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California net neutrality bill revived; MoviePass rolls out 'peak pricing'

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California net neutrality bill revived; MoviePass rolls out 'peak pricing'

Top News

* California lawmakers reached an agreement on legislation that would restore provisions to create robust net neutrality laws in the state. The revised bill will contain tougher language that bans internet service providers from blocking and slowing down websites as well as prohibiting the zero-rating practice of exempting certain apps and services from customer data limits in favor of others, The Washington Post reports. "This will be the most comprehensive and the strongest net neutrality protection in the United States, where we are restoring what we lost when Donald Trump's FCC obliterated net neutrality," said Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, the author of one of two net neutrality bills moving through state legislature.

* MoviePass Inc. rolled out a new dynamic pricing system that charges subscribers extra fees to watch films that are in high demand. The peak prices will vary based on the level of demand and popularity of the film and every subscriber will be able to waive the extra cost once per month. "We are building peak pricing to be flexible and will be able to tweak it as needed based on the community's response," the company said in a post on its website.

Internet & OTT

* Facebook Inc. is in talks to acquire rights for a reality show about Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for its Facebook Watch platform, Variety reports, citing multiple sources. The 13-episode docuseries could see Ronaldo getting a paycheck of about $10 million. Sources differed on the status of the negotiations, with one saying a deal was close to being finalized while another claimed the talks were in early stages.

* Netflix Inc. unveiled two new anime series,"Ultraman" and "Kengan Ashura," and also renewed series "Aggretsuko" for a second season. "As Netflix has grown around the world we have been astounded by the broad reach and great depth of anime fandom," the company said. "We are partnering with the best global creators to produce a diverse slate of shows that we hope will excite the passion of anime fans and make Netflix a premier destination for this beloved art form."

Wireless

* A group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly plans to send a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin pushing for a thorough national security review of T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp.'s pending $26.5 billion merger. Bloomberg News reported that a draft letter is currently being circulated in the House arguing that the proposed combination of Sprint and T-Mobile raises national security concerns as both companies "operate as subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms." Sprint is owned by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. while T-Mobile's parent is Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG.

Film & TV Programming

* Channel One LLC is pulling the plug on its classroom broadcast service Channel One News. The 2017-18 school year was the final season for the daily news program, which aired its last broadcast in May, according to a post on Channel One News' website. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood issued a press release of its own celebrating the move as a victory against corporate marketing in classrooms. "For 28 years, Channel One compelled students to watch a 12-minute newscast that includes two minutes of commercials," the group said. "Each year, schools with Channel One lost the equivalent of a full week of school to the broadcasts, and a full day of instructional time to the commercials alone."

* Former FOX News Channel (US) co-president Bill Shine was hired by President Donald Trump in a top communications role on the White House staff. Shine will serve as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications, according to a post on the White House website. Shine resigned from Fox News in May 2017 after sexual harassment scandals resulted in the ouster of several other executives and on-air talent at the 21st Century Fox Inc. network.

* Domestic box office revenue for July 4 hit a five-year high with $43.5 million in ticket sales, The Hollywood Reporter reports, citing data by comScore Inc. High temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest and the opening of NBCUniversal Media LLC's "The First Purge" were factors behind the stronger-than-usual revenue. In comparison, the same day in 2017 saw $33.9 million in domestic ticket sales, preceded by $40.9 million in 2016, $37.2 million in 2015 and $37.9 million in 2014.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.47% to 28,315.62, and the Nikkei 225 rose 1.12% to 21,788.14.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.21% to 7,587.28, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.14% to 1,051.59.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the international trade report, the EIA natural gas report, the Treasury STRIPS report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Samsung shares may flood stock market; Tencent Music to apply for US IPO: South Korea's stock market is expected to see about 15 trillion won worth of shares in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as lawmakers seek to restrict the control of family-owned conglomerates, while Tencent Music Entertainment Group will file for its IPO July 6.

Techtonic Shift: London tech sector grows up and moves out of Silicon Roundabout: As successful technology startups grow their operations and multinational tech giants look to settle into huge new headquarters, London is seeing its tech sector spill out from its traditional home into other areas of the city.

Hires and Fires: Sprint gets new CFO; AMC Networks names programming leadership team: Former Veon Ltd. executive Andrew Davies joined Sprint Corp. as company CFO, while AMC Networks Inc. named a programming leadership team for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.

Featured research

Broadcast Investor: Assessing the financials behind Univision/Entravision/DISH standoff: The ongoing video signal disruption for subscribers across 36 markets could be worth an estimated $5.2 million in combined monthly ad revenues to Univision Communications Inc. and Entravision Communications Corp., plus millions more in retransmission revenue.

Wireless Investor: MWCS 2018: Spectrum harmonization the most pressing issue at hand for 5G: At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, panelists discussed pressing issues for 5G and how it differs from its 3G and 4G predecessors.

Broadcast Investor: Public trading multiples: TV stocks jump in June on Gray deal for Raycom: V and radio stocks rose in June on average as the broadcast sector digested news of Gray Television Inc.'s deal for Raycom Media Inc.

Economics of TV & Film: Disney tops video cost coverage study again in 2018: We analyzed 434 films released on video in 2017 and the films averaged a 0.57 cost coverage ratio, meaning theatrical rentals and video cash flow covered 57.0% of release costs.

Economics of Internet: Broadcast digital and online revenues shrink with spinoffs in Q1: Broadcast digital and online revenue for the 12 covered broadcasters in our analysis decreased on average 21.3% year over year in the first quarter, due largely to TEGNA's separation from its digital entities.

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