In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom wrap up all the business news out of CinemaCon, the big theater-owner convention that David Lieberman covered last week. Now that he’s back in Deadline’s Manhattan offices, David L. talks with David B. about the hot topics affecting the movie theater business, including a look at the state of the industry, whether movies and alcohol can mix, why it might be time for a discount ticket night, and why you can’t buy a movie ticket on Amazon.
The two Davids also discuss Charter Communications’ “astonishing” filing objecting to the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal and why Reed Hastings might have some buyer’s remorse over his company’s interconnection pact with Comcast. They also look at whether now is finally the time for a DirecTV/Dish Network merger. Read More »
Listen to (and share) episode 45 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about Under The Dome’s game-changing financial approach and what it means for TV; possible first steps toward a Dish/DirecTV tie-up; Facebook‘s sticky challenge as it considers sticking video ads in user news feeds; and media execs’ grudging acknowledgements that maybe this summer had too many tentpole films after all.
Deadline Big Media, Episode 45, (MP3 format)
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While its satcaster rival goes after Hulu, Dish on Wednesday upped the ante in its bid for a mobile-broadband operator. The Wall Street Journal reports that the No. 2 satellite TV company offered to acquire Clearwire for $4.40 a share in cash, a nearly 30% premium over Sprint Nextel’s $3.40 offer last week. Dish’s bid values its target at about $6.3 billion. It’s the second time Dish outbid Sprint for the company: Weeks after the wireless giant offered $2.97 a share for Clearwire in December, the satco came back at $3.30. “The Clearwire spectrum portfolio has always been a key component to implementing our wireless plans of delivering a superior product and service offering to customers,” said Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen in a statement. Read More »
Dish is using the recent controversy over the Best In Show award the satcaster’s new Hopper with Sling DVR did not receive as a recruiting tool. The ad-zapping service was awarded the top prize by the editors of CNET before they were overruled by corporate parent CBS who is suing Dish over Hopper. Today Dish bought full-page ads in several major newspapers to crow about the award it didn’t get and blast CBS. In the ad, which first appeared on Dish’s Web site, the company says “CBS will go to any lengths to keep you from enjoying ad-skipping technology – even censoring its own writers and throwing out their decision to name Hopper ‘Best In Show.’”
The controversy shifted the Hopper debate about whether it is ethical for a distributor whose service depends on programming to cut the lifeline that makes a lot of that programming possible, commercials, to one about journalistic integrity. CNET media writer Greg Sandoval resigned as a result of CBS’ decision to bar Dish from getting the award. In statement issued earlier this week, the network said it “has been consistent on this situation from the beginning” and called the debacle ”an isolated and unique incident” involving “a product that has been challenged as illegal” by CBS “and nearly every other major media company as well.”
Here’s episode 16 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. This week, Deadline Executive Editor Lieberman and host David Bloom ponder what are likely to be some of 2013′s biggest questions in the business of Big Media: Are we headed for a fundamental restructuring of the pay-TV business? Will DirecTV and Dish merge? Will Pay-TV providers declare open season on pricey and underperforming channels? Will a cabler get out of the TV programming business altogether? Will there be an Apple TV and what does it mean for Hollywood? And can Netflix corner the streaming video market or will it risk overextending itself?
Deadline Big Media Episode 16 (MP3 format)
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Cablevision Systems and AMC Networks announced today they have settled all litigation with Dish Network. Settlement includes a new long-term agreement for Dish to resume carriage of AMC Networks including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE TV. AMC will return today on Dish channel 131. The other networks will return November 1. That’s good news for Dish subscribers who missed watching The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and other AMC shows because Dish had dropped the networks back in June. Dish had maintained publicly it was a carriage fee dispute, but Cablevision-AMC Networks said it really was because of a $2.4 billion breach of contract suit over the satcaster’s decision to drop the now-defunct VOOM Channels that were included as part of AMC Networks spinoff from Cablevision into a separate company.
Settlement terms also call for Dish to pay Cablevision $700 million in cash. As part of the settlement Dish will receive wireless multichannel video and data spectrum licenses that cover a population of 150 million in 45 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
As the trial proceded in New York Court last week, things looked increasingly bad for Dish as the judge repeatedly denounced the satcaster for its behavior following a string of embarrassing revelations that suggest it tried to hide evidence that it feared might hurt its case. On Thursday, a note was posted on the New York State Supreme Court website … Read More »
Fox Broadcasting has asked for a preliminary federal injunction against Dish Network‘s Primetime Antime DVR service with AutoHop commercial skipping feature. Fox filed a request (read it here) with the federal court for the Central District of California to block Dish “from further infringement of Fox’s copyrighted television programs identified in the Complaint in this action and from further breaches of Dish’s retransmission consent agreements with Fox.” The court has set a hearing on Fox’s request for September 21. In what Fox and the other networks in the dispute consider proof that the primary purpose of the Primetime Anytime and AutoHop is copyright infringement, Dish earlier this week modified its own litigation and the device’s software to emphasize “optional” recording and commercial-skipping instead the original wording “automatic.” In addition to Fox the other broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC are fighting Dish in court on multiple fronts. Dish’s view is that the satcaster and its customers already pay for the right to watch the networks’ programming with or without commercials.
UPDATE, 12:07 PM SUNDAY: AT&T announced that it has reached a “a fair distribution agreement with AMC Networks for AMC, IFC, Sundance and WE tv.” The deal reached today will keep AMC Networks available to some 4 million subscribers on U-verse TV. Details were not disclosed. AMC and Dish remain at an impasse and Dish has pulled AMC programming and substituted other content. Here’s AT&T’s statement:
“It was important to us on behalf of our U-verse TV customers to come to a positive resolution as quickly as possible. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to make that happen, working diligently over the weekend, so customers can continue to enjoy the programming they love on U-verse, the fastest growing TV service in the country,” said Jeff Weber, President of Content and Advertising Sales, AT&T.
In a separate statement, AMC Networks took a jab at Dish:
It’s telling that AMC Networks has historically been able to negotiate fair agreements with television providers that reflect the value of our content. Yet DISH, which dropped our networks as of July 1 never engaged with us in any rate discussions. DISH customers have lost some of their favorite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit which has nothing at all to do with our programming, our ratings or our rates.”
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