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Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Digital First Mulls Sale | DirecTV to Launch Online Services

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Digital First Media, Second Biggest U.S. Newspaper Publisher, to Consider Sale (HuffPost / AP)
Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. New York Post Chief executive John Paton said the publisher of the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New Haven Register and 73 other daily and Sunday papers is profitable and generates $1.2 billion of revenue. NYT Digital First has long suffered from the headwinds facing newspapers. One former division, The Journal Register Company, which includes papers like The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years. In April, the company announced that it was shutting down Project Thunderdome, a centralized newsroom that aimed to provide articles from around the nation and the world to the company’s 75 newsrooms. That closing resulted in layoffs for more than 50 people in the Project Thunderdome newsroom. Denver Post Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of Denver-based MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly. Poynter / MediaWire Ken Doctor reported in April that Digital First planned to sell its newspapers at the same time it shuttered Project Thunderdome. The company won’t set a deadline for the sale or report any developments “until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review,” a news release said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Tebow Joins GMA | EU Regulators Approve BSkyB Acquisitions

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Tim Tebow Joins Good Morning America as Contributor (TVNewser)
With football dominating much of the news this week, Good Morning America is adding another former NFL star to its roster. THR / The Live Feed Already ingrained in the Disney-ABC family as an ESPN analyst, Tim Tebow officially makes his debut on the current No. 1 morning talk show as the newest contributor on Sept. 15. HuffPost ABC News said that Tebow will help with the morning show’s “Motivate Me Monday” series, reporting from the studio and towns across the country on inspirational stories. The Sentinel Tebow’s first story will focus on 10-year-old Deven Jackson of Perry County, Pa. Two weeks ago, Jackson played in a midget football game, three years after losing both legs to a rare illness. Tebow spent the day with Jackson and his family at their home. Tebow also spoke to Jackson’s midget football team. The league is trying to raise $10,000 to purchase the proper equipment for Jackson. The Wire Tebow, 27, played college football at the University of Florida from 2007-2009, during which time he became the first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy. Despite early success in the NFL with Denver Broncos, Tebow struggled in subsequent stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Profit Plummets | Twitter Beats Street, Stock Soars

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NYT Profits Plummet 21 Percent (FishbowlNY)
As usual, the New York Times’ earnings report features both good and bad news. While the Times’ digital subscriptions continued to grow, the lack of print ad dollars weighed the paper down. HuffPost / AP The New York Times Co. on Tuesday reported earnings that declined by 54 percent in its second quarter, and missed analysts’ expectations. The New York-based company said net income declined to $9.2 million, or 6 cents per share, from $20.1 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Financial Times Adjusted operating profit, which strips out some one-time items including retirement costs and depreciation, fell 21 percent to $55.7 million. A fall in advertising sales and stepped-up investment in digital products sapped second-quarter profit at the Times as the publisher forecast flat circulation revenue and further declines in advertising in the coming months. Poynter / MediaWire The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers in the second quarter of 2014. The number was driven by its new products — the NYT Now and NYT Opinion apps and the new Times Premier subscription tier. Paid digital-only subscribers now total 831,000, the company said. Revenue from those subscriptions jumped 13.5 percent, to $41.7 million, from the same period a year ago. Total circulation revenue increased 1.4 percent. Mashable During the quarter, the company’s flagship newspaper fired top editor Jill Abramson and replaced her with former managing editor Dean Baquet. A Times spokesperson said at the time that Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the Times and chairman of The New York Times Company, was spurred by a desire to change how the newsroom was managed.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ABC News Expands to Apple TV | AT&T, DirecTV Sell Merger

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ABC News on Apple TV ‘for Everyone’ (LostRemote)
As of 10 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, ABC News is officially available on Apple TV. TVNewser The new ABC offering features a 24/7 livestream made up of news events and anchored reports, a wide variety of video-on-demand-clips, local content from various ABC News affiliates, content from ABC’s 50-year-old archives, and more. The ABC News Apple TV product also offers an extension of ABC News’ broadcast coverage. TVSpy It also offers a local news section, which showcases top video-on-demand clips from some of the country’s biggest markets. At launch, content from eight ABC-owned stations — including WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, WPVI in Philadelphia, KGO in San Francisco, KTRK in Houston, WTVD in Raleigh and KFSN in Fresno — can be found under the “Local” tab. Variety ABC lacks a cable news channel, unlike broadcast peers Fox and NBC. Now, through Apple TV, ABC News has a 24-hour over-the-top network of sorts available on big-screen TVs. CBS, meanwhile, which also doesn’t have a cable news net, has been exploring a similar digital news service for several years. Capital New York Even when there isn’t live rolling coverage, the app will continue to be updated with segments from ABC News programming, as well as live video feeds from events like speeches or a shot of Earth from the International Space Station. On Apple TV, there are already apps for Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Sky News, among others, but ABC marks the biggest bet by far from a U.S. TV news outlet, at least in terms of live coverage and original content. Other channels, like CNN and Fox News, are available for streaming online, but they require viewers “authenticate” that they are pay-TV subscribers. The ABC News app will not require authentication, making it free for everyone.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: USA-Ghana Sets Ratings Record | Apple Settles eBook Suit

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USA-Ghana Sets Ratings Record for ESPN (TVNewser)
ESPN’s last World Cup before turning over the broadcast rights to Fox Sports is off to a good start: Monday night’s USA-Ghana match was the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on ESPN or ESPN2, drawing 11.1 million viewers per minute. Capital New York Univision averaged 4.8 million viewers for its language coverage, according to overnight data from Nielsen. All told, an average of 16 million people watched the game live on television, with at least 1.4 million more watching (legally) online. Bleacher Report But even before that game, ESPN was already enjoying some of its best ratings ever. Through the first 11 games, the networks of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC had averaged about 3.7 million viewers. That was a 2 percent bump over the 2010 World Cup, which of course included a weekend game featuring the United States and England on ABC. If the ratings from that England match are removed, ratings were up a rather mind-blowing 37 percent. AllFacebook Team USA’s thrilling 2-1 victory caused some 10 million Facebook users to produce more than 15 million interactions on the social network, according to the Facebook Data Science Team. Variety The soccer tourney has already broken the previous global record for online-video streaming. Monday’s Germany-Portugal match drove a peak of 4.3 terabits per second of streaming video on the Akamai Technologies content-delivery network — blasting past the previous high of 3.5 Tbps for the U.S.-Canada men’s hockey semifinal during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The streaming-video peak for the USA-Ghana match came in at 3.2 Tbps, behind last Friday’s 3.5 Tbps for the Spain-Netherlands contest, according to Akamai.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: BBC News to Cut 500 | Networks Book Clinton

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BBC News Division to Cut 500 Jobs (Forbes)
BBC News is preparing to announce 500 more job losses, as part of its ongoing cost-cutting program, and that industrial action could well follow. The Guardian Up to 600 job losses are expected to be confirmed in BBC News, with around 80 posts going in BBC Radio, with full details of the cuts expected to be announced next month. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cuts, which will be phased in over a two-year period, will reduce BBC’s staff of 8,000 by roughly 6 percent. The Telegraph It currently employs around 5,400 journalists, all of whom are expected to be assessed under an appraisal system throughout this year. James Harding, director of news and current affairs, has already warned staff the BBC is only half way through its cost-cutting drive, with 14 percent of its budget having to be reduced by 2017. HuffPost In February 2013, BBC journalists went on strike to protest job cuts, which, at the time, were rumored to be around 2,000 lost positions in years ahead. Just last month, the BBC offered a 1 percent pay increase to employees earning less than £50,000 — or around $68,000. The small pay raise was blasted by trade unions, calling it “completely unacceptable” and blaming the company’s poor leadership for the cost cuts. BBC employees have reacted similarly to the stirring rumors of the layoffs ahead.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: S&S Joins eBook Services | Netflix to Expand | Spotify Hits Milestone

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Simon & Schuster Joins Scribd, Oyster eBook Subscription Service Libraries (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster has established a partnership with Scribd and Oyster. Readers will now have access to the publisher’s backlist eBook titles. GigaOM eBook subscription sites are still young — both Oyster and the reinvented Scribd, which offer users unlimited access to a library of eBooks for under $10 a month, just launched last fall. In that time, one of the questions for these services has been whether big publishers would sign up. Until now, the only Big Five publisher participating in either service had been HarperCollins. Mashable As part of the agreement, Simon & Schuster will make available its entire backlist of thousands of books. Eric Stromberg, cofounder and CEO of Oyster, framed the deal as a strong endorsement for the eBook subscription market, or as he put it, the access model. WSJ Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins both view the services as a way to jump-start sales of older books. Both publishers have limited what they make available to titles that have been in print for at least a year. The Oyster and Scribd deals are “an experiment, but it’s a serious experiment,” said Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, a unit of CBS Corp. Simon & Schuster also has experimented with providing books to another kind of subscription service, one now called Entitle Books Inc., which lets consumers buy a certain number of books for a set price every month. Forbes The deal includes authors like Stephen King — the most searched author in the Oyster platform — and Ernest Hemingway, who is No. 5. Other names snagged in the deal include Dan Brown, Mary Higgins Clark, Ray Bradbury and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: YouTube to Acquire Twitch | Abramson Speaks | Pilhofer to Guardian

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YouTubeTwitch

YouTube to Acquire Videogame-Streaming Service Twitch for $1 Billion (Variety)
Google’s YouTube has reached a deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame-streaming company, for more than $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the pact. If completed the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. The impending acquisition comes after longtime Google ad exec Susan Wojcicki was named CEO of YouTube earlier this year. SocialTimes As more consumers cut the cord in search of alternative forms of entertainment, Twitch has experienced impressive growth. In 2013, the service had more unique monthly users than Netflix and Hulu, and it jumped into the top 15 online services recently, passing HBO Go in terms of bandwidth. Mashable More than 1 million gamers broadcast on Twitch each month through Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and their computers; more than 45 million people log on to watch each month. Since its founding in 2011, Twitch has raised more than $35 million in funding. And let’s not forget Twitch Plays Pokémon earlier this year, which was possibly one of the most popular open source gaming experiences ever. GigaOM The Twitch acquisition could help YouTube finally get a foothold in the live video space. Live video has been a complicated subject for YouTube. The video service started to dabble with live streaming all the way back in 2010. In reality, live still doesn’t get big enough audiences to warrant high ad prices, and the fragmented nature of live streaming on YouTube hasn’t made it easier to win over big brands. Twitch has been the one notable exception to this move away from ad-supported live streaming.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AT&T to Acquire DirecTV | NYT Publisher Speaks | CNN Fires Editor

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AT&T to Buy DirecTV for $48.5 Billion (NYT / DealBook)
AT&T formally agreed on Sunday to buy DirecTV for about $48.5 billion, striking another transaction meant to overhaul the American telecommunications landscape. CNNMoney The boards of the two companies met on Sunday to approve the plan. “This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens — mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes,” said Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, in a statement. WSJ Just months ago, Comcast Corp. announced a $45 billion agreement to buy Time Warner Cable, a combination that would serve close to 30 million video subscribers, after proposed divestitures. Meanwhile, Sprint Corp. continues to work on a bid for smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter say. The deal for DirecTV gives AT&T almost 26 million pay TV subscribers and a national footprint in the business at a time when the telecom carrier sees video delivery as core to its future. The Associated Press Dallas-based AT&T’s proposed combination could improve its Internet service by pushing its existing U-verse TV subscribers into video over satellite service, and thereby free up bandwidth on its telecommunications network. AT&T currently offers a high-speed Internet plan in a bundle with DirecTV television service. The acquisition would help it further reap the benefits of that alliance. DirecTV would continue to be based in El Segundo, Calif., following the merger. The companies expect the deal to close within 12 months following a government review.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AT&T Advances DirecTV Talks | AP Expands | BuzzFeed President Out

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AT&T Said to Be in Talks to Buy DirecTV for About $50 Billion (Bloomberg)
AT&T Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, for about $100 per share, according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ A takeover of DirecTV could put a value of nearly $50 billion on the satellite-television provider. The two sides are discussing a deal that would involve a mix of cash and AT&T stock, the people said. Dallas-based AT&T would likely pay a premium to DirecTV’s share price Monday, one of the people said. An agreement could be reached in two weeks if not sooner, according to the people. GigaOM AT&T’s plan is to turn the satellite company into an AT&T unit, and keep management on board to run that unit, with plans for DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White to retire in 2016. The acquisition report, which neither company is commenting on, comes after three months after Comcast announced that it was going to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal. Variety Analysts have speculated that AT&T could migrate its 5.7 million U-verse TV subscribers to DirecTV’s satellite-delivered service, freeing up bandwidth in its terrestrial data networks. With 26 million pay-TV subscribers, AT&T also would gain leverage in programming negotiations on part with a merged Comcast-TWC. Reuters DirecTV shares rose 6 percent to $92.50 in extended trading on Monday.

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