NCTA, CTAM team up for confab

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing is hosting its Broadband Opportunity conference during the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's annual convention, starting May 5 in New Orleans. The theme of NCTA's show will be "Connecting America," and the gathering will focus on bringing broadband services to American homes.

CTAM's conference, in a similar vein, will look at developing and marketing these services. This year will be the first time the two associations have hosted conferences simultaneously.

NBA spears special to air on five nets

The National Basketball Association will simulcast a TV special featuring singer Britney Spears across five U.S. television networks Feb. 9. The league's All-Star Read to Achieve Celebration
event, hosted by Ahmad Rashad and former Olympian Summer Sanders, will air at 11 a.m. ET on NBC, TNT, BET, Nickelodeon and TV.

The NBA All-Star game is scheduled for Feb. 10 on NBC.

Court TV petitions to show terrorist trial

A hearing set for Wednesday will determine the future of Court TV's petition to televise the trial of accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. Court TV filed an application in U.S. district court Dec. 21, 2001, to show the trial, which is slated to begin Oct. 14 in Alexandria, Va.

CableLabs' new specs

CableLabs released the specification for the first version of the OpenCable Application Platform, which should allow consumer electronics manufacturers to build plug-and-play set-top boxes and integrated television receivers that consumers can buy and use with any cable system. The top six cable operators—AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, Cox and Adelphia—have committed to support the platform, CableLabs says. The specification is based on one used in Europe so that set-top boxes and receivers can be used across both U.S. and European systems.

KGO-TV DTV built out

KGO-TV San Francisco, an ABC O&O, has completed the first phase of construction on a new DTV production center, designed by San Jose, Calif.-based integrator SignaSys. It includes a digital audio production suite, already up and running. The audio system will be used for live newscasts. An all-digital video production-control room will also be built, to include GVG Profile video servers, dual Chyron Infinit character generators and Quantel's Picturebox still-store system.

NCTA's Beckwith Going

David Beckwith, VP of communications for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, is leaving the organization. Beckwith's departure comes as Rob Stoddard, formerly senior VP of public relations, AT&T Broadband, comes on board as NCTA's senior VP of communications and public affairs. Marc Smith will continue as NCTA's spokesman. Beckwith previously was a spokesman for George W. Bush's presidential campaign, press secretary for Vice President Dan Quayle and national correspondent for Time.