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HBO tops Golden Globes; DIRECTV resolves Hearst dispute; Snap buys AI startup

Top News

* AT&T Inc.'s HBO (US) led the Golden Globes 2020 with four awards, followed by Inc.'s Prime Video and Hulu LLC with two awards each. Netflix Inc. won one award in the television category.

* DIRECTV and Hearst Corp. reached a retransmission-consent agreement that saw Hearst stations return to DIRECTV, The Streamable reports. Previously, DIRECTV customers lost access to 34 Hearst stations briefly after the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

* Snap Inc. acquired image and video recognition startup AI Factory for $166 million, Variety reports, citing Ukrainian tech publication Snap confirmed the transaction, but a company spokesman declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments from the public on its decision that Chinese telecom companies Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. pose national risks. In a notice dated Jan. 3, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau said comments will be accepted until Feb. 3.

Film & Advertising

* The National Football League closed its centennial regular season with a growth of almost 5% in its audience for televised games. Citing data from Nielsen Holdings PLC, the pro football league reported that contest coverage across CBS (US), FOX (US), NBC (US), ESPN (US) and its in-house NFL Network (US) averaged 16.5 million viewers, a 4.7% advance from 15.8 million in 2018.

* Israel-based Tremor International Ltd. agreed to acquire News Corp.'s video advertising platform Unruly Group Ltd. The deal will see Tremor International issuing 8,525,323 shares or about 6.91% of its voting share capital to News Corp., with the latter agreeing not to sell any of the shares for 18 months.

* The Walt Disney Co.'s "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" continued to lead the domestic box office with $33.7 million for the Jan. 3 weekend, followed by Sony Corp.'s "Jumanji: The Next Level" in the second spot with $26.5 million, according to Comscore Inc. Sony's "Little Women" was No. 3 with about $13.6 million, while the studio's latest movie "The Grudge" ended the weekend at the fourth spot with $11.3 million and Disney's "Frozen 2" moved down to No. 5 with $11.3 million.

* Jonathan Glickman is stepping down as president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., according to Variety. Michael De Luca will replace Glickman in the newly created role of chairman of MGM's Motion Picture Group.


* DISH Network Corp. subscribers lost access to 18 Mission Broadcasting Inc. stations because of a retransmission consent dispute, Broadcasting & Cable reports. While Mission Broadcasting President Dennis Thatcher blamed DISH for the blackout, a DISH executive said the company offered to extend the contract during ongoing talks.

* Cox Media Group Inc. reached a retrans deal with Verizon Communications Inc. following a brief disruption, Multichannel News reports, citing a company statement. WFXT (FOX), WXPI (NBC) and WSYT (FOX) had gone dark for Verizon customers on Dec. 31, 2019, in Boston, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, N.Y., respectively.


* AT&T's mobile 5G+ service is live in parts of 35 cities in the U.S. The new cities include parts of Baltimore; Cleveland; Detroit; Menlo Park, Calif.; Miami, Miami Gardens, Fla.; Ocean City, Md.; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Redwood City, Calif., and San Bruno, Calif. This exceeded the company's goal of reaching parts of 29 cities with 5G+ in 2019.

* Apple Inc. lowered the compensation it paid to CEO Tim Cook in the 2019 fiscal year compared to the previous year, Bloomberg News reports, citing regulatory filings. The tech giant paid Cook $125 million in the fiscal year, down from $136 million in 2018. Cook's compensation comprised a $3 million salary, a $7.7 million bonus and $884,466 in other compensation, Bloomberg wrote, adding that he also had a $113.5 million stock vest.

* closed the acquisition of Net Insight AB (publ)'s consumer streaming unit Sye for about 350 million Swedish kronor in cash. The deal includes the Sye technology, which solves issues in distributing business-to-consumer streaming platforms, as well as relevant intellectual property rights, contracts and about 30 employees and consultants.

* The U.S. government made it harder for companies to export artificial intelligence software after implementing a rule that requires them to apply for a license to export such software overseas, Reuters reports. The new regulation does not apply to Canada.

* TDS Broadband Service LLC acquired the cable, broadband and business assets of former municipal broadband operator Continuum for $80 million, Multichannel News reports, citing an official statement.

* LICT Corp. completed the sale of its 25% stake in Modoc RSA LP to Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC for an undisclosed amount.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng lost 0.79% to 28,226.19, while the Nikkei 225 was down 1.91% to 23,204.86.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slid 0.94% to 7,550.50, and the Euronext 100 fell 1.13% to 1,144.27.

On the macro front

The PMI Services Index and TD Ameritrade IMX are due out 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: ByteDance's digital bank bid; Samsung Display deals; Fuji Xerox name change: Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd. is joining the race to set up digital banking operations in Singapore, Samsung Display Co., Ltd. will supply foldable smartphone panels to Xiaomi Corp. and Huawei, and a FUJIFILM Holdings Corp. unit is ending its technology agreement with Xerox Holdings Corp.

The Daily Dose Europe: Amazon's streaming business purchase; EU on digital tax; US on ASML/China deal: Inc. will acquire Net Insight AB (publ)'s streaming business Sye, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warns U.S. against imposition of high tariffs due to digital taxes, and the U.S. reportedly tried to block ASML Holding NV's sale of chip technology to China.

MarketWeek: Apple, AMD ring in 2020 as Wall Street top picks; streaming wars intensify: Shares in Apple Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. surged into the new year as a tech-focused venture capital firm cheered the companies as top picks for 2020. Elsewhere, Netflix and Disney moved in opposite directions amid intensifying streaming competition.

The Best Of: Editor's picks: 'The Grudge' remake; Apple/Imagination licensing deal: Stories about Sony Corp.'s 2020 remake of "The Grudge" and Apple's new licensing deal with Imagination Technologies Group PLC are featured in the editor's technology, media and telecommunications top picks for the week ended Jan. 3.

The Best Of: Most read: Nexstar retransmission deals; fuboTV-Sinclair RSNs carriage dispute: Articles about Nexstar Media Group Inc. signing retransmission-consent deals and fuboTV Inc. losing access to several Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.-owned regional sports networks were among the most read in technology, media and telecommunications news for the week ended Jan. 3.

Featured research

Technology: Global VR business survey 2019: Unit orders rise even as user base contracts: The 2019 edition of our augmented reality/virtual reality survey indicates that a new raft of VR hardware drew interest from the commercial segment.

Technology: Global AR business survey: More companies plugging in: The 2019 edition of our augmented reality/virtual reality survey shows more companies at least testing out AR headsets and smart glasses.

Economics of Internet: Top 20 most read Economics of Internet articles in 2019: Over-the-top video was front and center in 2019 in our Economics of Internet coverage, with splashy subscription video debuts from Apple and Disney spurring interest.

Technology: Global AR/VR business survey 2019: Market picking up steam: The 2019 edition of our augmented reality/virtual reality survey indicates that businesses are buying more AR and VR hardware and that many companies plan to keep spending on the technology in the coming years.

Global Multichannel: Eastern Europe TV Everywhere overview: All the major pay TV operators in the Eastern Europe region have deployed TV Everywhere services for secondary-screen viewing on multiple connected devices.

Economics of Advertising: Direct mail ad revenues down, response rates up: Direct mail continues to feel the pressure of digital migration as ad revenues drop, but the offline medium is still delivering a significantly higher response rate compared to cheaper online alternatives.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.