* EchoStar settles network flap
EchoStar has settled a nine-year lawsuit with ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, though a remaining dispute with Fox Network could jeopardize the deal, according to this report from the Associated Press.
Under the deal, EchoStar will expand its local-into-local service from 165 to 175 markets by year-end, and will pay affiliate associations $100 million to protect subs from the possible shut off of distance network channels, AP noted.
* Sky Brasil and DIRECTV Brasil finalize merger
DirecTV Group has completed the purchase of the interests of News Corp. and Liberty Media in Sky Brasil, and has combined Sky Brasil’s operations with those of DirecTV Brasil.
DirecTV now owns approximately 74 percent of Sky Brasil, while Globo Comunicacao e Participacoes S.A. (Globo) owns the balance. Together, DirecTV Brasil and Sky Brasil have approximately 1.3 million subscribers.
* Nominum adds sales muscle
Nominum Inc., a company that specializes in domain name server (DNS) technology for cable operators and other service providers, has hired Tim Dyer to the post of VP of sales.
Most recently, Dyer was SVP and general manager of Thomson Telecom for North America. Prior to that, he was a sales exec at Ascent Communications/Lucent Technologies.
* J:COM buys controlling interest in cable company
Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM) continues to consolidate its position in the Japanese cable market with the purchase of the controlling interest in Cable West owned by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. for about $350 million. Last week, J:COM bought a controlling interest in Cable Net Shimonoseki.
* Widevine wins account in Eastern Europe
Elion, the largest telecommunications provider in Estonia, will use Widevine Technologies’ Cypher downloadable conditional access and digital rights management suite to protect premium digital TV content and enable its acquisition of video-on-demand content.
Elion said it evaluated competing products from Latens, Verimatrix, SecureMedia and Conax.