* The National Football League is seeking bids by media companies for additional seasons of Thursday Night Football, Multichannel News reports, citing sources familiar with the details. With bids due in January 2018, the NFL asked media companies to submit the bids or the package could be sold to a streaming company like Amazon.com Inc.
* Analysts cut their first-quarter 2018 sale forecasts for Apple Inc.'s iPhone X due to a decline in demand, Bloomberg News reports. While Sinolink Securities Co. analyst Zhang Bin expects the shipments for the first quarter to total 35 million, a decline of 10 million from the previous estimate, JL Warren Capital LLC expects the shipments to fall to 25 million units from 30 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017.
* A variety of news and general bullishness seemed to buoy media and communications stocks throughout the week leading into Christmas. TV networks saw considerable movement as investors continued to digest the implications of Walt Disney Co.'s move to acquire a variety of TV and film assets from 21st Century Fox Inc. Discovery Communications Inc. was one of the biggest winners of the week among network owners, as its shares soared almost 12% over the five-day week.
* The $1.53 billion termination fee for Disney should it decide to end its pursuit of Fox assets represents 2.8% of the $55.27 billion deal's value, less than the 3.9% average for other large media and communications deals in the past decade. The separate $2.50 billion fee should the Disney/Fox deal fail due to regulatory reasons is both higher, at 4.50% of the deal's value, and more rare for such agreements.
* U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, Calif., ordered Apple to produce required documents in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc. or face a fine of $25,000 for each day that it fails to provide evidence, starting from Dec. 16, Bloomberg News reports. The tech giant has a deadline of Dec. 29 to turn over the documents. Apple, however, said it has already "produced millions of documents" for this case and plans to appeal the ruling since it has been asked to produce more in "an unprecedented time frame."
* Two group of users sued Apple for slowing down iPhones in order to stop them from shutting down due to battery issues, Bloomberg News reports. One group accused Apple of intentionally slowing down iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and some iPhone 7s to get customers to buy newer models, while a second group accused the company of breaching an implied contract in which it agreed not to intentionally interfere with their usage or the speed of the device.
Internet & OTT
* Time Warner Inc.'s CNN (US) is ending its daily show "The Update" for Snap Inc.'s Snapchat Discover platform, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. The show was reportedly canceled due to a lack of profitability.
* Disney's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" continued to lead the domestic box office for the Dec. 24 weekend with $68.5 million, followed by Sony Corp.'s "Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle" at No. 2 with $34 million and Universal's "Pitch Perfect 3" at the third spot with $20.4 million, according to comScore Inc. 20th Century Fox's "The Greatest Showman" took the fourth spot with $8.6 million, while 20th Century Fox's "Ferdinand" was No. 5 with $7 million.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.20% to 22,892.69.
On the macro front
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index and the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out today.
The Best Of: Editor's picks: Disney/Fox deal's breakup fee; 'Star Wars' box office domination: Stories about the Disney/Fox deal's breakup fee and box office domination for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" are among the media and communications editor's top five picks for the week ended Dec. 22.
The Best Of: Media & Comm, most read: Disney/Fox deal impacts; Skipper's exit at ESPN: Stories about the potential negative impacts of the merger between Disney and Fox and John Skipper's abrupt exit at ESPN Inc. are included in the most read stories for the week ended Dec. 22.
Data Dispatch: Star Wars still biggest present under the tree for Christmas box office: Despite six new wide releases for Christmas, Walt Disney's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," is likely to dominate going into its sophomore weekend.
Economics of Advertising: Ad revenue for print newspapers continues to bleed: Print advertising revenue for daily newspapers in the U.S. declined an estimated 10.1% in 2017 to $11.80 billion, and the segment will likely continue to fall over the next 10 years.
Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Mexico, LatAm: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for five markets and one regional summary.
Economics of Advertising: Coverage ratings drop for non-Nielsen-rated Hispanic nets in November: Non-Nielsen Holdings-rated nets categorized by Kagan under the Hispanic genre saw their coverage ratings decline at an average rate of 18.2% year over year in November, based on data from comScore's TV Essentials.
Technology: Global shipments of connected devices slow as signs of saturation appear: North America and Western Europe are experiencing declines or slow growth in connected device shipments due to saturated smartphone markets, leaving other device markets to drive overall growth.
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