a strong push to add interactive gaming to the FiOS service.

VEOH and PIXSY have signed a new partnership that will bring Pixsy’s media search capabilities to Veoh.com. Pixsy will allow Veoh users to search video content and receive near real-time results, updated to the minute. Veoh has 18 million users and, according to some measurements, is one of the top 100 sites online.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of "Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin." He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com

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