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In This List

Hackers seeking ransom from HBO; Travis Kalanick not returning as Uber CEO

China COVID-19 Trends In TV, Video

US Broadband Households Shift Into Higher Gear In H1'20, 1-Gig Adoption Soars

Cable Business Services Weather Q2 Storm, Growing Revenues, Limiting Sub Losses

COVID-19 Impact Will Shrink Number Of New US Smart City Projects


Hackers seeking ransom from HBO; Travis Kalanick not returning as Uber CEO

Top News

* Hackers are demanding millions of dollars in ransom from Time Warner Inc.'s HBO (US) for stolen proprietary information and programming, The Associated Press reports, citing a five-minute clip sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler. The group, which leaked more information, has given a three-day deadline to Plepler.

* Uber Technologies Inc. co-founder and board member Garrett Camp assured employees that Travis Kalanick will not return as CEO, Recode reports, citing an email sent to staffers. Camp said the company is looking to "hire a new world-class CEO to lead Uber."

* Given all the turmoil unleashed by the digital revolution, the industry may be erroneously seeing everything as devastating disruption rather than just challenging competition, blogger Bishop Cheen writes in his new post.

Regulation

* The deadline to file formal opposition to the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.-Tribune Media Co. deal with the FCC was Aug. 7. Although several groups requested more time in the commission's review of the transaction, that request was denied. Sinclair, Tribune and any other deal proponents have until Aug. 22 to file a formal reply.

TV networks

* CBS Corp. will push CBS All Access into international markets with the launch of the service in Canada in the first half of 2018, and more markets to follow, CBS Chairman, President and CEO Les Moonves said during the company's second-quarter earnings call. The broadcaster also plans to kick off a new 24/7 streaming sports service later this year.

Film

* Domestic box office sales have been floundering in 2017, and the country's biggest theater chains are paying the price. S&P Global Market Intelligence takes a look at three distributors' recent earnings announcements and the response of the market.

Publishing

* London's Financial Times' app will return to Apple Inc.'s iOS platform in the U.S. and the U.K., The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an FT executive. The Financial Times left the platform in 2011 as a result of disagreements with the tech giant over revenue and data sharing.

OTT

* YouTube unveiled an in-app video sharing and chatting feature for users, according to an official blog post. The new feature allows users to share and receive videos and have a conversation without having to leave the app.

Technology

* James Damore, the Google Inc. engineer who wrote a controversial memo on diversity, has been sacked by the Alphabet Inc. unit, Reuters reports, citing an emailed confirmation by Damore. The former Google staffer said he is considering legal options and has filed a claim with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

* Alphabet and Google announced several initiatives in Africa, TechCrunch.com reports. In addition to Google training 10 million people in digital skills over the next five years, Alphabet announced plans to increase its funding for African startups. It will also offer $20 million in grants to digital nonprofits and debut modified versions of products for internet users in Africa.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.59% to 27,854.91, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.30% to 19,996.01.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.01% to 7,532.67 and the Euronext 100 rose 0.02% to 1,013.21.

On the macro front

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, the Redbook and the JOLTS report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Apple lured in Eros library sale; Foxconn plans autonomous car facility in US: Indian movie producer Eros Group is in discussions with tech giants for a possible sale of its entire content library, while Foxconn is planning another multibillion-dollar investment in the U.S.

M&A Replay: European deals through Aug. 5: Discovery, Axel Springer, Scripps Networks: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from July 31 to Aug. 5.

M&A Replay: Nielsen buys Israeli AI startup; Discovery buying Scripps Networks for $14.6B: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from July 31 to Aug. 4.

The week in OTT: Netflix bolsters content; Crown Media to debut SVOD service: Netflix Inc. commissioned its first Chinese-language original series "Bardo," while Crown Media Family Networks will debut a subscription video-on-demand service that will retail at $5.99 a month and $59.95 annually.

Apple, Amazon bow to China's censors; Google to vet YouTube content in Indonesia: In this biweekly Asia-Pacific Regulatory Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of significant recent regulatory events in the region.

The Daily Dose Europe: Vivendi to put Mediaset stake in blind trust; Vodafone completes stake transfer: Vivendi SA agreed to put its stake in Mediaset SpA above a 10% threshold in a blind trust in compliance with an Italian regulatory ruling, while a Vodafone Group Plc unit completed the transfer of a 35% holding in Kenya's Safaricom Ltd to Vodacom Group Ltd.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Eastern European fixed broadband connection speeds on the rise: More than 25% of eastern European households subscribe to fixed broadband services with average connection speeds faster than 15 Mbps, representing a large and growing number of potential customers for UHD TV service over broadband.

Economics of Networks: Nielsen universe estimates highlight decline in rate of subscriber erosion: Despite record losses reported by some operators, Nielsen Holdings universe estimates show sub erosion is stalling.

Wireless Investor: Entrance of Virgin Mobile, 5G trials to shake mature UAE telecom duopoly: Due to a duopoly, prices for internet connectivity in the UAE are some of the most expensive services in the region. Penetration of 4G is estimated to be low with only 20% of total mobile subs, or 3.8 million mobile subs, using 4G in 2016.

Technology: Tablet market continues to decline as consumer preferences switch: Tablets continue to decline in popularity worldwide as they have been supplanted by large-screened smartphones for many consumers and beset by a lack of product innovation seen in more mature markets.

Economics of Advertising: Viacom's stock sinks following fiscal Q3 earnings: Viacom Inc.'s domestic cable network ad revenue was down 1.6% year over year for the quarter ended June 30.

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. 4.

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