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YouTube, others eyeing Fox's 22 RSNs; senators prepare for FCC oversight hearing

Top News

* Media and technology companies, including Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., Google LLC's YouTube LLC and Amazon.com Inc., have shown interest in acquiring 21st Century Fox Inc.'s 22 regional sports networks, or RSNs, that regulators want Walt Disney Co. to sell to win approval for buying Fox assets, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Other interested parties include buyout firms such as Blackstone Group LP and Apollo Global Management LLC, the sources said.

* The Senate will hear testimony from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, while the president's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee will also host a call to discuss its Cybersecurity Moonshot study.

* Broadcast lawyers said in interviews that character concerns the FCC raised will continue to be a factor in future deal reviews. Tribune Media Co. on Aug. 9 terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair and filed a lawsuit against the broadcaster.

Technology

* Vidpresso Inc., a startup focused on helping broadcasters stream videos to Facebook Live and other social platforms, is now part of Facebook Inc., according to a post on the startup's website. TechCrunch.com reports that Facebook acquired the company's technology and seven-person team but did not provide any other financial details.

* TiVo Corp. renewed its multiyear intellectual property license with Altice Portugal. The agreement will allow Altice in Portugal to deploy advanced products that use patented TiVo technology, according to a news release.

* Twitter Lite, a lighter mobile web version of Twitter Inc.'s platform, is now available in more than 45 countries, according to a company blog post. The Twitter Lite app is aimed at markets with slow mobile networks, expensive data packages or mobile devices that lack space.

OTT

* David Wells is stepping down as CFO of Netflix Inc. In a news release, the company said Wells will exit after helping the company choose his successor. The search will include both internal and external candidates.

* Netflix and Millarworld Ltd. unveiled a comic book series called "Prodigy" from Mark Millar. This is Millar's second comic book franchise since joining the streaming giant, the company said. "Prodigy" will be available in comic book stores and online on Dec. 5. The series is centered on Edison Crane, the "world's smartest man," who tries to solve problems for governments across the globe.

* Former Warner Bros. Digital executive David Yoon and former Tidal executive Erik Gerson have joined streaming service fuboTV, Multichannel News reports, citing a company announcement. Yoon will serve fuboTV as senior vice president of product design, while Gerson was named senior vice president of engagement.

TV Networks

* Following a nine-day disconnect, beIN SPORTS (US) and beIN SPORTS en Español (US) were restored to Verizon Communications Inc.'s TV systems, maintaining the same level of carriage under the contract that expired early this month. The parties reached a contract renewal Aug. 10, which returned the two networks to Verizon's viewers that evening.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.66% to 27,752.93, while the Nikkei 225 gained 2.28% to 22,356.08.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.02% to 7,643.69, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.43% to 1,065.51.

On the macro front

The import and export prices report and the Redbook Index for retail sales are due out today. The National Federation of Independent Business' index of small business optimism increased to 107.9 in July from 107.2 in June.

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: Telia's Baltic units to air HBO; UPC Switzerland introduces new sports channel: Telia Co. AB's units in the Baltics will broadcast HBO content on its platforms, while UPC Switzerland Holding BV will launch sports channel MySports.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Hong Kong's GSR to invest in Overstock.com; India's PVR to buy SPI Cinemas: Hong Kong-based private equity firm GSR Capital plans to invest a total of $404.5 million in online retailer Overstock.com and its blockchain subsidiary tZero, while India's PVR Cinemas is proposing to acquire a 71.7% stake in SPI Cinemas.

The week in OTT: NBCU to pay users to stream shows; Apple picks up comedy series: NBCUniversal Media LLC is gearing up to launch an over-the-top service that will pay users to watch shows, while Apple Inc. picked up a half-hour scripted comedy series.

M&A Replay: AT&T completes Otter Media takeover; Sinclair-Tribune merger deal collapses: Tribune Media terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., while AT&T Inc. acquired Chernin Group LLC's controlling interest in subscription, advertising and content company Otter Media Holdings.

M&A Replay: Fox extends bidding war for Sky; Hutchison offers Wind Tre deal concessions: 21st Century Fox extended its bidding war with Comcast Corp. for Sky PLC after leaving its latest takeover offer for the British pay TV giant unchanged, while CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. has offered concessions to secure EU approval for its takeover of Italy's Wind Tre SpA.

Privacy Matters: Tech firms face data disruption amid Privacy Shield uncertainty: As the legal mechanism that underpins information flows between Europe and the U.S. is under threat, the transfer of data across the Atlantic could become increasingly complex for U.S. tech companies such as Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Twitter Inc.

Privacy Matters: US weighs potential response to EU's new data protection law: Some believe that the U.S. should create a less onerous alternative to the European regime; others say a global norm is needed. Policy experts suggest that Europe's law could set the standard for privacy global rules unless the U.S. takes action.

Privacy Matters: US big tech reports mixed impact from EU data protection law: Analysts and legal experts believe that the impact of the law will likely be unevenly felt among big and small companies, though it is still too early to know whether the law will have its intended impact of better safeguarding consumers' data.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Discovery continues to see lower affiliate revenues in Asia: Discovery Inc.'s international segment has consistently grown affiliate revenues since 2016. Results from the Asia-Pacific region, however, have had a negative impact on affiliate revenues as consumers are turning more toward local and digital content.

Global Multichannel: QVC announces launch of interactive OTT service in Germany: QVC Group announced during Qurate Retail Group's Aug. 8 earnings call an interactive over-the-top service in Germany to address the growing trends of digital media consumption and the rise of e-commerce that are transforming the retail industry.

Economics of TV & Film: Disney's studio revenue up 20.4% in H1'18, eyeing a record year: Disney's studio entertainment segment is poised for a record year in 2018. In the first half of 2018, Disney released five films that have grossed $4.93 billion in worldwide box office through Aug. 5.

Multichannel Trends: Cord cutting slows slightly, US multichannel sub decline reduced in Q2: Kagan analyzes second-quarter 2018 multichannel subscriber trends. Download the sector's latest subscriber figures in Excel format.

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Aug. 10.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.