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Posts Tagged ‘NBCUniversal’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Google News Axed in Spain | Sony Execs Apologize for Emails

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Google News to Shut Down in Spain Over ‘Google Tax’ (Mashable)
Google said Thursday it will shut down its Google News service in Spain to prevent publishers’ content from appearing on it — ahead of a new law requiring the Internet search company to pay Spanish news organizations for linked content or snippets of news. NYT / Bits The website, which compiles headlines and summaries of news articles from various sources, will go dark in Spain on Dec. 16. Google plans to shut the site there in protest of the new law. The rules, which come into force in January, do not specify how much Google and others like Yahoo! News would have to pay per article. But they carry a potential one-time $750,000 fine if companies do not comply with the law. WSJ / Digits Google also is removing Spanish publishers from Google News world-wide. Those publications will still show up in general Google searches, but that’s less significant than it appears. That’s because the news “cluster” that appears with many general search results is fed by Google News. So if Spanish publishers are excluded from Google News, they won’t appear in the news cluster of ordinary search results — meaning much less traffic from Google. GigaOM Spain is not the first European country to pass a so-called ancillary copyright law — Germany did so in March 2013 — but Spain’s version is much more heavy-handed. Variety In Germany, the ancillary copyright law, introduced in July after lobbying by VG Media and backed by Axel Springer, obliged Google to pay publishers for news snippet texts on its search engine. After Google News removed the snippets from its search engine, traffic to publishers’ websites fell by 40 percent over two weeks. VG Media was forced to authorize the snippets. Demonstrating Google’s massive market power, Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfer dubbed its move to charge for snippets “the most successful failure in our history.”

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NBCUniversal Names Digital Enterprises Exec

NBCUniversal has named Evan Shapiro executive vice president, digital enterprises; a new role at the company. Shapiro was previously president of Participant Media’s Pivot. He also served as president of IFC TV and Sundance Channel.

“Evan brings a robust understanding of emerging media trends and extensive experience programming for the millennial audience to NBCUniversal,” said Cesar Conde, NBCUniversal’s executive VP, in a statement. “He’s a seasoned strategic thinker with a strong track record of programming, production and digital marketing successes. His leadership will be a key asset as we continue to navigate the evolving marketplace.”

Shapiro will be based in New York and report to Conde. He begins December 8.

Morning Media Newsfeed: TV News Covers Republican Sweep | Time Inc. Revenue Up

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TV News Covers Republican Congressional Takeover (Mediaite)
During the 11 p.m. ET hour, several networks announced the big news of the night: the Republican Party will be in control of the U.S. Senate starting in January. And with the GOP projected to hold onto the House of Representatives, this will set up a new dynamic of power in Washington: a Republican-dominated Congress versus the Democratic president. TVNewser The coverage produced several interesting moments; take CNN’s call on control of the House of Representatives. CNN’s Anderson Cooper threw to Wolf Blitzer with a promise of a “big projection.” Blitzer said it was, bigger than big, a “major, major projection” in the fight for control of the House. “Which party is coming out ahead? Get ready for that major projection right now.” And CNN rolled the full screen “CNN Projection” graphic, after which Blitzer himself poured ice water all over the preceding 30 seconds of dramatic hype: “Not a major surprise by any means.” TVNewser John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hosting their first election night for BloombergTV, were discussing the West Virginia Senate race when Halperin said, “Two news organizations, both CNN and Fox News, are predicting that Shelley Moore Capito will be the winner.” A few minutes after that, Bloomberg cited CNN once again, which had called the Ohio governor race for John Kasich. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Fox News broadcast exit polls from the New Hampshire Senate race almost two hours before polls closed in that state, a move that is likely in violation of agreed-upon rules by the media companies that commission the exit polls. TVNewser Earlier Tuesday, Jon Stewart stopped by CNN for an interview with Christiane Amanpour. Stewart told Amanpour he didn’t vote because, having just moved out of New York State, he didn’t know where his polling place is. TVNewser On his live show Tuesday night, he took a moment to apologize, saying it should have been more clear that he was just kidding, and he did, in fact, vote. Mediaite Stephen Colbert decided to show up CNN, Fox News and MSNBC with some over-the-top midterm coverage of his own. Only his involved the dark arts, a giant cauldron and Colbert selling his soul to the devil himself. TVNewser Legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw was making an appearance on MSNBC’s election coverage when suddenly it sounded like a fire alarm might be going off in the studio. Brokaw then surprised Rachel Maddow and pulled out a giant smartphone with the alarm ringing on full blast.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AMC Buys Stake in BBC America | CNN Announces High Profits

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AMC Networks Buys 49.9 Percent Stake in BBC America (TVNewser)
AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million. AMC Networks will look for greater distribution for BBC World News in the U.S. B&C BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent equity stake in the cable channel, while AMC Networks will have operational control of BBCA, including affiliate and advertising sales, though it will still be consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies. THR The cable networks company and the commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC announced the deal Thursday after reports of their talks first emerged over the summer. The channel airs such BBC favorites as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and Planet Earth. AMC Networks operates the AMC, Sundance, WE tv and IFC channels, and can now add the so-far independent BBC America when it negotiates carriage fees, giving both partners increased leverage in talks with pay-TV operators. WSJ The deal comes as the biggest pay-TV distributors are consolidating, prompting analyst speculation that content players will also have to seek greater scale. Variety Executives at both companies portrayed the arrangement as one borne out of a desire to gain greater reach for premium content that attracts high-income audiences. The two sides have worked together in the recent past. The two have collaborated on series including Top of The Lake and The Honourable Woman as well as the coming program One Child. AMC Networks and BBC Television have agreed to continue to jointly pursue a number of content investment opportunities on a range of future projects, both through BBC America and other AMC Networks channels. BBC America is to be managed as a standalone asset within AMC’s portfolio.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Piers Morgan Lands New Gig | News Corp. Buys Realty Business

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Piers Morgan Named Editor-at-Large of MailOnline (TVNewser)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan is joining MailOnline as editor-at-large. Morgan will write several times a week, while pursing new TV ventures in the U.S. He is a former editor of British tabloids the News of The World and the Daily Mirror. THR MailOnline is the online version of the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper and claims to be the biggest English-language newspaper website in the world. Morgan announced in September that he’d left CNN, several months after his eponymous talk show was canceled. He added in tweets about his departure that he’d turned down a two-year deal from CNN president Jeff Zucker to host several interview specials. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “As editor-at-large (U.S.) I plan on breaking down the biggest stories that matter to Americans and analyzing them in a way that will generate discussion and create debate,” Morgan, 49, said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood In the U.K., Morgan is known for being named youngest ever editor of the News of The World and youngest national newspaper editor in Britain in half a century, when Rupert Murdoch gave the 28-year-old him the gig in 1994. After two years, he joined the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief, which he left in 2004 and became a media columnist and host of interview shows on ITV and the BBC. He also appeared as a judge alongside pal Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. NYT In the U.S., MailOnline reaches more than 35 million unique readers a month, according to comScore, a total that has increased by 30 percent from the year before and continues to grow.

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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: Second TV HQ Seized | Twitter Stock Tanks | Filmmaker Strikes Deal With the AP

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Pro-Russian Separatists Seize TV HQ In Eastern Ukraine (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists took control of the regional prosecutor’s office and television center in the eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday, having earlier seized the government headquarters, a Reuters photographer said. BBC News Activists went into the regional television station, but decided not to take it over after they were allowed to make a live broadcast. Following the takeovers, President Oleksandr Turchynov demanded the dismissal of the police chiefs in Luhansk and the other eastern city of Donetsk. Business Insider Pro-Russian separatists have now seized government buildings in at least 10 cities throughout the eastern part of the country. Pro-Russian activists have also shot the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. All the while, journalists throughout eastern Ukraine routinely face intimidation amid the threat of kidnapping and assault. The Guardian About 3,000 activists — some in masks and military fatigues — stormed the regional government HQ and other key buildings. A pro-Russian militia had occupied the security service office in Luhansk, a town of 465,000, just 20 miles from the Russian border. In recent days, Kiev’s tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk, riot police stood passively in a courtyard. “The regional leadership does not control its police force,” Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev said. “The local police did nothing.” WSJ The latest moves in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region came despite a new wave of sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and European Union aimed at forcing the Kremlin to rein in the activists, who have echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin in denouncing Ukraine’s two-month-old government as illegal. The attacks on Luhansk’s regional police headquarters, administration building, prosecutor’s office and television broadcasting facilities mark the biggest advance for the pro-Russia rebels since early April, when militants took control of the regional building of Ukraine’s state-security service, the SBU.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Court Torn Over Aereo | Time Inc. Board Revealed | Comcast Gains Soar

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Supreme Court Justices Express Concern Over Scope of Aereo Ruling (TVNewser)
While hearing oral arguments from attorneys representing the broadcast networks and Aereo Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court justices “appeared unsure” how to rule in the case. Reuters Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, could be forced to shut down if the court rules for the companies challenging the startup. A win for Aereo could spur innovation in the television industry by paving the way to new, cheaper ways for consumers to watch shows. A decision is due by the end of June. Bloomberg Hearing arguments Tuesday in Washington, some justices suggested they viewed Aereo as violating broadcaster copyrights by using thousands of dime-sized antennas to get over-the-air signals without paying fees. “There’s no technological reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas other than to get around the copyright laws?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked. At the same time, the hour-long hearing didn’t clearly indicate the likely outcome, as justices including Stephen Breyer repeatedly asked whether a ruling favoring the broadcasters would imperil the cloud computing business. Variety Some of the justices on Tuesday suggested that they faced a challenge in defining just what Aereo is, and drawing a line on where privately used consumer technology ends and a publicly performing service begins. The Washington Post Aereo argued that its thousands of antennas are essentially rented to subscribers of its $8-a-month service for users to pull programs from the public airwaves legally and then store in Internet server files to watch at their convenience. In that way, it is just a mediator, the company argued, with consumers in control of how they use the company’s antennas and storage files for pulling and recording programs from the airwaves. Most of the arguments, which lasted more than an hour, were focused on the justice’s queries about the definition of public and private performances in copyright law and how Aereo differs from cable, satellite and other Internet video firms that pay broadcasters retransmission and other license fees.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Goes Digital | ABC Leads News Demo | Colbert to Visit Late Show

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NBCUniversal Launches Original-Video Initiative for Digital (LostRemote)
The news networks are growing more digital by the day, and now NBCUniversal is launching an original video initiative that will appear across the company’s various digital and video-on-demand platforms. Deadline Hollywood NBCUniversal’s various digital platforms include its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Promos for the digital series will appear during various programs on NBCU TV networks. In some cases, development of the digital series will be in collaboration with advertising partners. WSJ NBCUniversal’s announcement Tuesday comes two weeks after it reached a multiyear deal to give Hulu exclusive rights to stream several TV shows. Big media companies are investing more time and money in developing digital and online content as consumers stream more programming through services such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime service and Hulu, which is owned by Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. Mashable The slew of digital-first shows include Tesla And Twain, a comedic series that imagines what would happen if Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla were suddenly transported to modern-day Los Angeles. Other projects coming include Last Single Girl, about an underemployed young woman whose friends are all marrying off, and Saturday Night Line, which follows the superfans who camp in the standby line outside 30 Rock in hopes of catching the TV show. Also coming to NBC.com is the previously announced Heroes Reborn: Digital Series, a prequel to the TV show that ran from 2006 to 2010. Variety The big TV companies have dabbled in this area before. Before the 2008-09 TV season, NBCUniversal launched two Web-based series, Gemini Division and Woke Up Dead. At about the same time, Walt Disney’s ABC formed Stage 9 Digital Media, which launched an online comedy about window washers called Squeegees.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Pleads Case | DirecTV Restores TWC | Breitbart Loses Whip

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comcast-twc

As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

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