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News Corporation (NWS)

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  • May 13, 2013, 7:30 AM
    Broadcasters ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will settle for the lowest round of average rate hikes in three years during the "upfront" selling season, according to industry watchers. Though the expected increase in ad rates of 6% sounds fairly lush, annual rate increases were in the double digits only two years ago before the impact of streaming alternatives and a step up in cable programming was fully felt. Upfront ad rate forecast: CBS +6.5%, ABC (DIS) +6%, Fox (NWS, NWSA) + 5.5%, NBC (CMCSA) +5%.
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  • May 10, 2013, 2:18 PM
    The Television Consumer Freedom Act backlash: 1) The bill introduced by Sen. John McCain is getting lots of attention from the cable industry, uniting big cable giants such as Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) with smaller regional cable companies. 2) Beyond just attempting to force a la carte cable pricing, the legislation also seeks to bar broadcasters from converting to cable networks to avoid tech upstarts like Aereo. 3) The icing on the cake might be what McCain wants to do with sports. The bill calls for banning sports blackouts (bad for DirecTV's (DTV) Sunday Ticket?) and would create havoc with new "super" conferences that are banking on big cable revenue for bundled access (bad for Time Warner (TWX) and New Corp (NWS)?)
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  • May 9, 2013, 9:03 AM
    Shares of News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) move up 3.6% premarket after the company sees strong revenue gains from television affiliates and cable channels lift its bottom line for FQ3. The broad organic growth from the media giant caught most analysts by surprise.
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  • May 9, 2013, 8:04 AM
    Senator John McCain will introduce legislation shortly to overhaul the TV business by giving consumers the option to buy channels on an individual basis (a la carte) - instead of seeing only large bundles as options. The politician will face fierce resistance from broadcast (NWS, DIS, CMCSA, CBS, AMCX, SNI, OUTD, DISCA, VIAB) and cable companies (CVC, CHTR, TWC) but may have a friend in upstart Aereo which has been rankling a few feathers as well. (Aereo timeline)
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  • May 7, 2013, 9:19 PM
    Marissa Mayer (YHOO) held a preliminary talk with Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, NWS) execs about a bid for the video site, "numerous sources" tell Kara Swisher. Amazon (AMZN), Guggenheim Partners, and ex-News Corp. COO Peter Chermin (previous) are also said to be weighing bids. Yahoo was one of the companies offering to buy Hulu back in 2011, and with the French government having thwarted its Dailymotion bid, Hulu and its 4M+ premium subs might not be a bad backup plan. But much likely depends on the content rights Hulu's risk-averse old media owners are willing to give.
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  • May 6, 2013, 1:48 PM
    The future of advertising is online video instead of the traditional 30-second TV spot, according to an interesting take from BTIG's Rich Greenfield. The analyst points to the effective ads on YouTube and Hulu from a number of high-profile companies, while the increasing use of DVRs is also a game changer. Though the broadcast industry (NWS, CMCSA, CBS) still pushes back over the claims, it's hard to argue that  those still watching TV on the big screen in real times aren't more easily distracted than in the past with all the gadgets at their sides while ads sail by. (research report  registration required)
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  • May 6, 2013, 1:16 PM
    Aereo files legal papers seeking to bar CBS (CBS -0.2%) from suing it in new markets where it's looking to debut its re-transmission service. Barry Diller's startup is trying to lean on a favorable ruling in a New York court to set a precedent in other areas of the country. Though broadcasters including News Corp (NWS, NWS) Univision threaten to move to cable if Aereo proliferates, a protracted battle in the court system is probably their first option.
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  • May 6, 2013, 5:20 AM
    The Senate looks poised to approve a bill today that would force online merchants to collect sales tax on Internet transactions. However, the measure will probably hit greater opposition in the House, where the leadership appears to be ambivalent, with Speaker John Boehner taking no public position. Companies in favor include Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN), while those against include News Corp (NWS) and eBay (EBAY).
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  • Apr. 30, 2013, 1:29 PM
    BTIG wants to know why major media companies aren't more focused on driving ratings higher by making content more accessible on platforms where competition is light. According to the investment firm, it's starting to feel like the obsession over protecting retransmission fees from cable/satellite operators is overriding the potential riches of growing advertising in new ways. (research report subscription required)
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  • Apr. 30, 2013, 11:08 AM
    Hulu (DIS, NWS, CMCSA) discloses at a media conference that it has doubled the number of paying subscribers to its Hulu Plus service to over four million in the last year. The media venture continues to stay relevant by resurrecting canceled shows (All My Children, One Life to Live), planning original content, and licensing popular shows.
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  • Apr. 30, 2013, 9:31 AM
    News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) shareholders will vote on June 11 on whether or not to approve a plan to split the existing conglomerate into a publishing and entertainment company. Though he is an U.S. citizen, Rupert Murdoch has agreed not to vote on the proposal with his 39.4% stake in the company sitting in his back pocket. (SEC 14A).
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  • Apr. 29, 2013, 1:48 PM
    Barry Diller had some intriguing comments on upstart Aereo during a Bloomberg TV interview: 1) If the legal battles go Aereo's way, Diller sees a radical revolution where consumers have one wire into their house. Think cord-cutting on steroids - potentially good for Netflix (NFLX -0.1%) but clearly bad for broadcasters (CBS, CMCSA, DIS, AMCX). 2) Aereo could be profitable at 10M-20M subscribers. 3) What about media heavyweights such as News Corp (NWS, NWSA) threatening the nuclear option of going to cable? Diller thinks it's a grab for fees that won't play well for consumers. (video)
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  • Apr. 26, 2013, 8:50 AM
    News Corp (NWS, NWSA) CEO Rupert Murdoch will make about 15% more in compensation after the company splits in two, according to a SEC filing (8-K). With the exec's new $28.3M salary all lined up, the next big thing to watch is how aggressive the new publishing company will be in bidding for newspaper properties from Tribune Co. and if the entertainment company can create new synergies.
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  • Apr. 25, 2013, 1:16 PM
    Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%) CEO Glenn Britt delivered a sobering thought for media concerns during the company's earnings call (transcript). The exec says if Aereo becomes legal it would have a "significant impact" on the future of transmission fees. The quick uptake is that the development would be good for cable/satellite players (CVC, DTV, CHTR, DISH), but bad for broadcasters (DIS, CBS, CMCSA, AMCX, NWS) (h/t Rich Greenfield BTIG)
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  • Apr. 24, 2013, 10:05 AM
    The buzz from Madison Avenue is that upfront pricing for TV ads will show their slowest gain since the economic downturn this year. Last year, broadcasters ABC (DIS), CBS (CBS), NBC (CMCSA) and Fox (NWS, NWSA) were able to realize ad rate increases of 5% to 9% - but a ratings slump and the emergence of online video alternatives is taking a bigger bite from demand in 2013.
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  • Apr. 22, 2013, 8:59 AM
    News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) says it reached a $139M settlement with shareholders over the actions of the board of directors in relation to the much-publicized phone hacking scandal and acquisition of Shine Group.
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Company Description
News Corp is a diversified media and information services company focused on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers and businesses.