UPDATE, 9:24 AM: Fox put out a statement today in response to the trade libel lawsuit FilmOn filed against them Thursday:
Although we have not seen the suit we welcome the opportunity to let the court determine the legitimacy of Mr. David’s business practices.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:05 PM: FilmOn has countersued Fox Broadcasting Co. and the Fox Television Stations in their continuing legal fight over streaming network programming to mobile devices. FilmOn says it is the licenser and partner in the streaming TV technology behind Alki David’s BarryDriller.com and Aereokiller. The technology uses “mini-antennas” to transmit TV signals to mobile devices. This is similar to the process used by Barry Diller’s Aereo service. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have already sued Aereokiller separately. The countersuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here) charges that “Fox has separated from the coalition of other networks … and taken steps — legal and illegal — to put FilmOn out of business”.
Related: Broadcasters Ask Court To Block Aereo
Accusing Fox of trade libel, FilmOn’s suit claims that Fox’s Los Angeles counsel contacted FilmOn’s various potential business partners to “inform” them that FilmOn’s apps violate a federal court injunction against distribution of streaming apps. The potential partners include Apple, Google and Microsoft. Additionally the suit says Fox’s counsel told the potential partners that distribution of the apps would be aiding copyright infringement. FilmOn asserts “Fox knew that these statements were false” but “intentionally and misleadingly” withheld that the injunction they cited actually was against a different technology than FilmOn’s apps. A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the Aereo mini-antenna technology similar to FilmOn’s did not appear to violate copyright law. FilmOn has submitted its apps to Apple, Google and Microsoft to offer for sale or download to their customers. FilmOn seeks compensatory damages, restitution, court costs and a court order barring further unlawful contact with retailers, partners or customers.
Despite its best legal efforts today, Fox didn’t get a judge to shut down Dish Network’s ad-skipping Autohop and Primetime Anytime features. After hearing arguments from both sides, federal Judge Dolly Gee said she would take the broadcaster’s … 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 … Read More »
Because of the phone-hacking and bribery scandal plaguing News Corp’s British newspaper publishing subsidiary, a public interest group has filed a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny broadcast license renewal to three Fox TV … Read More »
UPDATE, 7:11PM Today: News Corp’s board this evening unanimously approved the proposed plan to split the media conglomerate into two separate companies, one focused on its entertainment businesses and the other its publishing, the Wall Street Journal reports. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke at the board meeting that lasted about 90 minutes, according to a sourced cited by the Journal. Details including who will run the publishing business have not yet been decided. News Corp is expected to announce the split formally tomorrow morning. 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting Co. and its TV stations, plus Fox News Channel and other cable networks and News Corp’s considerable global satellite businesses would be part of the entertainment company. Publishing businesses including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and the HarperCollins book imprints would fall under the publishing umbrella. News Corp’s Australian newspaper businesses and the company’s News International operations are also publishing companies but the Journal did not elaborate on management structure. Read More »
You wouldn’t know that the Hulu auction was a failure based on the way News Corp COO Chase Carey describes the owners’ plans. They decided to hang on to the digital video service because its value to them “dwarfed some of the values that were being put on it” by bidders including Dish Network and Google. Keeping Hulu reflects “a judgment that this digital space is incredibly important and is going to be, over the next five years and beyond, the most important field we have to navigate.” As a result, he told the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, “we’ll do what’s necessary to make it grow.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean adding movies to the package to make it more competitive with Netflix. ”Me-toos aren’t a great place to be in this business,” Carey says. “We want to look at it with a fresh eye.”
Investors strangely seemed uninterested in the News Of The World hacking scandal. But one of the consequences — News Corp’s decision to abandon its effort to buy BSkyB — was a concern. Carey says that it’s “one of the things we have to figure out” because he says the company gets ”a fraction of credit” it believes it deserves for its 39% stake in the UK media company. News Corp must ”do a better job communicating value.” Still, he didn’t leave investors empty-handed: Carey says that News Corp’s recently launched round of share repurchases is “certainly not a one-time thing. It’s an important part of our capital allocation,” he said, adding that News Corp shares are ”woefully undervalued.” Read More »
Following marathon negotiations, and with only a few hours to spare before the midnight deadline tonight, Fox and DirecTV have reached a new carriage agreement. The deal covers not only all Fox Networks that were in danger of going … Read More »
News Corp COO Chase Carey bobbed and weaved today when audience members at the Goldman Sachs Commmunicopia Conference asked questions that touched on the company’s hacking and police bribery scandals. “The media noise has been surreal around it,” he says. “The truth will come out. The issues will work their way out.” He did note that there’s “nothing we’ve seen” to support the allegation — which the Justice Department is investigating — that News of the World may have hacked phones of families of 9/11 victims. Carey wouldn’t rule out the possibility that News Corp might renew its effort to buy the 61% of BSkyB that it doesn’t already own. “We’ll continue to be a shareholder. … We have a lot of flexibility if and when something arises.” He added that he’s “not going to get into speculating” about whether UK officials might force News Corp to give up its current shares in the satellite power. As for the newspaper publishing business — which a lot of investors would like to see News Corp dump – Carey says the company should “take a fresh look at it.” But that could involve expanding operations such as Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. “There are things beyond (putting them on iPads) that we can do.” Read More »
Fox Broadcasting has promoted within, naming 15-year Fox ad sales veteran Toby Byrne as the company’s new president of sales. Byrne, who currently serves as SVP of Eastern Sales, will take over the top post on January 1 when … Read More »