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Altice USA, Fox avoid blackout; Apple says no signs of 'malicious activity'

Top News

* Altice USA Inc. and 21st Century Fox Inc. avoided a blackout by striking a new deal for Fox broadcast and some cable networks, Multichannel News reports, citing a Fox statement. Fox's distributor contract with Altice had expired Oct. 1.

* George Stathakopoulos, vice president for information security at Apple Inc., assured the Senate and House commerce committees that the tech giant did not find any "existence of malware or other malicious activity" in its supply chain, Reuters reports, citing a letter sent to the committees. "Apple's proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic," Stathakopoulos reportedly noted in the letter, while assuring the U.S. Congress that the company has failed to come across any malicious chips or vulnerabilities deliberately planted in any server.

* Shares in Super Micro Computer Inc. plunged to record lows after a report alleged Chinese spies implanted chips in some of the company's hardware, which was then distributed to Apple and Amazon.com Inc., among others. The companies all strongly denied the claims.

TV Networks

* DISH Network Corp. has struck a deal to carry AT&T SportsNet, the television home of the Vegas Golden Knights regional game telecasts, in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Consumers in these areas can now watch Vegas Golden Knights live regular season games, pre- and post-game shows and other ancillary programming in Nevada, as well as parts of California and Mohave County, Ariz., according to a news release.

Technology

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC is set to unveil new Pixel devices at an Oct. 9 event in New York City, mysmartprice.com reports. In addition to new Pixel-branded smartphones, the U.S. search giant is also expected to unveil a Pixel Slate tablet with a detachable keyboard, stylus and stereo speakers at the event.

Internet & OTT

* Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has agreed to create exclusive content for Walmart Inc.'s video-on-demand service VUDU Inc., Reuters reports, citing an official statement. In a statement to Reuters, a spokesman for Walmart said the new programming will be based on MGM's library of intellectual property, and will premiere exclusively on the Vudu platform.

* Team members of coding interview practice startup Refdash have joined Facebook Inc. to work on the social networking giant's Jobs feature, TechCrunch.com reports. In an official blog post, the startup confirmed the news but declined to name the company that it will now be working with. Refdash interviewing products and services will continue to operate independently under Refdash.

Film

* Sony Corp.'s "Venom" raked in $80 million to top the domestic box office for the Oct. 7 weekend, followed by Warner Bros.' "A Star Is Born" at No. 2 with $41.2 million and Warner Bros.' "Smallfoot" at the third spot with $14.9 million, according to comScore Inc. Universal's "Night School" was No. 4 with $12.3 million, while Universal's "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" was No. 5 with $7.3 million.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.39% to 26,202.57. In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,277.39 and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.74% to 1,031.23.

On the macro front

The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index is due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Apple, BT in pay TV deal talks; Google may face £3.3B compensation bill in UK: Apple and British Telecom are in advanced talks over a pay TV partnership, while Google could be fined £3.3 billion in the U.K. for alleged data gathering from iPhone users.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Saudi Arabia to invest in Vision Fund; Grab nearing deal to receive US$500M: Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia is looking to invest US$45 billion in SoftBank Group Corp.'s second Vision Fund, while Singaporean ride-hailing company GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. is nearing a deal to receive US$500 million in funding.

Data Dispatch: 'Venom' readies big box office bite: After a summer of superheroes, Columbia Pictures is betting moviegoers want something a bit darker for the fall season. And if "Venom" performs as expected, it could set a new box office record for October.

The Best Of: Media & Comm, editor's picks: Facebook security breach; Pluto TV's UK expansion: Stories about Facebook's latest security breach and Pluto TV's expansion into the U.K. ahead of European rollout are among the editor's top five story picks for the week ended Oct. 5.

The Best Of: Media & Comm, most read: California net neutrality law; Sirius/Pandora deal: Stories about the potential implications of California's net neutrality law on cable and wireless giants and uncertainty created by the DOJ's challenge to the net neutrality bill are included in the most read stories for the week ended Oct. 5.

Featured research

Consumer Insights: YouTube (Red) Premium user profile: A young set of digital consumers makes up the user base of YouTube Red, now YouTube Premium.

Economics of TV & Film: Kagan box office report, week 39: Week 39 box office dropped 12.5% year over year to $134.6 million in 2018, marking the third week in a row of weekly declines.

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