Wed, Jan. 21, 4:50 AM
- Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) entertainment unit investigated its Indian operations for possible legal violations including bidding fraud and kickbacks, according to internal e-mails released by hackers, Bloomberg reports.
- The probes put a spotlight on the company's business practices in India, one of Sony’s key regions, where it generates more revenue from TV programming than in any other market.
Fri, Jan. 16, 3:58 PM
Thu, Jan. 15, 9:17 AM
- The eight films nominated for the best picture of the year earned a combined $422.4M at the box office, according to BI's Jon Erlichman.
- The tally looks light compared to the $257.8M The Lego Movie (no Best Animated Feature nom!) took in for Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) in the U.S. and $468.76M globally.
- If any movie catches extra post-Oscar box office traffic, it will be Foxcatcher from Sony Classics (NYSE:SNE), say some media analysts. Although, they also note in recent years the Oscar bounce has been minimal.
- Full Academy Award nomination list
Fri, Jan. 9, 5:32 PM
- Citing sky-high import tariffs, Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) will no longer sell hardware or software in Latin America's largest country (population of 200M).
- Exec Bill van Zyll: "Brazil is an important market for Nintendo and home to many passionate fans ... But unfortunately, challenges in the local business environment have made our current distribution model unsustainable in the country."
- The console/game vendor will "continue to monitor the environment in the country so that we can evaluate future opportunities." Rival Sony (NYSE:SNE) has also been hit hard by Brazilian tariffs: The PS4 cost $1,845 in Brazil when it went on sale in the country in 2013.
Thu, Jan. 8, 6:56 AM
Thu, Jan. 8, 2:36 AM
- Defending the U.S. claim that North Korea was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE), the director of the FBI offered fresh details describing the cyber attack.
- The "Guardians of Peace" used proxy services to disguise their location when sending emails threatening Sony employees and posting statements online explaining their work, but "several times...they connected directly and we could see them," he said.
- Last Friday, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to the attack.
Wed, Jan. 7, 9:20 AM
Tue, Jan. 6, 5:51 PM
- Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) says it took in $31M in VOD sales from The Interview.
- The tally includes rentals and purchases from YouTube, iTunes, and Xbox Video up until January 4th.
- Screening at indie theaters brought in another $5M for the studio.
- The straight-to-VOD release of The Interview due to threats from the Sony hackers has been a test case for the movie industry as it eyes shortening the theatrical window even more or pushing out more simultaneous releases.
Mon, Jan. 5, 10:32 PM
- Cumulative PS4 sales were above 18.5M as of yesterday, Sony (NYSE:SNE) discloses at CES. That means 5M units have been sold since the end of October, when sales stood at 13.5M.
- Xbox One sales, for reference, stood at 10M in November. Microsoft slashed prices by $50 in early November in an attempt to boost holiday season demand.
- Around the time of the PS4's launch, IHS estimated CPU/GPU supplier AMD received $100 per PS4 shipment. Today's price might be lower, given chip ASPs typically drop over the sales life of a console. Regardless, with AMD's Q4 revenue consensus only at $1.24B (-22% Y/Y), it's likely quite happy to hear Sony's sales figure.
- Also: 1) Sony has refreshed its Android Wear-based SmartWatch 3 (launched in September), providing it with a stainless steel body. The watch's display and processor remain the same. 2) Sony states all of its 2015 Bravia TV models will run on Google's recently-launched Android TV platform.
- Prior CES coverage
Mon, Jan. 5, 12:57 PM
- Dish Network (DISH -2.2%) says its new OTT Internet TV service will price at $20 per month.
- The Sling TV package includes content from ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, HGTV, TNT, Food Network, Travel Channel, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and videos produced by Maker Studios.
- The reveal was made at a press conference in front of the Consumer Electronics Show.
- The launch of online TV packages has some bearing on Netflix (NFLX -4.8%), although there's plenty of support for the idea that the company's streaming service will be an add-on to new OTT players.
- More details from Sony (SNE -1.5%) are expected at CES on its PlayStation Vue which includes cable networks untethered from the pay-TV bundle.
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
- Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
- Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
- Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
Dec. 30, 2014, 4:27 AM
- Alternate theories of how Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) was hacked are emerging.
- A Reuters report suggests that North Korea likely hired hackers from outside the country to execute the attack, as Pyongyang probably lacked the capability to conduct the sophisticated campaign by itself.
- Researchers from the cyber intelligence company Norse have said their own investigation into the attack doesn’t point to North Korea at all, but instead indicates some combination of a disgruntled employee and piracy groups.
Dec. 29, 2014, 2:18 AM
- Despite service being restored to Xbox Live on Friday, Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation Network still suffered connection problems yesterday, marking the fourth straight day of disruptions after both networks were attacked on Christmas Day.
- Lizard Squad, the group which claimed responsibility for the hacks, also attacked the PlayStation Network in early December and August.
- Meanwhile, Sony Pictures has announced that the The Interview was purchased or rented online more than 2M times since Dec. 25, generating more than $15M.
- Previously: PlayStation, Xbox Live networks hit by cyber attacks (Dec. 26 2014)
Dec. 26, 2014, 7:33 AM
- Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation store and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox Live network faced outages on Christmas Day, with disruption to the systems continuing into Friday.
- Some users were still having trouble logging in this morning, although Xbox said that its "core services" had returned to normal at 5:30 a.m. EST.
- An online group called Lizard Squad, a hacker collective that has previously disrupted gaming systems, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Dec. 24, 2014, 11:14 AM
- Sony (NYSE:SNE) plans to stream The Interview on its own site and make it available for rental through Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube and Google Play, sources tell Re/code.
- Online distribution is expected to start tomorrow.
- Previously: Online launch of The Interview to be closely watched
Dec. 24, 2014, 8:38 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) strikes a deal with Sony (NYSE:SNE) to bring PlayStation Now to certain Smart TV models next year.
- The partnership is part of Sony's strategy to open up the PlayStation system to non-Sony devices.
- PS Now will be accessible through an app on the Samsung Smart Hut interface.
- The companies plan to give a sneak peek at the innovation at CES in January.
SNE vs. ETF Alternatives
Sony Corp is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of various kinds of electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional and industrial markets as well as game consoles and software.
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