The deal announced today gives the live-streaming internet channel its first shot in the cable TV game. HuffPo Live will air six hours a day on Mark Cuban‘s AXS TV (formerly HDNet) starting May 13, the companies announced today.
Related: CBS Takes Equity Stake In AXS TV
EXCLUSIVE: After a three-year battle waged to determine ownership of sequel and separated rights on the CBS sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, creators Albert S. Ruddy and the late Bernard Fein have been granted all rights. Ruddy will work with Fein’s estate to develop a feature film ensemble comedy using the show’s clever WWII German POW camp premise. The duo was granted rights that include movies, publication, merchandising, radio and live rights, as well as TV sequel rights. The judgment was made by arbitrator Joel M. Grossman on March 1. The creators went up against Bing Crosby Productions, which produced the show, and whose rights are now owned by Mark Cuban. Ruddy and Fein were represented by Greenburg & Traurig’s Vince Chieffo and Alan Schwartz, and WGA’s Heather Pearson and Anthony R. Segall.
Hogan’s Heroeswas a top-rated show on CBS that spanned 168 episodes that ran from 1965-1971, starring Bob Crane as Col. Robert Hogan, Werner Klemperer as Col. Wilhelm Klink, Richard Dawson as Cpl. Peter Newkirk and John Banner as Sgt. Hans Schultz. Ruddy and Fein created the show and wrote and developed the pilot. Read More »
UPDATE, 3:16 PM: Is Les Moonves now, once again, Dan Rather’s boss? Well, a little: Turns out CBS isn’t simply partnering with AXS TV– as the companies framed the arrangement in their announcement today. The network giant has an equity stake in the channel formerly known as HDNet, Moonves told analysts this evening. He didn’t say how much CBS owns of the network which airs Dan Rather Reports or how much it paid, if anything. “Having the power of CBS I’m sure we’ll be able to increase [AXS TV's] affiliate fees, but it won’t be part of our negotiations,” he said. Moonves added that entrepreneur Mark Cuban’s channel will be able to offer “shoulder programming” for live events CBS airs; for example it could have had a show featuring backstage scenes at the Grammy Awards. “It’s a very exciting new prospect for us.” Cuban’s partners at AXS include AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative Artists Agency.
Here’s the release: Read More »
Listen to episode 21 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. This week Deadline Executive Editor Lieberman and host David Bloom discuss the red hot News Corp. stock, Moody’s moody take on the theatrical exhibition business, Mark Cuban‘s on the future of TV, and Blackberry‘s effort to ensure it has a future.
Deadline Big Media Episode 21 (MP3 format)
Deadline Big Media Episode 21 (MP4A format) Read More »
Live television is more vital a platform than digital and new media, said Mark Cuban during a session on the opening day of the 50th anniversary NATPE/Content First conference. “The Internet is designed for everything but video. Television is designed for video,” Cuban said this morning in his keynote speech, moderated by CNN’s Poppy Harlow, during which he staked his ground in television over YouTube, smart TV and other emerging platforms and emphasized the growing role of “social television”. Read More »
The social network company’s shares are down 1.7% at midday to about $17.74, and at one point touched $17.58 — a new personal worst for the stock that sold for $38 when the company went public in May. The drop comes as many Wall Street investors debate a scathing New York Times column by Andrew Ross Sorkin this morning that fingers CFO David Ebersman as the exec who was “more responsible than any other for the staggering mispricing” of the IPO, which resulted in a $50B decline in Facebook’s market value over the last three months. “To put that in perspective, that’s more market value than Lehman Brothers gave up in the entire year before it filed for bankruptcy” in 2008, Sorkin writes. He adds that in addition to the misery that’s created on Wall Street, it is “quickly creating real questions inside the company about its ability to retain and attract talented engineers, the lifeblood of any technology company.” Ebersman also infuriated major investors when he recently visited New York to address their concerns. Several invitations for Friday meetings “were oddly, and somewhat imperiously” sent out the night before. “Given that it was summer, some investors sent their junior analysts,” Sorkin says. Read More »
Freelance writer Cari Lynn is a Deadline contributor based in Los Angeles.
“Television is an undervalued medium,” Marc Cuban declared today at the PGA’s Produced By Conference. It’s a different stance than earlier this decade when he launched HDNet to provide then-state-of-the-art high definition programming. Now, with the upcoming soft launch of AXS TV, a partnership among Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, AEG and CAA (which originated as a rebranding of HDNet/HDNet Canada), Cuban is far more optimistic about the boob tube than he is about online content. “Bits are bits,” he said. “Everything is digital…the Internet has no inherent value over TV. None, zippo. People forget that satellite, DirectTV, Dish, they’re all digital, they can do everything the Internet can do.” But Cuban did acknowledge that the next step for television is the network DVR, which he says “is going to happen.” He said he believed Dish Network’s much-contested Hopper DVR challenges traditional TV providers to take advantage of digital opportunities. “Dish is trying to get ahead of curve on user experience. If Dish reduces the risk to pay a premium for no commercials, why not?” Read More »
Ryan Seacrest, AEG and CAA’s year-long quest to launch a cable network has come to an end. The trio have partnered with Mark Cuban’s HDNet to launch a joint venture and rebrand HDNet/HDNet Canada as AXS TV (pronounced “access”). It will launch in June, replacing HDNet in 35 million homes.
Seacrest’s Ryan Seacrest Media will hold an ownership stake in AXS TV. As part of the deal, his Ryan Seacrest Prods will also develop and produce new programming for AXS TV. While actively working behind the scenes, Seacrest will not have an on-air presence on AXS TV. His participation in the joint venture also won’t interfere with his pending new NBCUniversal deal that will likely include on-air responsibilities, a first-look deal for Ryan Seacrest Prods and a continuing relationship with E!. ”Over the last year, we’ve been diligently working with our partners AEG and CAA to strategize and explore how we could deliver quality live entertainment and lifestyle programming to a large audience. HDNet is the perfect partner to help us translate our vision into a reality,” the CAA-repped Seacrest said. “Mark Cuban and (AEG’s) Tim Leiweke bring a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial experience and spirit to this venture, and I’m confident our collective collaboration will make AXS a success.” Cuban said that in the the new venture, he will work with “Ryan the entrepreneur, Ryan the mogul and Ryan the producer. We will pick his brain because AXS is about pop culture, and there is no one who has their finger on the pulse of pop culture more than Ryan,” he said. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Along with everything else about the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, the launch of Magnolia Pictures was quickly forgotten on September 11, as co-founder Eamonn Bowles and other indie film execs scrambled to find ways to get home. Magnolia marked its 10th anniversary at 2011 Toronto. While the company still doesn’t carry the profile of some other indie distributors, Bowles and co-owner Todd Wagner said their model — mixing traditional indie theatrical distribution with emerging digital technology — has made them distinctive and profitable. VOD revenues now often outpace theatrical for Magnolia films, and they return profit to filmmakers because of low P&A spends. Bowles and Wagner have been honing the VOD model since they were branded charlatans by theater chains in 2005 when Steven Soderbergh’s micro-budget film Bubble was released simultaneously on movie screens, VOD and DVD. Wagner and partner Mark Cuban put Magnolia and other film assets under the 2929 Entertainment banner on the selling block earlier this year, but pulled them back when they didn’t get a high price. Wagner said he’s staying.
Magnolia releases 35-40 films each year now, with upcoming releases that include the 2011 Toronto title Melancholia (which got Lars von Trier banned by Cannes for making dumb pro-Nazi comments). Some Magnolia efforts follow a theatrical release cycle, others go direct to DVD. But VOD has increasingly become the distributor’s calling card and Wagner said proof of its viability came when Harvey Weinstein poached Magnolia execs Tom Quinn and Jason Janego to start a VOD venture for The Weinstein Company.
“Harvey’s been in the industry forever, and he thought it was a good enough model to hire some of our folks away,” Wagner told me. “I’m flattered. There are other people doing this now, from IFC to John Sloss. To me, it’s validation that we’ve hit on something. But we’ve got an advantage, a unique collection of assets in the Landmark Theater chain, a home video division, and HDNet. The big theater chains still absolutely won’t play Ultra VOD titles, so having a theater chain is helpful. As is having the television network for the relationships it has made us with all the MSO’s. These synergies allow us to be freewheeling in how we license content. And producers are coming back to us with films because we are cutting them checks. That rarely happens elsewhere because of all the P&A that stands in front of them.” Read More »
Mark Cuban told Bloomberg today that he is “just testing the waters” by putting his distribution company Magnolia Pictures and exhibition chain Landmark Theatres up for sale. Regardless, there will be an auction for two of the divisions in Cuban and Todd Wagner’s 2929 Entertainment, which also houses the pair’s cable … Read More »
Will Forte has booked his first full-time TV gig since leaving Saturday Night Live last summer, joining Fox’s upcoming animated series Allen Gregory as a regular voice cast member. On the show, about an accomplished 7-year-old boy embarking on elementary school, … Read More »
2929 Productions is financing Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, a comedy by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim that’s being produced by Funny Or Die creators at Gary Sanchez Productions. The film company sent out a press release with what I felt was a lame attempt to humorously paint itself … Read More »
Charlie Sheen says a lot of things these days about shows, books and other projects he allegedly has in the works. But unlike the HBO show, Sheen’s Corner, that the cable network didn’t know about, a potential project for Mark Cuban’s HDNet may be real. Cuban confirmed to RadarOnLine that … Read More »
Season 2 of ABC’s Shark Tank will launch on March 25 and will air in the Friday 8 PM slot currently occupied by another reality series, Supernanny. The eight-episode second season of Shark Tank introduces entrepreneur Mark Cuban and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The series, from Sony TV, is based on … Read More »
The sharp elbowing between Lionsgate and Carl Icahn takes another turn in the courtroom. The Wall Street Journal reports that Lionsgate filed in court to force Icahn to disclose any confidential merger agreements he made with MGM. This continues … Read More »
Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s genre label Magnet Releasing has snapped up worldwide rights (excluding Europe) to The Troll Hunter. The film was written and directed by Andre Ovredal. It’s the story of Norwegian film students intent on capturing real-life trolls on camera after learning their existence has been covered up by a government … Read More »
Another hey-you-didn’t-pay-me-my-profits lawsuit. This time a Los Angeles jury sided with Don Johnson who was both the star and a producer on the 1990s crime series Nash Bridges. Johnson sued 3 entertainment companies in 2009, claiming he was owed millions in … Read More »