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Paramount names new CEO; Amazon confirms SOUQ.com deal

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Paramount names new CEO; Amazon confirms SOUQ.com deal

Top News

* As expected, Viacom Inc. named former Fox Filmed Entertainment head Jim Gianopulos the new chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, effective April 3. Gianopulos steps into the role left vacant by Brad Grey, who recently stepped down after 12 years at the helm of the Viacom-owned studio, the company said.

* Amazon.com Inc. confirmed reaching a deal to buy Dubai-based e-commerce platform SOUQ.com. The acquisition is expected to close in 2017, subject to closing conditions, the company said.

Internet & OTT

* AMC Networks Inc. is considering plans to debut an ad-free streaming service for millennial TV consumers, Reuters reports, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter. The planned streaming service that could cost between $4.99 and $6.99 a month would be available only to customers who subscribe to a cable TV package, according to the report.

* Amazon.com pushed back plans to launch Amazon Go, its cashier-less stores, because of technical glitches, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The stores, which were expected to launch by the end of March, had been launched in beta in December 2016.

* Hulu LLC acquired rights to stream politically themed series called "I Love You, America," Multichannel News reports, citing a company announcement. The series from Funny Or Die reportedly stars comedian Sarah Silverman.

* In more Amazon news, the company green-lighted an "Underground Railroad" series that will be directed by Barry Jenkins, TVLine.com reports. The one-hour drama series is based on Colson Whitehead's 2016 novel of the same name, according to the report.

* Eric Hart, head of M&A at Expedia Inc., is stepping down from the position to join the company's CarRentals.com division as a senior vice president, Bloomberg News reports, citing a company spokesman. As a replacement, Expedia named LendingClub Corp.'s Regi Vengalil head of corporate development and strategy, the spokesman said.

Technology

* Former Apple Inc. executive Michael Hillman joined Facebook Inc. as head of hardware for its Oculus VR division, Bloomberg News reports. Hillman, who is a 15-year Apple veteran, has held senior engineering and design roles at the iPhone maker.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.63% to 24,345.87, while the Nikkei 225 gained 1.14% to 19,202.87.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.07% to 7,298.59, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.14% to 969.77.

On the macro front

The international trade in goods report, the Redbook index, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI report, the consumer confidence report, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index and the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Spotify buys streaming app MightyTV; Ericsson eyes further shakeup: Spotify Ltd acquired video streaming service MightyTV, while Ericsson AB is planning a reorganization of its top management.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Vodafone Australia joins Google ad boycott; Samsung to reuse Note 7 smartphones: Vodafone Australia has joined the growing list of companies in Australia that have suspended their Google Inc. advertising, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is considering to reuse its discontinued Note 7 smartphones.

Price war looms as Vodafone, Idea merger takes shape in India: Vodafone Group Plc is set to become India's largest operator once the merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular closes.

The week in OTT: Netflix backs Adam Sandler films; Tech giants bid for NFL games: Netflix Inc. agreed to fund four more feature length films starring Adam Sandler, while Facebook, Amazon, Twitter Inc. and YouTube are vying for rights to stream the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" games next season.

M&A Replay: European deals through March 24: Vodafone, Nokia, Facebook: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from March 17 to March 24.

Briefing Room: Facebook, Google face terrorism crackdown in UK following London attack: The U.K. government is demanding access to encrypted messaging services following the recent terror attack in London. It also considers legislation that could force social media platforms and other websites to remove extremist material.

Featured research

Economics of Networks: Sports giants like ESPN suffering from cord cutting, cord shaving: National sports networks pay leagues like the NBA and NFL an exorbitant amount of money to broadcast games and keep them away from competitors. The business model has worked, but the high license fees distributors pay have taken a toll.

Broadcast Investor: Radio station industry revenues up slightly in 2016; slow start to 2017: Radio station and network industry revenues increased just less than 2% in 2016, but the gains were driven primarily by digital and off-air, with station spots sales only increasing slightly due to political sales.

Multichannel Trends: Q4'16 subscriber bundle data shows gains in HSD independent of other services: Fourth-quarter 2016 double- and triple-play data for the top five publicly reporting MSOs underscore the strength of broadband as a stand-alone product.

Broadcast Investor: Deal market February – The biggest radio deal in a decade: With just one announcement, the 2017 radio deal market catapulted to a volume almost exceeding that of the previous three years combined.

Wireless Investor: M2M and postpaid are source of future growth in French mobile industry: The French mobile market is mature, with penetration of mobile subscriptions having already topped 128% of total pops at the end of 2016.

Best of SNL: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended March 24.

Broadcast Investor: Retrans database update: Raycom, AT&T ink deal as Hearst locks horns with DISH: Fifteen signal disruptions announced in 2017 have so far affected 15.1 million estimated subs across 128 markets, compared to seven publicly declared carriage disputes as of March 9, 2016, involving 4.8 million subs across 41 markets.

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