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Charter rejects Verizon's $100B bid; Netflix CEO plays down cord-cutting claims

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Charter rejects Verizon's $100B bid; Netflix CEO plays down cord-cutting claims

Top News

* Charter Communications Inc. rejected a more than $100 billion takeover offer from Verizon Communications Inc., the New York Post reports, citing sources familiar with the details. The offer, which Verizon reportedly made in recent months, valued Charter's shares at $350 a share to $400 a share. Charter, however, found the offer too low and was not ready for a sale, according to the sources.

* Netflix Inc. co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings does not think the streaming company is the reason that people are cutting pay TV services, despite press and analyst reports attributing the traditional video industry's weak subscriber net adds in recent years to competition from subscription video on demand offerings like Netflix and Hulu LLC. "We don't think of it as a big overlap that we are driving cord cutting," Hastings said. "In general, it is like 2[%] to 3% per year, like broadcast ratings over the last 30 years. It will take a slow, secular decline, then they will adjust the economics."

* As expected, SoftBank Group Corp.'s OneWeb satellite tech unit and Intelsat S.A. are set to terminate their merger and related share purchase agreement on June 2. According to a news release, the company also reported the termination of debt exchange offers by its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries at midnight ET on May 31.

Multichannel

* Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes believes the Trump administration will not have a "big impact" on the company's proposed merger with AT&T Inc., TechCrunch.com reports. Speaking at a conference in California, Bewkes also dismissed the notion that too much airtime by the networks helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential elections.

* Vivendi SA's bid to take full control of Telecom Italia SpA demonstrates that marriages between telecom companies and content producers are not a new strategy in Europe, in the face of digital upheaval. But for now, few will come close to the scale of AT&T and Time Warner's mega merger.

TV Networks

* Nexstar Media Group Inc. struck a long-term affiliation agreement with Walt Disney Co.'s ABC (US) for 24 of its owned or operated stations through Dec. 31, 2022. Nexstar also inked an over-the-top master agreement with ABC for new internet-delivered programming services from AT&T's DIRECTV Now, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Vue, Google Inc.'s YouTube TV, CenturyLink Inc. and ABC's TV Everywhere, the company said.

* A+E Networks is buying Comcast Corp. unit NBCUniversal International's stake in a joint venture that operated A+E Networks Germany, Deadline.com reports. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is subject to regulatory approval. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corp.

* CNN (US) axed its contract with on-air contributor and comedian Kathy Griffin following a photo shoot that depicted her holding the decapitated head of President Donald Trump. The network said in a tweet that it canceled its agreement with Griffin to appear on CNN's annual New Year's Eve program.

* NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBC News acquired a 25% stake in international news network Euronews. Post-acquisition, the organization will cobrand its television and digital platforms to EuronewsNBC, the company said. NBCU paid about €26.8 million to buy the stake from Media Globe Networks, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Scott Pelley, the host of "CBS Evening News" on CBS (US), is leaving the broadcaster, Variety reports. Two sources reportedly said the CBS Corp.-owned network tapped Anthony Mason, who currently serves as the weekend anchor of "CBS This Morning," will replace Pelley on an interim basis as host of "CBS Evening News."

* After running roughshod over the would-be competition, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in what has seemingly been a pre-ordained NBA Finals.

Advertising

* Quotient Technology Inc. closed the acquisition of mobile marketing and advertising company Crisp Media Inc., d/b/a Crisp Mobile, the company said. The company previously said it will pay $20 million in cash and $13 million in stock, subject to certain adjustments at closing.

Film

* Asia-Pacific's participation at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival competition was scarce, but the region still made a mark at the event.

Regulation & Policy

* A major question around the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order and the current net neutrality debate is what impact the order had on investment in broadband.

Technology

* Apple Inc. is working to launch a Siri-controlled smart speaker, Bloomberg News reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The speaker is expected to be unveiled at the company's annual developer conference in June and go on sale later this year.

* Alphabet Inc.'s Google unit launched its Android Pay service in Canada, according to a blog post by MobileSyrup. Android Pay has the support of a number of major banks at launch, with more to be added later.

Internet & OTT

* Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon (US) ramped up its NOGGIN video subscription service with a new interactive, curriculum-driven preschool videos. The interactive episodes will initially be available on the NOGGIN app for iOS platforms, the company said.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.58% to 25,809.22, while the Nikkei 225 was up 1.07% to 19,860.03.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.38% to 7,548.95, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.66% to 1,026.67.

On the macro front

The weekly bill settlement report, the chain store sales report, the ADP employment report, the jobless claims report, the PMI manufacturing index, the ISM manufacturing index, the construction spending 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

SoftBank fund raises US$93B; Sharp, Foxconn likely to invest ¥800B in US: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent investment deals and updates in the Asia-Pacific technology, media and communications sector.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: China defends cyber law; Singapore's MyRepublic seeks backing for M1 bid: China said that its cyber law is not intended to "restrict foreign enterprises" but to "safeguard" the country from cyberattacks, while MyRepublic seeks financial support to back its planned offer for M1.

The Short Report: Angie's List short interest soars in early May: Angie's List Inc. saw the largest jump in short interest relative to shares outstanding among Kagan-covered new media companies between April 28 and May 15.

The Short Report: Straight Path leads communications short interest decliners: Straight Path Communications Inc. had the biggest drop in short interest relative to shares outstanding among Kagan-covered communications companies between April 28 and May 15.

The Short Report: Sinclair short interest jumps in early May: Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. posted the greatest rise in short interest relative to shares outstanding among Kagan-covered media and entertainment companies between April 28 and May 15.

In Play Today: Sirius in talks to buy Pandora; Sprint, T-Mobile in deal talks: Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is considering a bid to acquire Pandora Media, while Sprint and T-Mobile have reinitiated talks to explore a possible merger between the two companies.

Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm director moves through May 30: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a rundown of board changes in the media and communications industries.

Fox launches VOD on Mexico's Claro Video, bags UFC LatAm rights: In this monthly LatAm video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other video initiatives in different Latin American markets.

JD.com elevates drone delivery efforts targeting rural China: The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to develop a heavy-duty drone as it and other companies around the globe explore the technology in search of a competitive edge.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Turner news networks continue with experiment with original content: Turner's news networks are incorporating original content into their daily schedules.

Economics of TV & Film: Early estimates have summer box office down 5.6% in 2017: The 2017 summer box office season has stumbled out of the gate as weekly box office has been down for the first four weeks when compared to last year.

Global Multichannel: Global markets update – Australia, Bolivia, Jamaica, Iraq, Oman: Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for five markets.

Economics of TV & Film: Coming to PPV in June: When all the operator counts are in, the May 6 matchup between Canelo Álvarez and Julio César Chávez Jr. is expected to exceed 1 million pay-per-view buys, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya.

Wireless Investor: Digital Hollywood: Mobile is on fire and virtual reality is hot: Content distribution, monetization and curation were debated at the Digital Hollywood conference, along with the role of virtual and augmented reality in the context of an increasingly mobile society.

Economics of TV & Film: A tale as old as time: 'Beauty and the Beast' another Disney home video hit: The year's top grossing film at the box office is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in June and should, by all accounts, be the No. 1 home video release of the month.

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 621, May 2017.

Economics of Advertising: MSNBC grows prime-time delivery by 84% in April: Nielsen Holdings' C3 ratings for cable news networks continue to rise, while general entertainment nets deal with contraction.

Economics of Internet: Profile: NOW TV/Sky Ticket in Western Europe: European pay TV operator Sky plc is shifting its focus from a traditional satellite-based TV offering to a variety of over-the-top propositions in an attempt to grow its customer base and explore new revenue streams.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.