Obama Makes Broadband Availability Key Issue: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer December 8, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama announced that broadband availability would be a major part of his public works project. In a video distributed over the Internet, Obama declared "It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online and they'll get that chance when I'm President."

According to Nielsen, 2008 was a monumental ratings year for sports programming. The stats are attributed to the Beijing Olympics taking the most watched global event (4.7 billion viewers), the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl taking in the highest Super Bowl ratings ever (97.5 million viewers), as well as the highest rated Monday Night Football ever (Cowboys-Eagles, 18.6 million viewers). Nielsen also noted that sports ratings were 20% higher in homes with HD-TV sets, marking how technology can make a significant impact on viewer's watching habits.

Bloomberg is reporting that Walmart will begin selling Apple's iPhone before the end of 2008. Representatives at California branches of Walmart said that the store will sell 2 models, one of which may be a discounted 4-gb iPhone that may retail for $99. While the iPhone is not expected to hit Walmart shelves until after Christmas, the deal is notable for bringing the smart phone to a new consumer demographic.

Dell and Microsoft are in talks to change the default search engine on Internet Explorer from Google to Microsoft's Live Search. If a deal is made it would be a great advantage for Microsoft, who is desperately trying to revamp its online image and increase its search revenue. Since 2006, all Dell computers have come with Google as the default search engine on Internet Explorer.

Plus, today's consulting question, "Tribune is going bankrupt, the Times is in trouble, is this the end of newspapers?" Shelly has the answer on today's MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net