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AT&T eyes assets sale; Disney+ logs 22 million downloads; YouTube updates policy


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AT&T eyes assets sale; Disney+ logs 22 million downloads; YouTube updates policy

Top News

* AT&T Inc. is looking to sell its regional sports networks as well as additional real estate and tower assets to meet its target of monetizing up to $10 billion of nonstrategic assets by 2020. The U.S. carrier expects that selling its stake in Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. and divesting its Puerto Rico wireless business will be completed by mid-2020.

* The Walt Disney Co.'s streaming platform, Disney+, recorded 22 million downloads on mobile devices since its launch, Reuters reports, citing a report by app tracking company Apptopia Inc. "Disney Plus" was Google LLC's top U.S. trending search term in 2019, according to the report.

* YouTube LLC updated its harassment policy to take a tougher stance on videos featuring threats, personal attacks and “malicious insults,” according to an official blog post. The company also tightened its policies for the YouTube Partner Program and said it will suspend channels that repeatedly brush up against the harassment policy.

* Twitter Inc. is setting up an independent team, called Bluesky, to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media, the company's CEO Jack Dorsey said in a series of tweets. The project, which will take years to complete, will be funded by Twitter, Dorsey said.

Internet & OTT

* Prime-time Netflix Inc. streaming speeds slowed for several top U.S. internet service providers in November, leading the overall rank of the U.S. to slip two places in a country-by-country comparison of the fastest Netflix experience. Verizon Communications Inc.'s Fios retained its No. 1 spot for providing the fastest streaming experience among the big U.S. ISPs, while Cox Communications Inc. tied with Altice USA Inc.'s Optimum service at second place in the November U.S. provider ranking.

* Mobile video service Quibi picked up gaming drama series "Curs_r" executive produced by Anton, Stigma Films and Ridley Scott, Variety reports. The series revolves around the pursuit of an unclaimed $100,000 prize.


* Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband service is now live at Newport News Shipbuilding, a unit of military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. Verizon and Newport News Shipbuilding will collaborate to explore how 5G can transform the shipbuilding and complex manufacturing industries, according to a company release.

* Intel Corp. appointed Gary Patton corporate vice president and general manager of design enablement, Reuters reports. Patton previously served GlobalFoundries as chief technology officer.


* NBCUniversal Media LLC is on pace to break its Olympic ad sales record, with national ad sales for the Tokyo Games set to surpass the $1.2 billion record set by the 2016 event in Rio de Janeiro. The Comcast Corp. programming unit has already secured national advertising commitments of more than $1 billion.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 1.31% to 26,994.14, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.14% to 23,424.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.49% to 7,251.27, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.04% to 1,123.59.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due today.

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.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: New Netflix plans in Asia; ByteDance music app tests; Huawei-Telefónica 5G deal: Netflix launched a mobile plan in Indonesia and is testing longer subscription plans in India, Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd. is trialing its Spotify Technology SA-like service, and Germany's Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG selected Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for its 5G network build-out.

The Daily Dose Europe: Disney+ in Europe; Netflix's Spotify series; KKR on Axel Springer's board: Disney may enter multiple partnerships in Europe for Disney+, Netflix to create Spotify AB series, KKR & Co. Inc. eyes board seats at Axel Springer SE.

Hires and Fires: Alphabet adds Nobel laureate to board; former Home Depot CFO joins Verizon board: Alphabet Inc. appointed Frances Arnold to its board of directors, while Verizon Communications Inc. elected Carol Tomé to its board of directors.

Disney+ could seek multiple mobile, pay TV partners in Europe: Analysts believe Disney will be drawn to large-scale European partners including Sky Ltd. and BT Group as it looks to replicate the aggressive promotional strategies it used in the U.S.

Data Dispatch EMEA: UK general election puts Facebook's political ads policy to the test: The U.K.'s first general election since Facebook Inc. launched a database of political ads on the site shows the three main parties have very different social media strategies.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: 2019 LatAm groups report: Groupwide capex shrinks 5%, AT&T's drops 55%: Adding capacity was at the center of most operators' capex spend. Telefónica SA and AT&T showed the largest declines, while smaller groups increased their capital expenditures.

Wireless Investor: Vietnam aims to launch 'home-grown' 5G by 2021, but 4G woes remain: Uptake of 4G remains sluggish in Vietnam despite near-nationwide network coverage, yet the local telco watchdog is already looking forward to a 5G launch in 2021.

Economics of TV & Film: Quiet end to down year in PPV: A look at events and movies on pay-per-view and video on demand in December.

Technology: Precision agriculture brings IoT to the farm: The precision agriculture market is showing strong growth in the face of serious challenges. Driven by technology that aids machines in planting and harvesting crops, large farms are currently driving overall revenue worldwide.

Global Multichannel: 2019 LatAm groups report: Entel boosts on fiber, fixed-wireless expansion: In 2018, the telco regained mobile market leadership in Chile and maintained double-digit growth in Peru. The company is ramping up investments in residential services with fiber to the home in Santiago and fixed wireless in rural Chile and in Lima.

Economics of Internet: Global Video, OTT Index: Kagan provides links to its video provider operational tracking and programming spreadsheets, video-on-demand and over-the-top library data and analysis, and OTT company and country reports.

Global Multichannel: 2019 LatAm groups report: Telefónica Latin America deploys fiber to compete: Economic woes in the Mercosur countries hurt Telefónica Latin America's performance in 2018. While the operator is actively migrating fixed-services subs to fiber and cable technologies, all service revenues but multichannel declined in 2018.

Wireless Investor: Indonesian telcos keep positive earnings outlook despite 26.5% sub drop in 2018: Regulator Kemkominfo mandated the deactivation of all unregistered mobile subscriptions in April 2018, yet local telcos maintain a positive outlook on service revenue and ARPU as rural expansion brings in new customers and revenue streams.

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