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Comcast unveils mobile wireless service; Charter subs may lose Fox content

Top news

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s Fox Networks Group warned Charter Communications Inc.'s Spectrum subscribers, including former Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks LLC subscribers, of a potential blackout as early as April 8, according to a post on keepmynets.com. While Fox Networks Group blamed Charter's "tactics," Charter accused Fox of trying to extort the company for "hundreds of millions of dollars" by threatening to pull its programming, Deadline.com reports, citing a statement.

* Comcast Corp. unveiled its Xfinity Mobile wireless service, which leverages both Comcast's network of Wi-Fi hotspots and its mobile virtual network operator agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. The service, which comes with up to five lines when it is added to a customer's Xfinity Internet service, includes unlimited talk and text and the first 100 MB of shared 4G LTE data.

Internet & OTT

* Twitter Inc. sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other defendants to stop them from revealing the identity of people who were using the microblogging service to oppose the department and the Trump administration. In a court filing, Twitter said the move was unlawful and the request violates the First Amendment rights of the company and its users.

* FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is working out a plan to repeal the agency's net neutrality rules, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Pai reportedly discussed the preliminary plan in a meeting in the week of April 3 and is expected to make them public as soon as this month.

* Netflix Inc. will premiere new South Korean original series "Man x Man" on April 21 in more than 20 languages around the world. Under an exclusive international licensing agreement with JTBC, a South Korean general cable TV and broadcasting company, Netflix said it will stream the series an hour after it airs on JTBC in Korea, and in the U.S., the series will be offered in two parts, comprising eight episodes each.

* Hulu LLC struck an output licensing deal for movies released by Annapurna Pictures. Under the multiyear agreement, future films released by Annapurna Pictures will stream exclusively on Hulu following their theatrical release, the company said.

* CBS Corp.'s Showtime (US) subscribers can download its programming on mobile devices for offline viewing, TechCrunch.com reports. The new feature is reportedly available in the Showtime app for authenticated pay TV subscribers and on its stand-alone streaming service.

Advertising

* Google Inc.'s YouTube will stop ads from appearing alongside channels with less than 10,000 views across all posted videos, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a statement. YouTube reportedly said that it has been working on the policy since November 2016, and it is expected to make it easier for the company to track which channels are appropriate for advertising.

Technology

* Alphabet Inc. moved Milo Medin, a vice president at Access, and Dennis Kish, president at Google Fiber, out of the company's Access division, Bloomberg News reports. Both executives will continue to work at Alphabet. Meanwhile, Medin was also among communications executives named as members of the FCC’s new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 0.03% to 24,267.30, while the Nikkei 225 increased 0.36% to 18,664.63.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.17% to 7,315.33, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.07% to 985.75.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the wholesale trade report, the consumer credit report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Twitter Lite launches for emerging markets; Australian regulator sues Apple: Twitter is rolling out a mobile service built for users with slower connections, while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sued Apple Inc. and unit Apple Pty Ltd. over claims of misleading consumers on guarantees for iPhones and iPads.

The Communicator: Comcast's wireless future: Comcast unveiled its Xfinity Mobile wireless service, but industry observers are divided on its near-term and long-term prospects.

CAPITAL Letters: The rule of thumbs: Binary thumbs are winning in the scoring rivalry between nuanced quality and simple popularity.

Twitter joins peers in opening location data to advertisers: The social media platform gave brands access to location data in Direct Messages, following similar moves in Facebook Inc.'s Messenger and Google Maps.

Data Dispatch: Smurfs look to get franchise back on track: "The Boss Baby" will continue to command the box office as traffic slows in early April.

The Program Guide: 'Mindy Project' to end after season 6; ABC orders new singing competition series: The April 7 debut of subsequent episodes of "Africa's Hunters" on Smithsonian Earth and new content offerings on Discovery Kids are included in this week's Program Guide.

Washington Watch: Data-driven decisions at FCC will still have political consequences: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would like to see the commission use more hard numbers to make difficult decisions, such as what to do about privacy protections.

Data Dispatch: Tax reform: Telcos see lower taxes enabling greater fixed investment: An analysis of the 15 largest U.S.-based publicly traded communications companies, as ranked by market cap, shows nearly half of them will pay a 2016 effective tax rate above 30%, money that some CEOs believe would be better spent elsewhere.

Data Dispatch: Tax reform: 'Lingering uncertainty' keeps media CEOs cautious: Several of the largest players in the media space — including Walt Disney Co., Liberty Media Corp. and Nielsen Holdings — pay effective tax rates close to or above the current 35% statutory rate, making tax reform an important and appealing prospect.

Data Dispatch: Tax reform: An area for tech and Trump to come together: Income taxes have been a major area of interest for new media companies in recent years, with a number of tech giants keeping cash overseas to lower their effective tax rates. But President Donald Trump promised to change all that.

Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through April 5: AT&T, Warner Music, Verizon: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific deals through March 31: Vodafone, Tencent, Bharti Airtel: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a biweekly wrap-up of Asia-Pacific media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from March 20 to March 31.

The Daily Dose Europe: Spotify mulls direct listing; ProSiebenSat.1 unit buys Austria's ATV: Music streaming service Spotify Ltd is considering a direct listing in September instead of an IPO, while ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE unit Puls 4 acquired Austrian media group ATV.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: Pricing and packaging: Early 2017 marketing shies away from skinny bundle: The skinny bundle has yet to occupy a high profile with traditional service providers, according to a sampling of published offerings from major U.S. cable, telco and DBS services.

Global Multichannel: Q4'16 Canada multichannel data outlines broadband-centric future: The forces at play in the transformation of the multichannel sector were on full display in Canada in 2016, with the universe again logging steep video subscriber losses while maintaining strong broadband momentum.

Consumer Insights: Millennials love Apple: Millennials were not only more likely to use Apple devices compared to older respondents, but they were also more likely to use multiple Apple devices, according to our latest U.S. survey.

Economics of TV & Film: Kagan Box Office Report – Week 14: Weekly box office rebounded in week 14 as audiences lined up to take in "Beauty and the Beast," "The Boss Baby" and "Power Rangers."

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