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Lamar eyeing Fairway billboards; CBS may end partnership with Nielsen

Top News

* Lamar Advertising Co. is close to buying billboards from Fairway Outdoor Advertising LLC in North Carolina, South Carolina, north Georgia and Wisconsin, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal could value the assets at about $416.5 million, one of the sources said.

* CBS Corp. is contemplating ending its long-time relationship with the measurement company Nielsen Holdings PLC after the parties' current contract expires Dec. 31, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The expiring multiyear deal encompasses TV and other ratings for CBS (US), as well as its owned-TV stations among other properties. The dispute centers on the price/value relationship for the programmer, which is paying $100 million annually to Nielsen for what the source said is inadequate measurement across the various devices viewers use to consume video content, including smartphones, tablets and connected TVs.

* Responding to reports that Facebook Inc. allowed its tech partners more access to user data than previously known, Microsoft Corp. told S&P Global Market Intelligence that it respected all user preferences throughout its engagement with Facebook. Facebook also has denied giving companies access to information without user consent and rejected the idea that the new revelations constitute a violation of its privacy order with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

* Daniel Hong, a partner in Bain & Co.'s New York office and an expert in the firm's media and entertainment and digital practices, spoke about his M&A outlook, the regulatory environment and the evolving advertising market. The media and communications sector saw a number of transformational deals in the past two years, including T-Mobile US Inc.'s pending merger with Sprint Corp. and Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of key 21st Century Fox Inc. media assets.


* Charter Communications Inc. backed cloud-gaming company Blade with a strategic investment. The investment comes a year after the startup launched cloud-based computer gaming platform "Shadow" in the U.S. and Europe, according to a news release.

* Vivendi SA's Gameloft mobile gaming division has struck a deal to buy FreshPlanet Inc., the maker of the SongPop mobile games, for an undisclosed price, reports. New York-based FreshPlanet has 15 employees, according to the report.


* T-Mobile has decided to delay the launch of its planned TV service until 2019, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the situation. While noting that the situation is fluid, the sources told Bloomberg that T-Mobile faced the choice of launching a somewhat standard streaming offering on schedule or delaying the launch to develop a more groundbreaking offering.

* Discovery Inc. struck a deal to add events from the Ladies European Tour to the live and video-on-demand streaming service GolfTV. The agreement features multiplatform live rights to all Ladies European Tour events, as well as the next two Solheim Cups in 25 countries in Europe, the company said.

* DC Universe, which is operated by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Digital Networks in collaboration with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., can now be accessed on Inc.'s Fire TV devices, according to a news release. DC Universe costs $7.99 per month or $74.99 annually on the Fire TV family of devices.

* Netflix Inc. unveiled a new Korean original series with a working title of "School Nurse Ahn Eun Young." The series, which will go into production from 2019, is based on a Korean novel with the same name by author Jung Se-rang, the company said.


* The Federal Communications Commission renewed the licenses of Raycom Media Inc.'s KHNL(TV) and KGMB (TV) in Honolulu, and HITV's KFVE (TV) in Honolulu, while dismissing a complaint by Media Council Hawai'i to challenge the renewal, Broadcasting & Cable reports. In its complaint, the Media Council Hawai'i had argued that the licenses should not be renewed since Raycom owned two of the top-four stations in the market in alleged violation of the FCC duopoly rule.

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.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng fell 0.94% to 25,623.53, while the Nikkei 225 was down 2.84% to 20,392.58.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.26% to 6,748.23, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.14% to 917.00.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook survey, the leading indicators report, the Energy Information Administration natural gas report, the fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Swisscom to fully acquire directories unit; TIM, Sony Mobile in 5G deal: Swisscom AG is buying out Tamedia AG's stake in their Swisscom Directories joint venture, while Telecom Italia SpA and Sony Mobile Communications Inc. have agreed on a 5G partnership.

Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: Xiaomi restructures to focus on China; Sharp lays off 3,000 workers in Japan: Xiaomi Corp. is restructuring its business to focus on the Chinese market, while Sharp Corp. laid off more than 3,000 foreign workers at its Kameyama plant in Japan.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank's mobile arm shares slump after record IPO; WeWork to receive US$16B: Stock of SoftBank Corp. plunged below the company's IPO price for its Tokyo Stock Exchange debut, while funds from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi expressed concerns over SoftBank Group Corp.'s planned US$16 billion investment in WeWork Cos. Inc.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Breaking down broadcast network content spend: We break out estimated original and acquisition spend for the U.S. broadcast networks.

Global Multichannel: Fixed broadband revenues in the CEE region: Fixed broadband revenues in most of six smaller central and Eastern European markets are rising, driven by subscriber growth, whereas average revenues per user have remained stable over the last three years.

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 640, published December 2018.

Economics of Advertising: Outdoor ad revenue rises 3.7% in Q3 on uptick in digital, local: Third-quarter revenue growth for the three major public outdoor groups was up year over year but came in slightly behind the outdoor and out-of-home industry's revenue growth as a whole.

Global Multichannel: Western Europe sports rights database: H2'18 update: Pay TV fights back after the emergence of over-the-top newcomers.

Multichannel Trends: Cable TV Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 772, published December 2018.

Consumer Insights: Preferred streaming method for online TV programming: Smart TVs and streaming media players/sticks have grown in popularity among video streamers.

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