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Microsoft market cap crosses $500B; Charter subs may lose Univision nets

Top News

* Microsoft Corp.'s market capitalization surpassed $500 billion for the first time since 2000, Reuters reports. The software giant had a market cap of about $508.32 billion as of Jan. 27, while its total enterprise value stood at about $584.82 billion, according to SNL Kagan.

* Univision Communications Inc. on Jan. 27 warned Charter Communications Inc. customers that they "may lose access to Univision's networks and stations" stemming from an "unfortunate impasse" in negotiations. At risk are networks and Univision (US)- and UniMás (US)-owned stations, as well as cable networks Galavision (US) and Univision Deportes (US), in key markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Texas, where the programmer said Charter is its largest distributor.

Internet & OTT

* Netflix Inc. bagged four awards at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards, which were simulcast live on Time Warner Inc.'s TNT (US) and TBS (US) on Jan. 29. According to an official news release, Netflix series "The Crown" received awards for the outstanding performance by male and female actors, while "Stranger Things" and "Orange is the New Black" won outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series and a comedy series, respectively.

* Netflix acquired multi-territory rights to "Mudbound," a drama about life in the segregated southern U.S., for $12.5 million, Variety reports. Netflix will release the movie in theaters and online simultaneously in the U.S.

* Twitter Inc. released two national security letters that sought access to electronic communication transaction records, Reuters reports. The company said it handed over "very limited set of data" in response to the letters even though the FBI had requested a large amount of information.

* Top management at companies such as Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Microsoft and its unit LinkedIn Corp., issued statements in response to a new executive order on immigration from President Donald Trump. Slamming the ban on immigration and the U.S. refugee program, executives including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the executive order "upsetting" and "painful."

* Meanwhile, Google created a $4 million "crisis campaign" in support of U.S. immigration organizations, reports, citing a source familiar with the details. Google will reportedly donate the money to the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UN High Commissioner for Refugees/UN Refugee Agency.

Film & TV Programming

* Sony Corp. recorded an impairment charge against the goodwill of its Pictures segment of 112.1 billion Japanese yen in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. The company recorded the impairment charge due to a downward revision in the future profitability projection for the Motion Pictures business within the Pictures segment, the company said.

* Universal's "Split" retained its No. 1 spot at the domestic box office for the Jan. 29 weekend with $26.3 million, followed by Universal's "A Dog's Purpose" at No. 2 with $18.4 million, and 20th Century Fox's "Hidden Figures" at No. 3 with $14 million, according to comScore Inc. Sony Corp.'s "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" was No. 4 with $13.8 million, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s "La La Land" took the fifth spot with $12.1 million.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 slid by 0.51% to 19,368.85. In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.76% to 7,129.75 and the Euronext 100 by 0.89% to 925.84.

On the macro front

The U.S. Commerce Department's personal income and outlays report, the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey are due out today.

Featured news

MarketWeek: As earning ramp up, Verizon hits a bittersweet note on M&A speculation: A busy earnings week and merger speculation involving Verizon Communications Inc. and Charter Communications seemed to influence media and communications stocks during the week that ended Jan. 27.

CAPITAL Letters: How CNN became a political piñata amid AT&T/Time Warner deal talks: You might think CNN (US) has become some sort of endangered species given all the chatter lately by politicians and pundits about requiring the cable news network to be spun off from Time Warner before its proposed merger with AT&T Inc.

The Program Guide: Amazon greenlights 'Good Omens'; 'Will & Grace' gets limited run on NBC: The renewal of Bravo (US)'s "Top Chef" and the return of "Real Time with Bill Maher" for their respective 15th seasons are included in the latest installment of The Program Guide.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, editor's picks: Take a look at the media and communications editor's top five picks for the week ended Jan. 27.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, most read: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents the five most read media and communications articles for the week ended Jan. 27.

Crisis-hit BT rules out Italy exit as profits dive: British Telecom has ruled out an exit of its Italian business, despite an accounting scandal that cost the telecoms giant a £530 million write-down.

Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: Media & Comm moves through Jan. 27: Sony, Baidu, Flipkart: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a monthly rundown of executive and board changes in the Asia-Pacific media and communications industries.

The Daily Dose Europe: Singapore plans buying into Telxius; Sky, Discovery dispute rages on: Singapore is planning to buy a stake worth £1.3 billion in Telefónica S.A.'s infrastructure unit Telxius, while Sky plc accused Discovery Communications Inc. of demanding £1 billion for integrating its sports channels.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: Cable TV Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 749, published January 2017.

Multichannel Trends: Telco HSD fails to deliver growth in 2016: Wireline broadband growth escaped the top telcos as cable competition maintained its tenacity and the drag on legacy DSL sub losses persisted.

Economics of Internet: State of Netherlands online video: Subscription: High Broadband and multichannel penetrations combined with the fact that 95% of the population speaks at least one foreign language have contributed to the development and growth of a number of different subscription video OTT services in the Netherlands.

Economics of Advertising: Non-Nielsen-rated nets deliver lower ratings at the end of 2016: The average coverage rating for the non-Nielsen-rated networks we tracked using data from comScore's TV Essentials ticked down sequentially to a 0.49 during the final month of 2016 and dropped 12.7% year over year.

Global Multichannel: Licensing executives of pay TV channels embrace digital platforms: With all players in the entertainment business paying close attention to fast-growing digital platforms, speakers from the TV and gaming industries shared their views on leveraging the latest technologies at the Asian Licensing Conference 2017.

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