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Media & Comm, most read: AT&T/Time Warner trial starts; MGM CEO leaves


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Media & Comm, most read: AT&T/Time Warner trial starts; MGM CEO leaves

Here are the most read stories of the week.

Legal experts weigh odds as DOJ's AT&T/Time Warner trial starts

The U.S. government and AT&T Inc. squared off in court this week as the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner Inc. The trial, which began March 19 with two days of motions before opening arguments March 21, is expected to last several weeks, and legal experts who have reviewed pre-trial briefs from both sides remain torn over whether AT&T or the government is more likely to prevail.

New football league to debut in 2019 with CBS coverage, streaming fantasy app

Launched by film and TV producer Charlie Ebersol, the Alliance of American Football will debut before World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon's revised XFL begins in 2020. CBS (US) will televise the league's inaugural contest and championship game, while CBS Sports Network (US) will air a weekly regular-season game.

MGM's CEO leaves abruptly

MGM Holdings Inc.'s board launched a transition and search process for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.'s new CEO, following the ouster of Gary Barber. The board also temporarily created an Office of the CEO to oversee MGM's daily operations during the transition period. The office, composed of division heads and senior executives, will report directly to the board.

NBC Sports Group to roll out OTT offering as part of new IndyCar deal

NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBC Sports Group gained exclusive media rights to IndyCar. Sources familiar with the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, said NBC Sports is paying an increased rights fee. Under a three-year pact beginning with the 2019 season, NBC Sports will provide eight telecasts on NBC (US), notably the Indianapolis 500.

Entertainment Studios buys The Weather Channel

Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Inc. acquired Weather Group LLC, parent company of The Weather Channel (US) and Local Now streaming service. Allen bought the Weather Group through his company, Allen Media LLC, from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and Comcast Corp. and its unit NBCUniversal Media.