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Posts Tagged ‘DirecTV’

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: Todd Makes MTP Debut | Scarborough Joins NBC News

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Chuck Todd’s First Meet The Press: ‘This Program Will Continue to Evolve’ (TVNewser)
Chuck Todd opened his first Meet The Press, surrounded by the press. At a new desk, with Todd at its center, NBC’s political director introduced those around him: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and waiting in the wings, BuzzFeed’s John Stanton and Amy Walter, formerly of ABC News, now with the Cook Political Report. FishbowlDC For his first Sunday as moderator, Todd talked exclusively with President Barack Obama on topics ranging from ISIS to U.S. relations with Russia and Ukraine and the 2014 midterm elections. The interview took place at the White House over the weekend and aired during Sunday’s 10:30 a.m. broadcast of MTP. Deadline Hollywood Things got testy — and Todd showed a tendency to interrupt — when Obama defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer’s surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue. He rejected Todd’s notion the postponement is a political tactic intended to help embattled Democrats in the months before midterm elections, saying that the delay will help make new immigration policies “sustainable” when they are announced later this year. HuffPost There were other small tweaks in the show; Todd threaded his big interview with President Obama throughout the show instead of front-loading it at the beginning, turning to the panel after each portion was over. Todd’s real test will be in the weeks and months ahead. Todd has vowed to cut down on the Beltway bloviators and said he won’t book politicians unless they actually have a stake in the issue at hand. And, of course, he has to pull Meet The Press out of its ratings sinkhole. Politico In selecting Todd as moderator, the NBC News brass is gambling on the belief that a Sunday morning public affairs show can still set the national agenda, as it did under the late Tim Russert. The payoff, they hope, is that Todd can once again make Meet The Press a dominant force in American politics and — though they’d never admit it publicly — effectively erase the nightmare that was David Gregory’s final year as moderator.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gore Sues Al Jazeera | MTP Pays Tribute to Gregory

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Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500 Million Current TV Deal (Bloomberg)
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has sued Al Jazeera, claiming the satellite news provider owned by the Qatari royal family owes him and a partner $65 million from a deal to buy his network, Current TV. TVNewser “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt, the co-founders of Current Media, say that Al Jazeera has unlawfully refused to turn over tens of millions of dollars currently located in an escrow account. That money is owed to Current Media shareholders per the terms of the $500-million merger agreement made in January 2013, the plaintiffs say. New York Post Gore, 66, was set to personally pocket an estimated $100 million on the sale of his 20 percent stake in the network, which he helped found in 2004. Mediaite In a statement, Gore’s lawyer said, “Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago. We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.” It should be noted that last year, Gore himself was sued for the sale of Current TV.

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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: YouTube to Acquire Twitch | Abramson Speaks | Pilhofer to Guardian

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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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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Secures Olympics | AOL Earnings Fall Flat | Horowitz to Today

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NBC Secures Olympics Through 2032 (TVSpy)
NBCUniversal has acquired the rights to the Olympic Games through 2032. The new deal, valued at $7.65 billion, is the longest U.S. Olympic sports rights agreement in history. TVNewser NBC adds to the three Olympics it secured in an earlier deal: 2016 in Rio, 2018 in Pyeongchang and 2020 in Tokyo, with six more Summer and Winter Olympics through 2032, the host cities of which have not yet been selected. Adweek The deal comes as a major surprise on the week before the broadcast upfront presentations, as rival media outlets appeared to have been altogether unaware that negotiations were in the works. In fact, several sources confirmed that no other networks were so much as invited to bid for the package. This was by design, said IOC president Thomas Bach. Reuters The IOC did not approach ESPN, a network spokesman said, and neither were Fox nor CBS. The agreement includes media rights across broadcast television, cable TV, Internet and mobile platforms. NBC and rival networks have been stocking up on live sports content, which are popular with advertisers because large audiences watch in real-time and do not skip the TV commercials. Mashable NBC has become a player in the live sports industry in recent years, signing deals for the U.S. rights to the English Premier League, the National Hockey League and Sunday night NFL games. The Olympics are an expensive property, but NBC claims that it has been able to turn a profit on them. The price tag for the most recent deal is $1.4 billion more than the previous one.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Ups Sons | Twitter Ban Overturned | NYT Adds Digital Subs

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Rupert Murdoch Elevates Eldest Son to Be His News Corp. Co-Chairman (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan, has been promoted to the role of non-executive co-chairman on the News Corp. board. It means that the two will work alongside each other. Rupert, the executive chairman, described the appointment as “recognition of Lachlan’s entrepreneurial leadership and passion for news, digital media and sport.” TVNewser Lachlan has been named non-executive chairman at both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. The 42-year-old has been a director of both companies, but effectively left the media empire in 2005 where he had been deputy chief operating officer directly responsible for News Corp.’s U.S. television stations group and publishing assets. After Lachlan left News Corp., Roger Ailes, the co-founder and chairman of Fox News Channel, was named chairman of News Corp.’s (now 21st Century Fox’s) television stations group. FishbowlNY The promotion means that Lachlan is all but guaranteed to take over News Corp. when Rupert steps down. In the past, it was believed that James Murdoch was the heir apparent, but no more. James was promoted as well — to co-chief operating officer at 21st Century Fox. Financial Times James’ elevation comes two years after he was embroiled in the U.K. phone hacking scandal as the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper business. His new position gives him a more central executive role at one of America’s most global media companies, in contrast to Lachlan’s non-executive position, keeping him in contention in a succession race that has seen numerous twists. James will share his new title with Chase Carey, a trusted adviser and second-in-command to Rupert, to whom he had reported in his previous role as deputy chief operating officer. Reuters Each son has at various times been seen as heir apparent, and it is unclear how well they will work together when Murdoch finally hands over the companies. The Murdoch family controls both Fox and News Corp. through a trust that has a 38 percent ownership stake of Class B shares with voting rights. A source familiar with the companies said that the plan to elevate Lachlan and James had been in the works for a while and that a tussle over control would be unlikely.

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Cox Communications, TW SportsNet Agree to Deal

You can cross Cox Communications off the list as the cable provider have agreed to terms with Time Warner Cable to carry SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.

“Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes and Cox Communications have agreed to terms,” the networked announced in a statement on Sunday night. “Launch details will be announced shortly.”

That leaves just DirecTV and Dish as the two lone holdouts. Considering DirecTV still hasn’t signed up for Pac-12 Networks, it makes you wonder how long this standoff will last.

Based on the 1-3 Los Angeles Lakers record, fans aren’t missing anything as of yet.

 

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