Mar. 20, 2014, 7:43 AM
- The merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) faces a powerful headwind in the state of New York where moves are being proposed to strengthen the power of the Public Service Commission.
- New state rules backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo would give the PSC more oversight and pressure Comcast to prove its acquisition won't hurt consumers.
Mar. 12, 2014, 9:34 AM
- The Chinese government is considering giving tax breaks to real estate firms which put movie theaters in shopping centers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
- There are close to 40 Chinese exhibitors that could benefit from the initiative - including AMC Entertainment (AMC) owner Wanda. Lower development costs could also benefit IMAX (IMAX) which is in growth mode in China.
- What to watch: A booming Chinese movie industry will please Hollywood movie studios (TWX, FOXA, SNE, CMCSA, LGF, VIAB) which have been increasingly gearing their strategy around China's box office.
Mar. 10, 2014, 5:51 PM
- Sean "Diddy" Combs is offering ~$200M for the Fuse music network owned by Madison Square Garden (MSG), according to a Bloomberg report.
- Sources say Combs would convert Fuse into Revolt TV, the music-focused channel the hip-hop mogul launched in October.
- Fuse is available in ~74M homes through pay-TV systems including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Cablevision (CVC), while Revolt TV currently reaches ~22.8M homes and is carried by Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
Mar. 10, 2014, 9:31 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) can air the first season of House of Cards to its customers through the terms of a new distribution deal. No Netflix subscription will be required.
- A division of Sony (SNE) handles the global and homevideo distribution of the property, but the arrangement will add to Netflix's coffers and help build out the audience for future seasons.
Mar. 7, 2014, 7:16 AM
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Mar. 5, 2014, 12:46 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA +1.5%) says it will extend broadband access to poorer regions that it offers under its Internet Essentials program for an indefinite period.
- The company offers broadband services for as low as $9.95 to qualifying families.
- The development comes with Comcast trying to convince federal regulators to approve its deal to buy Time Warner Cable amid criticism it would raise rates for digital services.
Mar. 4, 2014, 10:20 AM
- The DOJ has come in on the side of broadcasters (DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA) in the fight between the media giants and Aereo over its streaming broadcast service
- The case is now in front of the Supreme Court with both sides working on written briefs.
- In its filing, attorneys from the DOJ argue more than hint that the Supreme Court should offer a narrow view on the Aereo issue without spilling over to other issues on new ways to record shows.
- The concern is that the Aereo case ruling by SCOTUS will be used to limit innovative cloud-based media services or online TV ventures.
Mar. 3, 2014, 11:02 AM
- Execs with Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%) area leaning heavily on the company's previous compliance with its deal to purchase NBCUniversal as they talk to regulators about the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.9%).
- In a blog post, Comcast highlighted in great detail how it exceeded targets set as a condition of the NBCUniversal purchase.
Mar. 3, 2014, 7:04 AM
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:43 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA) reportedly is considering options for how to divest ~3M cable subscribers as part of a takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC), including spinning them off in a new publicly-traded company.
- Regulators may push for the spin-out option because it would create a new competitor; such a new company would be the fourth-largest U.S. cable company by subscribers, trailing the merged CMCSA-TWC, Cox Communications and Charter Communications (CHTR).
- Comcast also may have received interest from several companies that want to buy the cable assets; Charter is interested, Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei said today on a conference call, and Bright House Networks and Suddenlink are said to have expressed interest.
- Comcast hasn’t picked which cities would be divested or spun out, and sources say it won’t make a decision for at least three months as regulators examine the TWC deal.
Feb. 25, 2014, 7:24 AM
- The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on March 26 to probe the proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Tim Warner Cable (TWC).
- What to watch: The committee doesn't have any direct oversight on the merger, but will delve into issues of unfair practices in the pay-TV and broadband industry. Net neutrality and cable bundling could also be discussed at length.
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:02 PM
- The opening brief to the Supreme Court from a group of broadcasters (DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA) challenging Aereo makes the claim that the startup's rebroadcast concept violates the Copyright Act.
- The filing says if Aereo is allowed to proceed that the whole pay-TV system could crumble as other cable and satellite companies create their own methods of broadcasting content without paying for it.
- Oral arguments will commence in front of the court on April 22.
Feb. 24, 2014, 7:18 AM
- Janney Capital warns that it is hard to label a winner or a loser in the new Netflix (NFLX) - Comcast (CMCSA) deal with details on the arrangement on the light side.
- The financial terms weren't disclosed and it isn't known if the deal includes any clarity on Netflix set top box integration or bundled billing.
- Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are down 1.7% in early action, while Comcast is up 1.5%.
Feb. 23, 2014, 8:53 PM
- In what could be a landmark pact for its dealings with other broadband providers, Netflix (NFLX) agrees to pay Comcast (CMCSA) to ensure its shows stream smoothly to the cable operators' customers.
- The debate: Who should bear the cost of upgrading Internet networks to carry the growing volume of online video - broadband providers (like Comcast) or content companies (like Netflix). While some big content names have begun paying the providers for faster and smoother access, Netflix - until now - has been a holdout, and today's agreement likely paves the way for similar deals with major broadband companies like Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Time Warner (TWC).
- The agreement, of course, comes just days after Comcast agreed to buy TIme Warner in a deal which would make it by far the largest provider of broadband in the U.S., and it removes one potential regulatory issue hanging over the acquisition.
- Press release
- From Friday: Signs point to a Netflix/Comcast deal
Feb. 23, 2014, 4:25 AM
- Discovery Communications (DISCA) is in discussions with BSkyB (BSYBF) about a joint bid for the U.K.'s Channel 5, the FT reports.
- Channel 5 is being sold by British media businessman Richard Desmond, who bought the company for £104M in 2010 but hopes to receive £700M. Bids are due in on Thursday.
- BT (BT) and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal are also considering making an offer.
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