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Hearst, DIRECTV near retrans deadline; Nexstar, Mediacom renew deal

Top News

* Hearst Corp.'s Hearst Television Inc. warned subscribers of AT&T Inc. unit DIRECTV of a potential blackout in case the companies failed to reach a new retransmission deal before Jan. 1, 2017, Multichannel News reports, citing a company statement. A potential blackout would reportedly affect DIRECTV subscribers in 28 markets where Hearst owns and operates about 33 stations.

* Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. and Mediacom Communications Corp. signed a year-end retransmission consent agreement. The deal grants Mediacom retransmission rights to Nexstar stations within Nexstar's national footprint, the company said.

* Experts believe Yahoo! Inc.'s recent data breach is not expected to impact Verizon Communications Inc.'s deal to acquire the internet company, Bloomberg News reports. According to experts, people may have become used to such disclosures, and these cyberattacks do not hurt bottom lines or result in a loss of customers.

Internet & OTT

* Hulu LLC picked up exclusive subscription video on-demand rights to a collection of Walt Disney Co.'s movies. A multiyear agreement grants Hulu access to Disney movies such as "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Mulan," "Pocahontas," "Hercules," "Sister Act" and "Air Bud," the company said.


* Inc. disclosed a list of best-selling items this holiday season, according to an official news release. The online retailer said it sold millions of Alexa devices worldwide in 2016, along with other items, including Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick, and the Fire tablet.

* Apple Inc. recorded 44% smartphone and tablet activations in 2016, as compared to 21% activations by Samsung Electronics, according to a report by Flurry. Meanwhile, Huawei and LG secured third and fourth spots on the list, respectively.

Film & TV Programming

* Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Store added "The Accountant" movie to its Movies & TV section, according to an official blog post. The movie was added two weeks before it becomes available on Blu-ray.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.83% to 21,754.74. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.01% to 19,401.72.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.40% to 7,096.70, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.09% to 931.36.

On the macro front

Redbook index and pending home sales index are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Apple teams with Foxconn on expansion; Tencent invests in mapping firm: Apple reportedly tapped its Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to help with its Southeast Asian expansion plans, while China's Tencent Holdings Ltd. partnered with two other investors to acquire a 10% stake in German digital mapping company HERE.

Briefing Room: 2016's biggest influencers in U.S. media, communications: S&P Global Market Intelligence highlights some of the individuals who had an outsized influence on the media and communications sectors in 2016.

Former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman made $93M in fiscal 2016: The fiscal 2016 pay packages of Viacom Inc. execs are among those highlighted in the latest installment of The Pay Check.

The week in OTT: Amazon gets more Bollywood content; Disney-ABC, Snap team up: struck a deal with Indian home video outfit Ultra Media & Entertainment to secure more Bollywood content for Amazon India's Prime Video service, while Disney-ABC Television Group will produce original episodic shows for Snapchat.

M&A Replay: AMC closes Carmike deal; Tribune selling Gracenote: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. media and communications deal announcements and completions from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23.

The Daily Dose Europe: MegaFon buying Mail.Ru stake; Tencent invests in German map maker: MegaFon struck a $740 million deal to acquire a majority stake in Russian internet company Mail.Ru, while China's Tencent joined other investors in buying a 10% stake in German digital mapping firm HERE.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Global TV Everywhere overview: Western Europe: TV Everywhere services in Western Europe scored an average of 71% for the number of key service features they now support.

Economics of Advertising: New scripted shows fare better during 2016 fall TV season: Data from comScore Inc.'s TV Essentials indicates that among all freshman series, drama and comedy offerings from CBS (US) averaged the most viewers for episodes that aired from September through November.

Economics of Internet: Mobile/OTT devices dwarf desktop at ABC and NBC in Q3 minutes viewed; desktop stalls: According to comScore Video Metrix data, non-desktop (mobile and OTT devices) viewing was significant for Comcast Corp.'s NBC (US) and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC (US), accounting for approximately 78% and 75% of overall online video viewing in the third quarter, respectively.

Economics of Advertising: Fox News Channel asserts ratings dominance during election month: Five cable networks managed average prime-time household deliveries of over 1 million in November, according to data from Nielsen Holdings.

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