*Viacom Inc.representatives met with officials from China's to discussa possible minority stake sale in Paramount Pictures, Reuters reports,citing two people familiar with the situation. Other parties are also in playfor the movie studio, with Viacom vice chairman Shari Redstone founder JackMa for a potential deal.
*Lions Gate EntertainmentCorp. bought a stake in production company Primal Media Ltd. for anundisclosed amount, according to a news release. Under the deal, Lions Gate will distribute PrimalMedia's content worldwide as well as adapt formats owned by Primal Media forthe U.S. and worldwide market.
*Communications Workers of America notified AT&T Inc. that Mobility employees failed to ratify afour-year contract,which covers over 40,000 Mobility employees backed by the union. The partiesagreed to meet in an effort to reach an agreement on the contract, whichfocuses on benefits, including health care, AT&T said in a .
Internet & OTT
*Netflix Inc. made astraight-to-series order for comedy "Disjointed," which stars KathyBates as the owner of a Los Angeles-area cannabis dispensary, Deadline.com reports.Separately, Netflix renewed the drama "Bloodline" for a thirdseason, which will arrive on the streaming service in 2017.
*Apple Inc. is workingto debut an unscripted reality TV show called "Planet of the Apps,"9to5mac.com reports.Shooting of the show, which Apple is co-producing in partnership withPropagate, is expected to start later in 2016 and run through the start of 2017in Los Angeles.
*Microsoft Corp.introduced a professional degree program to "offer employer-endorsed,university-caliber curriculum for professionals at any stage of theircareer." The company said it is initially offering the Microsoft ProfessionalDegree in data science, with all courseware available on nonprofit onlinelearning destination edX.org.
Film & TV programming
*NBCUniversal MediaLLC studio head Jeff Shell was detained and denied entry intoRussia due to his alleged involvement in "a large-scale, lying,anti-Russian propaganda campaign," TheHollywood Reporter reports,citing a statement from the Russian foreign ministry. Shell's lifetime ban fromthe country is reportedly linked to his chairmanship of the Broadcasting Boardof Governors, which is in charge of all U.S. non-military foreign broadcastingin Russia.
*Sony Corp.'sforthcoming all-female "Ghostbusters" reboot was denied a release inChina because the authorities felt the film would not pull Chinese audiences,most of whom have not seen the "Ghostbusters" movies, The Hollywood Reporter reports.According to the report, the film was expected to fail China's officialcensorship guidelines that prohibit movies that "promote cults orsuperstition."
The day ahead
U.S.markets are expected to start the day's trading on a higher note as the Nasdaqcomposite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weretrading above fair value in early morning futures trading.
InAsia, the Hang Seng rose 1.12% to 21,561.06, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.95% to16,385.89.
InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.89% to 6,729.67, and the Euronext100 had climbed 0.94% to 868.64.
On the macro front
Thejobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, the EIA natural gas report, BloombergConsumer Comfort Index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report aredue out today.
: Philippine telcogiants PLDT and Globe Telecom are seeking to halt the regulatory review oftheir $1.5 billion joint acquisition deal for San Miguel's telecom unit, whileshares in Nintendo drop as concerns grow over the company's ability to roll outits hit mobile game globally.
: When closed thedoor on phone subsidies a few years ago, it was hard to know the move wouldnecessitate opening a window to the asset-backed securities market.
: Bringhub takes on the e-commerce model with a universalshopping cart designed to appeal to consumers' and retailers' interests.
: In this monthly feature, S&P Global MarketIntelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark,Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
: strucka deal to acquire London-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from investmentfirm Terra Firma, while Amazon.comInc. is preparing to launch its subscription video-on-demandplatform simultaneously in France, Italy and Spain.
: Our recently completed AsiaConsumer Insights survey reveals that consumers in China not only own more internet-connectabledevices than U.S. or South Korean households but are more likely to use theirsmartphones, tablets and smart TVs for digital entertainment.
: Walt Disney Co.'s streak continued as the mouse houselanded another film at the top of the monthly film profit projections chart.
: SNL Kagan has published and updatedGlobal Multichannel & Broadband analysis for three countries.
: SNLKagan's latest quarterly presentation report examining industry trends and datafor the global multichannel and connected devices sector.
: See how consolidation haschanged the multichannel landscape with a new animated map.