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In This List

DOJ on Nexstar/Tribune merger; Facebook's video chat device; Locast lawsuit

Cable Network Q1'20 Distribution Revenue Recap

2020 TMT Ecosystem: Effects of COVID-19

The Worst Is Yet To Come: Ad Agencies Expect Q2 Revenues Below '09

Brazil Pay TV Down Record Amount In 2019, With Losses Continuing In Q1'20


DOJ on Nexstar/Tribune merger; Facebook's video chat device; Locast lawsuit

Top News

* The U.S. Department of Justice has conditionally approved Nexstar Media Group Inc.'s pending merger with Tribune Media Co. It requires the broadcasters to divest TV stations in 13 markets as a condition of closing the deal.

* Facebook Inc. approached media companies, including Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co., about supporting its upcoming video chat device, The Information reports, citing sources. The social media giant also reportedly approached Hulu LLC, Amazon.com Inc. and AT&T Inc.'s HBO (US) about putting their services on the new device, which is code-named Catalina.

* Subsidiaries of major U.S. broadcasters have accused streaming service Locast of violating copyright law by retransmitting the signals of their local TV stations without permission. In a lawsuit filed with U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, CBS Corp., Disney, Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC and Fox Corp. claimed that Locast, backed by DISH Network Corp. and funded in part by AT&T, is working to help DISH and AT&T avoid paying for rights to carry broadcast programming.

Programming

* Driven by growth at its four genre-focused streaming video-on-demand services during the first half of the year, AMC Networks Inc. projects they will collectively surpass the 2-million threshold by year-end, en route to counting as many as 7 million customers by the middle of the next decade. AMC President and CEO Josh Sapan said on the company's earnings call that Shudder, Sundance Now, Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel, collectively added 400,000 subscribers during the first half of 2019.

* Nielsen Holdings PLC CEO David Kenny told analysts on the company's earnings call that the company will finish its strategic review by the time it reports third-quarter results, if not earlier. "The board and management are working as quickly as we can to conclude," Kenny said.

* Google LLC's Google Assistant service is now available on DISH Network's Hopper receivers at no additional cost. In addition to its existing abilities, the software update on the DISH voice remote will allow users to ask Assistant questions related to television viewing and more. DISH also unveiled a Google-branded DISH voice remote.

Streaming

* Spotify Technology SA CEO Daniel Ek said the company is focused on providing users with more personalized, premium experiences and the strategy is paying off in user growth, despite a second-quarter miss on a key user figure. "We missed on subs. That's on us," Ek said. "The good news is the shortfall was execution-related rather than softness in the business, and we expect to make up the lost ground before year-end."

* Live and on-demand subscription video streaming service DAZN will launch its nine-part original series "The Making Of" across all nine of its global markets on Aug. 9, Deadline reports. Each 25-minute installment of the show will be dedicated to a particular soccer match.

Wireless

* Altice USA Inc. CEO Dexter Goei said that the impending launch of the company's mobile service is "now imminent with multiple network and handset partnerships in place." Speaking during the company's earnings call, Goei also said that Altice's mobile partnership with Sprint will be expanded to the new T-Mobile US Inc. network and that it will include 5G services.

Technology

* The technology behind deepfakes is advancing rapidly and becoming available to more users across the internet, culminating recently in a series of manipulated videos featuring high-profile politicians and CEOs that sparked the ire of U.S. lawmakers.

* As U.S. policymakers work to figure out the appropriate legislative or regulatory response to deepfakes, industry experts and executives note the technology behind deepfakes is not inherently bad and stands to play an important role in the evolving digital media market, among other sectors. Research organization McKinsey Global Institute, for example, estimated in 2018 that artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to create an additional $2.6 trillion in value worldwide by 2020 in marketing and sales alone.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.76% to 27,565.70, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.09% to 21,540.99.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.10% to 7,594.24, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.34% to 1,084.77.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PMI Manufacturing index, the ISM Manufacturing index, the consumer spending report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Liberty Global's asset sale; Spotify on content; ITV Studios' acquisition: Liberty Global PLC completed the sale of eastern Europe assets to Vodafone Group PLC, Spotify is looking to provide more personalized content, while ITV Studios Ltd. acquired Israel's Armoza Formats.

Netflix unveils new mobile plan in India; ByteDance to develop smartphone: Netflix is seeking more partnerships in India after the company unveiled its cheapest mobile plan in the country, while the owner of video app TikTok confirmed plans to produce a smartphone.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Zee rejects Comcast bid; Vodafone settles unit sale; Apple CEO dispels rumors: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. promoters will sell up to an 11% stake in the company, Vodafone completed the sale of its New Zealand unit, while Apple Inc.'s CEO dismissed rumors that his company would execute major changes in where it manufactures its products.

Hires and Fires: AT&T increases board size; Google exec joins Public Storage board: AT&T increased the size of its board with the addition of former Bet Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, while Google executive Tariq Shaukat joined Public Storage's board.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: 'Toy Story 4' another big profit win for Disney: Disney and Pixar can put another mark in the win column as "Toy Story 4" dominated the box office in the latter half of June and notched the highest opening gross of the film series at $120.9 million.

Economics of Internet: State of UK OTT video: subscription: Over-the-top video subscriptions in the U.K. reached 17.2 million in 2018, surpassing multichannel for the first time.

Multichannel Trends: AT&T rebrands DIRECTV NOW following loss of 168,000 subs in Q2: Direct broadcast satellite virtual multichannel platforms are feeling pressure as high price points and competition take a toll.

Recent earnings

MediaTek to debut 2nd 5G chipset, Q2'19 net income down 12.6% YOY: The Taiwan-based chip designer said its second 5G chipset will feature in smartphones from the first half of 2020. It reported a 12.6% year-over-year drop in net income.

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