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Cable One in 'difficult' retrans talks; Sprint to create 5,000 jobs in US

Top News

* Cable One Inc. has locked horns with Northwest Broadcasting and Hearst Corp.'s Hearst Television Inc. over the renewal of retransmission consent agreements, Multichannel News reports, citing a statement from the company. With the Dec. 31 deadline approaching, Cable One claimed that both companies had sought nearly 100% increase in rates and talks are "difficult," while Northwest and Hearst argued that they are working to resolve the issue.

* Sprint Corp. will "create or bring back" 5,000 jobs to the U.S. by the end of its fiscal year 2017. The carrier said the jobs will support a variety of functions across the organization, including its customer care and sales teams.

Internet & OTT

* Facebook Inc.'s virtual reality unit Oculus VR Inc. acquired eye-tracking startup The Eye Tribe, reports, citing an official confirmation. Financial terms of the deal were reportedly not disclosed.

* Twitter Inc. unveiled 360 video live streaming for the microblogging service and Periscope, according to an official blog post. Only select partners can currently go live in 360 via Periscope, while everyone can view the video streams.

* The New York Times, the namesake publication of New York Times Co., recorded more than 100 million views for its Facebook Live video posts, according to a post on the company's website. Since April, The Times' livestreams reached people more than 700 million times, while more than 300 journalists of the news outlet have used Facebook Live.

* Professional Diversity Network Inc. and its unit NAPW Inc. resolved a legal dispute with Microsoft Corp.'s LinkedIn Corp. In a lawsuit filed in September, LinkedIn had sought payment of outstanding amounts it claimed were owed to it under a marketing agreement with NAPW, the company said in an SEC filing.

TV Networks

* ESPN (US) started rolling out its app on AT&T Inc. unit DIRECTV set top boxes across the U.S., according to a post on ESPNMediaZone. The app is currently available in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina at launch, with other states to follow.

* HBO (US)'s fantasy-drama "Game of Thrones" topped the list of most pirated shows on television for the fifth consecutive year, according to a list of most pirated shows compiled by file-sharing news service TorrentFreak. Second on the list was AMC (US)'s "The Walking Dead," HBO's "Westworld" was No. 3, and The CW (US)'s "The Flash" and "Arrow" were at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.17% to 21,790.91, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.32% to 19,145.14.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.09% to 7,099.65, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.11% to 931.49.

On the macro front

The international trade in goods report, the jobless claims report, the EIA natural gas report, the EIA petroleum status report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Alibaba to spend $7B on content; Qualcomm fined in South Korea: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s digital media unit plans to invest more than US$7.2 billion in content over the next three years, while South Korea's Fair Trade Commission imposed an antitrust fine of about US$853 million on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

CAPITAL Letters: A telecom outlook from Wells Fargo Securities: Both wireless and wireline carriers are increasingly challenging broadband and cable TV providers for residential and enterprise customers but will likely have to invest considerable capital ahead to effectively compete.

US Media & Comm director moves through Dec. 28: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a rundown of board changes in the media and communications industries.

Briefing Room: 2016's biggest influencers in European media, telecommunications: This year's shortlist of people with outsized influence in the European media and telecoms landscape includes corporate power brokers, a presenter and a politician.

M&A Replay: European deals through Dec. 23: Verizon, Vivendi, MegaFon: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23.

In Play Today: CBS eyeing Sony Pictures; Amazon may buy truck tracking app: CBS Corp. is interested in Sony Pictures division, while Inc. may buy or develop an app that could schedule and track truck shipments of its products.

The Daily Dose Europe: Facebook unit gets Danish startup; Mediaset, Sky Italia dodge antitrust fines: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a biweekly wrap-up of Asia-Pacific media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Dec. 12 to Dec. 23.

Featured research

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 616, published December 2016.

Broadcast Investor: TV station live streaming picks up steam with new players: With options increasing for cord-cutters looking for live broadcast TV content, we present a comprehensive analysis of the top VSP and OTT services offering local station feeds in the U.S.

Economics of Internet: Amazon Prime video expansion necessitates big content spend: Jumping into head-to-head competition with Netflix Inc. around the world, Amazon Prime is available in 200-plus countries as of Dec. 14.

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