* Verizon Communications Inc. struck an agreement to purchase fiber-optic network assets serving the Chicago market from WideOpenWest Inc. in a deal worth $225 million. The deal, expected to close early in the first quarter of 2018, also includes an additional $50 million in network investment for WOW! to complete the build-out of its Chicago network in the second half of 2018.
* Time Warner Inc. reported an 11.6% year-over-year gain in second-quarter net income attributable to company shareholders, while revenue was up 5.4% year over year.
* Facebook Inc. is working on a touchscreen video chat device for the home that could be unveiled as soon as the F8 developer conference next spring, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The laptop-sized device is being developed by the company's experimental Building 8 lab and reportedly features a large screen and smart camera technology. Facebook is also working on a smart speaker that would compete with Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo and Google Inc.'s Google Home devices, the sources added.
* Mississippi and Washington regulators approved CenturyLink Inc.'s deal to acquire Level 3 Communications Inc. The deal has already received approvals from regulators in states such as Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. The companies still expect to complete the acquisition by Sept. 30.
* With the news cycle continuing to heat up in Washington, D.C., and beyond, FOX News Channel (US) and MSNBC (US) topped basic cable in prime-time viewership during July. FOX News won the month, according to a Walt Disney Co. analysis of data from Nielsen Holdings spanning the period June 26 through July 30, while MSNBC's average audience placed second. News category competitor CNN (US) ranked 13th in the month.
Internet & OTT
* Google and Apple have removed 330 apps associated with binary options trading from their online stores after receiving a request from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The agency contacted both companies about the apps, which were identified as unlicensed and contained "misleading" statements "about the profitability of trading and the amount of profit that could be made."
* Amazon Fire now carries Cinedigm Corp's digital streaming subscription platform, Dove Channel, according to a news release. The launch is part of Cinedigm's plan to ramp up the availability of its over-the-top services. Dove Channel, which provides family-friendly fare, has already been added to Google's Chromecast. The company also plans to make its OTT services available on Alphabet Inc.-owned Android TV in September.
The day ahead
Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester and San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams are scheduled to speak today.
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.24% to 27,607.38, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.47% to 20,080.04.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.31% to 7,401.32 and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.11% to 999.49.
On the macro front
The MBA mortgage applications, ADP employment report, Gallup U.S. job creation index and EIA petroleum status report are due out today.
Apple execs look to future amid earnings beat: Apple grew revenue in several categories and beat on EPS for its fiscal third quarter as executives discussed its efforts in augmented reality and other cutting-edge tech.
Sprint moves into the black amid M&A chatter: Through a combination of cost cutting and new customers, Sprint returned to profitability for the first time in three years. But analysts were more interested in Sprint's M&A plans.
The Daily Dose Europe: Vivendi, Telecom Italia in pay-TV JV; Altice forms new unit: Vivendi' Arnaud de Puyfontaine confirms pay-TV joint venture with Telecom Italia, while Altice puts together its brands under newly formed unit Altice Business.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank armed with US$65B for Charter; India's Paytm to launch WhatsApp rival: SoftBank is said to be sitting on a US$65 billion war chest for its takeover bid for Charter, while India's Paytm is set to launch a WeChat-like messaging service to compete with Facebook's WhatsApp.
Q&A: Former Ofcom director: 'Focus on speed gradually decreasing': Amid sweeping regulatory change and the looming impact of Brexit, S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke with William Webb, a former director at British regulator Ofcom.
Tech Time: SoftBank invests in US tech; Microsoft, Baidu ink self-driving deal: In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a bi-weekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.
Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 623, July 2017, and B-Stats Supplement Vol. 21, No. 2.
Economics of TV & Film: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' rockets to top of August video charts: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," the first big summer box office hit of 2017, is making its way to home video on Aug. 22, just 109 days after it was released in theaters. We estimate the film will be the top home video release in August.
Economics of TV & Film: Coming to PPV/VOD in August: While the talk for pay-per-view events clearly lies with the Mayweather/McGregor matchup Aug. 26, July may have delivered UFC's first 1 million-plus buy event of the year.
Economics of Networks: Discovery's $14.6B deal for Scripps Networks estimated at 10.8x '17 cash flow: The programmer tie-up is the fourth-largest deal in cable network M&A history.
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