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Senators throw flag on Sinclair/Tribune deal; 'Wonder Woman' shreds 'Mummy'


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Senators throw flag on Sinclair/Tribune deal; 'Wonder Woman' shreds 'Mummy'

Top News

* The potential reach of a combined Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc./Tribune Media Co. broadcasting group and concerns about partisan news coverage have some groups arguing the deal would not serve the public interest. But legal and industry experts say this argument is difficult to prove and has almost never been successfully used to block a deal.

* Universal's "The Mummy," which Universal Pictures hopes to be a first in a monsters franchise, took a beating from everyone's new favorite female superhero, again calling into question the big-budget reboot strategy. Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman" pulled in $57.2 million to lead the domestic box office for the June 11 weekend, followed by "The Mummy" at No. 2 with $32.2 million, and Fox's "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" at No. 3 with $12.3 million, according to comScore Inc. data. Walt Disney Co.'s "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" was No. 4 with $10.7 million and Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" took the fifth spot with $6.2 million. "The Mummy" raked in $174 million at the worldwide box office.

* Microsoft Corp.'s new Xbox console will be called the Xbox One X. Previously referred to as Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X will launch worldwide Nov. 7, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced at the Xbox E3 2017 briefing at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Xbox One X will retail for $499 in the U.S., £449 in the U.K., €499 in most European markets, C$599 in Canada and A$649.10 in Australia.


* Police in the Cangnan County in China's eastern province of Zhejiang arrested 22 people for stealing and selling Apple Inc.'s customer data for 50 million renminbi, or about $7.3 million, The New York Times reports, citing an official statement. The police reportedly said 20 of the people worked for companies that sold Apple devices or are contractors for the iPhone maker.

* Apple rolled out Business Chat, a new feature that allows users to interact with businesses, reports. Using the iMessage platform, customers will be able to carry out tasks such as scheduling appointments, resolving issues and completing transactions.

* In more Apple news, the tech giant is gearing up to launch its first retail store in Taiwan, according to a tweet by Apple CEO Tim Cook. The opening date for the store was not disclosed.

* Adam Cahan, senior vice president of mobile and emerging products at Yahoo! Inc., will exit the company following the closing of its acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc., reports, citing multiple sources. An earlier report indicated that Yahoo's merger with Verizon's AOL Inc. unit will result in about 2,100 job cuts at the combined company.

Internet & OTT

* Netflix Inc. picked up rights to heist thriller "Good Time" in multiple territories from French sales group Memento Films International, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The streaming giant has rights to the movie, starring Robert Pattinson, in territories including the U.K., Spain and Australia.

* Verizon's Executive Vice President and President of Media and Telematics Marni Walden, addressing the possibility of a new streaming video service, recently said: "I don't want to do just a me-too kind of thing. That's not where we're going to win." Walden's remarks build on comments made by Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam last month. McAdam said the company plans to test an over-the-top video service reflective of five content pillars — news, sports, finance, entertainment and lifestyle.

Regulation & Policy

* U.S. President Donald Trump has two names in mind to fill the two open seats at the Federal Communications Commission, Recode reports, citing multiple sources. Trump is reportedly expected to select Brendan Carr, a Republican who currently serves as FCC general counsel, and Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who served as a commissioner at the agency until her term expired at the end of 2016.

TV Networks

* Time Warner Inc.'s CNN (US) pulled the plug on reality series "Believer" from host Reza Aslan, Multichannel News reports. The series' cancellation followed a "derogatory" tweet by Aslan about President Donald Trump.

* With the team playing good ball and its distribution roster again counting Comcast Corp. subscribers, YES Network (US) opened the 2017 Major League Baseball season with its best viewership and demographic deliveries for New York Yankees' telecasts in five seasons.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng closed 1.24% lower to 25,708.04, while the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.52% to 19,908.58.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down by 0.14% to 7,516.47 and the Euronext 100 0.96% lower at 1,014.05.

On the macro front

The U.S. Treasury monthly budget is due out today.

Featured news

MarketWeek: M&A reports, updates rattle media stocks: Several media and communications stocks swung into the red during the trading week ended June 9 following M&A chatters and other announcements.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, editor's picks: U.K. Web regulation, 'Wonder Woman' and NBA stories are among the media and communications editor's top five picks for the week ended June 9.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, most read: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents the five most read media and communications articles for the week ended June 9.

Conference Chatter: Industry's relationship with EU regulators becomes increasingly complicated: Mobile operators and media companies debated Europe's regulatory landscape at the FT Future of Media and Telecoms conference in London.

The Daily Dose Europe: Media firms form pan-Euro JV; United Internet, Drillisch deal approved: ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Mediaset SpA and TF1 Group teamed up to form a pan-European joint venture for digital video advertising, while Germany's Federal Cartel Office approved the proposed merger deal involving United Internet AG and Drillisch Aktiengesellschaft.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Ex-minister sentenced in Samsung scandal; Thailand strengthening OTT control: A South Korean court has officially acknowledged the illegality of the merger between Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc., while Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission plans to introduce fines for video-sharing platforms.

Featured research

Economics of Advertising: ComScore scores major coup over Nielsen Media Research: It was reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group will abandon Nielsen Media Research for its local TV station ratings in favor of comScore. Will it do the same with Tennis Channel (US) and WGN America (US)?

Economics of Networks: AMC Networks doubles down on share repurchase plan: After seeing a 20% slide in its shares since February, AMC Networks Inc. on June 7 doubled its share repurchase plan to $1 billion.

Economics of Internet: State of Australian online video: Subscription: Netflix, which dominates the Australian subscription online video landscape, still has room to grow in the market while Stan and others lag behind but persevere.

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