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Retired wrestlers sue WWE; DIRECTV, Sunbeam in retrans spat


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Retired wrestlers sue WWE; DIRECTV, Sunbeam in retrans spat


* Dozensof retired male and female wrestlers filed a lawsuit against over claims that they suffered neurological injuries by participating in itsevents, Reuters reports.In a filing with the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, more than 50plaintiffs, including performers like Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Paul"Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff, and former referees and identical twinsEarl and Dave Hebner, accused WWE and Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon ofintentionally categorizing wrestlers as "independent contractors"rather than employees in a bid to avoid liability under applicable workerprotection laws.

*DIRECTV customers in Boston and Miami lost access to certain Sunbeam Television Corp. stations on July 15, Multichannel News reports,citing a statement from Sunbeam. The parties could not reach a retransmissionconsent agreement, hence NBC(US)-affiliate WHDH and The CW (US)-affiliate WLVI, both Sunbeam stations inBoston, plus FOX(US)-affiliate WSVN in Miami went dark for the unit's subscribers,according to the report.


*Apple Inc. is workingto debut a new iPhone 7 Pro smartphone that will feature a dual-camera systemand a smart connector, reports,citing NowhereElse. The report, however, did not say when the new iPhone could beunveiled.

* Inmore company news, GlaxoSmithKline Plc is using Apple's ResearchKit software toconduct a medical study on rheumatoid arthritis, according to a poston its site. As part of the research, the company will record the activity andquality of life for 300 patients over a period of three months.

Internet & OTT

* Inc.'sAmazon Studios is discussing plans to fully fund Woody Allen's next movie, The Hollywood Reporter reports,citing sources familiar with the talks. The movie starring Kate Winslet andJustin Timberlake is expected to receive $25 million in financing from theonline retail giant, an insider reportedly said.

*Facebook Inc. istesting a new feature in India that lets users save videos for offline viewing,Bloomberg News reports,citing a company statement. The move comes as users reportedly complained"about poor video experiences because of limited mobile coverage."

*Verizon CommunicationsInc. unit VerizonWireless unveiled an Always-On Data option for prepaid users thatallows them to stay connected once they have crossed their monthly allowance.The company, however, will reduce speeds to 128 kilobyte per second, accordingto a poston the company's website.

Film & TV Programming

*Sony Corp.'s SonyPictures Television Inc. bought a minority stake in Palladium Fiction, a Swedishproduction company, for an undisclosed price, reports.As part of the deal, Palladium will focus on high-end international dramas,while Sony Pictures Television will oversee international distribution.

*The seventh season of HBO(US)'s "Game of Thrones" will feature seven episodes,while the eighth season is expected to feature six to eight episodes, Variety reports,citing a statement by the TimeWarner Inc.-owned network. The seventh season will reportedlypremiere in summer 2017, according to the report.

The day ahead

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

InAsia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.60% to 21,673.20, while the Nikkei 225 was up1.37% to 16,723.31. In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.42% to6,667.33, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.84% to 856.49.

On the macro front

Thehousing starts report and Redbook are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: Apple Pay debuts in France; Ericsson CEO faces axe: ApplePay has launched in France in partnership with several banks, while could fire CEO HansVestberg as the company faces claims it inflated sales figures and paidexcessive bonuses to top managers.

The Daily DoseAsia-Pacific: SoftBank paying $32B for chip firm; Opera revamps Chinesedeal: Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. will acquire U.K. semiconductorfirm ARM Holdings for over $32 billion, while Norwegian company made analternative deal to sell parts of its business to a Chinese investmentconsortium for $600 million after a plan to buy the entire firm crumbled.

The week inOTT: Twitter strikes streaming partnerships; Netflix, Amazon pick up Emmynominations: TwitterInc. inked a series of streaming partnerships, while garnered 54nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards by the Television Academy,'s Prime Video picked up 16.

Q&A:E-comm exec: Amazon, eBay have edge in Middle East, North Africa:S&P Global Market Intelligence sat down with Khaldoon Tabaza, founder andmanaging director of iMENA Group, an e-commerce giant in the Middle East andNorth Africa region.

M&AReplay: US deals through July 15: S&P Global MarketIntelligence provides a wrap-up of media and communications deal announcementsand completions from July 11 to July 15.

M&AReplay: European deals through July 15: Amazon, Lions Gate, AMCEntertainment: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides awrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completionsand updates from July 11 to July 15.

Featured research

WirelessInvestor: Driverless cars could make traffic worse: During the"Smart cities and connected citizens" panel at the Shape AT&TExpo at San Francisco Giants AT&T Park, most of the discussion was abouthow connected cars and autonomous driving will change cities and how wirelessconnectivity will make it all possible. 

Recent earnings

Yahoo takes$482M impairment charge on Tumblr, stays mum about sale: Thecompany did not mention who won the auction for its core internet assets duringan earnings conference call, though executives remained optimistic about thecompany's future.

Netflix execstalk Q2 miss, Comcast, Disney and finding future growth: Netflix'sexecutives covered a lot of ground on the company's second-quarter earningscall as investors sold off shares on disappointing subscriber growth.