* Apple Inc. apologized to users over performance and battery issues with older iPhones and offered to replace out-of-warranty batteries at a discounted price of $29. Also, the tech giant said in a post that it never intentionally shortened the life of any Apple product, or degraded the user experience to drive sales.
* Nielsen Holdings plc said an average 11 million U.S. viewers streamed Netflix Inc. movie "Bright" from Dec. 22 through Dec. 24, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Out of the 11 million viewers, 7 million were in the 18-49 demographic, and 56% of the total audience was male.
* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. has stopped selling the Pixel C tablet, Android Police reports. The company had stopped selling the 32 GB version some time ago, but the 64 GB version was still available.
* Priceline Group Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. reached an agreement to settle a patent lawsuit between the companies pending in the U.S. District Court for Delaware. As part of the confidential settlement, Priceline and IBM will secure patent cross-licenses to each company's worldwide patent portfolio, according to a news release.
* New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu decided to accept the nationwide public-safety broadband network deployment plan offered by the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T Inc. Sununu had announced earlier that the state would opt out of the FirstNet plan presented by AT&T and instead pursue an alternative plan with Rivada Networks LLC.
Internet & OTT
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime members on Amazon Channels across the U.S. and the U.K. can now access Eros Now, a digital over-the-top South Asian entertainment platform. Subscription to the Eros International Plc-owned OTT platform will cost $7.99 and £5.99 per month, respectively, the company said.
* Comcast Corp.'s E! (US) will premiere the fourth season of "The Royals" on March 11, 2018. Starring Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, the series, which is returning with a 10-episode fourth season, is about a fictional British Royal family set in modern day London, according to a news release. "The Royal Hangover," a digital companion series to the scripted program, will also return on March 11.
* AT&T's DIRECTV added Rural Media Group Inc's The Cowboy Channel (US) to its lineup, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The channel feature shows about rodeo, bull riding, barrel racing and other western sports, in addition to fashion, music and movies and live coverage of events.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.19% to 29,919.15, while the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.08% to 22,764.94.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.40% to 7,653.21, while the Euronext 100 was down 0.13% to 1,035.69.
On the macro front
The Baker-Hughes Rig Count report is due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: Ruling looms on Liberty Global's Polish deal; BBC Worldwide bags SVOD content: Polish regulator UOKiK is nearing a decision on Liberty Global plc's proposed acquisition of Multimedia Polska S.A., while BBC Worldwide Ltd. struck content deals with All3media International Ltd and ITV Studios Global Entertainment for its SVOD services.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Uber investors agree to SoftBank deal; RJio to buy RCom's wireless assets: SoftBank Group Corp. will acquire a 15% stake in Uber Technologies Inc. at a steep discount, while Reliance Jio has agreed to acquire several assets of Reliance Communications Ltd.
Hires and Fires Europe: Cable & Wireless appoints CEO; Yandex names new chief executive: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.
Hires and Fires: Apple poaches 3 Amazon execs; Cable & Wireless gets new CEO: Apple poached three executives from e-commerce giant Amazon. Former Univision Radio executive Pedro Javier González joined iHeartMedia Inc. as senior vice president of programming for iHeartLatino.
The Pay Check: Apple execs' pay packages jump YOY: Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2017 total compensation jumped to about $12.8 million from $8.7 million in the prior year.
Global Multichannel: New TV network coverage - Asia-Pacific and Western Europe network profiles: Kagan's TV Network database now includes 34 more networks, based in India, Indonesia, Philippines and Germany.
Economics of Advertising: November Nielsen C3 ratings a mixed bag: November was a bifurcated month for cable network ratings, as 45 networks experienced year-over-year growth in 24-hour C3 ratings while 58 experienced declines.
Wireless Investor: Q3'17 Big Five carrier financials roundup: Although the much-speculated T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. merger was called off Nov. 4, with both companies skipping third-quarter earnings calls, more has emerged for Sprint and T-Mobile alike.
Global Multichannel: Global TV Everywhere overview: Eastern Europe: More and more pay TV operators in Eastern Europe are deploying TV Everywhere services for secondary-screen viewing on multiple connected devices.
Technology: Telco STB shipments expected to decline, as China subscriber growth slows: Despite an uptick in set-top box, or STB, shipments in 2016, an expected slowdown in China's subscriber growth combined with weakness outside of China will push telco STB shipments down to 38.2 million by 2021.
Economics of Internet: Facebook Messenger and Snapchat lead US messaging market in Q3: The mobile messaging race has slowly settled out with clear leaders in both the U.S. and global markets, with Facebook Inc. playing a major role domestically as well as abroad.
Economics of Advertising: Major ad agencies scuffle for growth in 2017: Finding consistent growth in 2017 has been a challenge for WPP Group and other large ad agency holding groups, with key markets such as North America showing signs of strain.
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