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Posts Tagged ‘The Washington Times’

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: Amazon, HBO Ink Deal | Net Neutrality on The Ropes | Mixed News for Gannett

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HBO Classics Coming to Amazon Prime (LostRemote)
Amazon is continuing its streaming-TV push, partnering with HBO on a multi-year deal to exclusively bring classic HBO shows to Amazon Prime subscribers, the two companies announced Wednesday. Variety Terms of the deal were not disclosed; it covers only the U.S. Under the agreement, Amazon has exclusive SVOD rights for select HBO programming and will make the first wave of it available to Prime subscribers beginning May 21. That includes full seasons of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as miniseries like Band of Brothers and John Adams. GigaOM Some of HBO’s newer shows will also be available, with a substantial delay: “Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO.” In addition, Amazon said that it will add HBO Go to its recently launched streaming video box, Fire TV — “targeting a launch by year-end.” New York Post HBO’s coveted content has long been kept beyond reach of outside content bundles like Amazon and Netflix, and only available to subscribers. Amazon’s win will surely be viewed as a loss for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who still dominates the bundled streaming space, but who also recently announced a price increase for new subscribers. Amazon also increased its prices, but is also seeking to expand its customer base with Fire TV. THR Amazon Prime also has exclusive online-only subscription deals for PBS’ Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, CBS’ Under The Dome and upcoming Halle Berry-headlined miniseries Extant as well as 24, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black, The Americans and Justified. But it has had less success with its own original series; neither Alpha House nor Betas has achieved the pop culture significance of Netflix’s Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards.

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The Tenets of Solid Journalism Get Pooped On, Again

ICNPhotoFor the love of fact-checking!

On April Fool’s, UK website Independent Catholic News published an item, complete with hilarious photo (at right), about a hawk enlisted by the Vatican to help tend to aviary security matters. On April 15, per a summary of this sorry trail by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, The Guardian replaced its pick-up with this note:

An agency story about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the Pope’s doves was deleted on the 15 April 2014 because it was discovered to have been an April fools’ joke.

As the crow flies, or any other trajectory, it’s a long way from Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden NSA scoops. Per Smith, other major outlets fooled were said agency, AFP, and the Washington Times.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turkey Blocks YouTube | NBC Ends Two Sites | Twitter on The Charts

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Turkish Telecoms Authority Moves Against YouTube After Twitter Ban (Reuters)
The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said on Thursday it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube, a week after it blocked access to microblogging site Twitter. NYT / The Lede The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria. WSJ The leaked recording published anonymously purported to show a conversation in which Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria. After the two-part voice file was published, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the TIB requesting that it shutter YouTube. The content represents a “first degree threat to national security,” the ministry said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. CNN Turkey’s top media regulating agency announced a similar ban on the broadcast of the conversation to television and radio channels. Turkey’s political elite has been battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks recorded by unknown operatives and distributed daily for more than a month on the Internet. Until Wednesday, all of the wiretaps seemed to be recordings of phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his inner circle, government officials and some top corporate executives. Politico The move comes just days before significant local elections. Turkish residents decried the Twitter blockage, which prevented them from using the site in any way. A Turkish court overturned the ban on Wednesday, although it could stay in place until after Sunday’s elections. The Twitter crackdown came after similar information appeared on the site questioning the government’s credibility.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: TV Station Mega Merger | Pakistan Censors NYT | Apple Taking on Spotify?

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TV Station Mega Merger: Media General, LIN Set $1.6 Billion Deal (Variety)
Station groups Media General and LIN are poised to merge in a $1.6 billion cash and stock deal that will create the nation’s second-largest pure-play broadcast group. With LIN’s roughly $1 billion in debt included, the deal has an enterprise value of $2.6 billion. TVSpy The deal will bring together 74 stations which are either owned or operated by the two companies in 46 markets. Combined, the new company’s stations will reach 23 percent of U.S. TV households. THR The deal is the latest in the ongoing consolidation of the TV station business as broadcasters have looked for scale to strengthen them in dealings with networks and pay-TV operators and the like. Poynter / MediaWire It is just the latest in a flurry of acquisitions and mergers in the TV industry that has seen Belo broadcast and Gannett merge and earlier, Media General and Young Broadcasting combined forces. Other players including Meredith, Journal, Tribune, NBC Universal and Sinclair have been recent buyers, too. WSJ Greater scale should help the combined company garner higher revenue from fees it charges pay-TV providers to carry its signal, known as retransmission fees. It should also gain leverage in negotiations with media companies. These factors, plus the ability to expand LIN’s digital advertising business and savings from corporate overheard, underpin the companies’ projected $70 million in run-rate synergies over three years.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ferns Plugs Obamacare | Sweeney Steps Down | Reporter Dies in Uganda

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White House: Obama’s Between Two Ferns Cameo Driving Traffic to HealthCare.gov (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
The White House said in a tweet early Tuesday afternoon that President Obama’s appearance on the Funny or Die Web series Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis has made that website the top referrer to HealthCare.gov. Politico As of 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the website had racked up more than 19,000 referral visits from Obama’s Between Two Ferns video, which was posted around 7 a.m., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Aaron Albright said. But those who clicked through from the video to HealthCare.gov represent just a small percentage of those who watched the video. Around 1 p.m., the video had drawn about 3 million views through Funny or Die’s video player. By 6 p.m., the total was around 7 million. Reuters In the video, Obama got the chance to urge the youth of America to get health insurance, but not until he’d been subjected to questions like “What is it like to be the last black president?” and “What should be done about North Ikea?” Youth participation is crucial to the success of the program, but U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that while the number of people enrolled in private insurance under Obamacare reached 4.2 million by March 1, the proportion of adults aged 18-34 remained unchanged from January at 25 percent of total enrollment in private Obamacare plans. Variety At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney was grilled by the White House press corps on whether the video demeaned the dignity of the office. “I think we made the right call here,” Carney said. “I think what it says is gone are the days when your broadcasts can reach everybody we need to reach.” He noted that Between Two Ferns videos average 6 million views, and that he expected the Obama interview would exceed that. He declined to say exactly which parts of the interview were scripted and which ones were not. THR During Obama’s six-and-a-half-minute back-and-forth with Galifianakis, the president played the role of a stern, sometimes irritated straight man as the comedian deadpanned a series of questions that were alternately outrageous and inane. “This is a perfect example of a great partnership with Funny or Die stepping up in a big way,” said Between Two Ferns producer Eric Ortner. “The site has a very robust traffic base of young men and women who are on the edge of the cultural zeitgeist.” PRNewser Will the people who hate the president’s health care law see this clip and change their minds? Of course not. The point, really, is that this appearance was far more valuable than any Sunday morning show discussion could be, no matter what Obama’s opponents think. We all know that the key to successful communication is to deliver the message to the right audience in the best possible format, which for young people is not Sunday morning on NBC with David Gregory.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Disney Cuts 700 | FCC vs Shared Stations | Tribune Names CEO

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Disney Interactive Lays Off Roughly 700 (THR)
The Walt Disney Company has laid off approximately 700 employees at Disney Interactive, a company spokesperson confirmed. Prior to the layoffs, roughly 2,800 employees worked at the division, representing a cut of approximately 26 percent of its total workforce. Variety Cuts were expected, but not on this scale. They were anticipated to mostly affect Disney’s Playdom group, which produces games for social media platforms. A Disney rep said the layoffs will occur across the board in the business unit. Re/code Last month, Disney Interactive reported its second consecutive quarter of profitability after a long string of losses, credited to the success of Disney’s console game Disney Infinity. However, in tandem with the layoffs, the company will cease in-house console game development beyond supporting Infinity and publishing the as-yet-unreleased game Fantasia: Music Evolved, developed by Harmonix. New Disney games will instead be licensed out and developed by other studios. NYT Disney Interactive makes up a tiny piece of the Disney empire. The entertainment conglomerate as a whole had $1.84 billion in profit and $12.31 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter; Disney Interactive had operating income of $55 million on revenue of $403 million, according to financial filings. Reuters Disney’s games and online division has for years been a persistent money loser and a small but significant drag on a corporate empire that spans movie-making and television to cable network ESPN, theme parks and cruise lines. Last year, Disney Interactive lost $87 million as revenues rose 26 percent from 2012; the division has lost a total in recent years of more than $1 billion.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Washington Times Editor Fights Back Against NYT‘s Anti-Obama Allegations

nytimes814.jpgA story on the front page of The New York Times today about opposition to President Obama’s health care proposals linked one “stubborn yet false” rumor about the alleged “death panels” back to The Washington Times:

“The specter of government-sponsored, forced euthanasia was raised as early as Nov. 23, just weeks after the election and long before any legislation had been drafted, by an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama, The Washington Times.”

But TWT Executive Editor John Solomon is fighting back against the accusation that his publication is “decidedly opposed” to the president and his administration. In a memo obtained by our sister blog FishbowlDC, Solomon said his paper’s objectivity should not be called in to question simply because of the “voice of its editorial pages.”

“Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news, including that made by the administration,” Solomon said.

Solomon said his newsroom was “doing factual and fair reporting” and challenged the New York Times to prove that the Washington Times was not producing “a fair, balanced, accurate and compelling news report every day.” He also requested an apology from the New York paper.

Read the whole memo here.

Update: Later on Friday, the Solomon sent out a second memo claiming the New York Times “formally called to apologize and will be running a correction in tomorrow’s paper.”

“The Times‘ Washington bureau chief, Dean Baquet, wanted me to personally pass along his apology,” Solomon told his staff. “He also shared these words with David Jones: ‘I would never say your paper has been anything but absolutely fair and objective to Obama.’ We agree and accept the Times‘ apology.”