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EBay buys Cargigi; FCC kicks off incentive auction

TMT News & Research: 2020 Recap

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Charter, DIRECTV and Comcast rank as the top 'RSN-friendly' MVPDs

Quibi's $2 billion bet on mobile video fizzles out

Cable nets struggle with cash flow declines due to cord cutting, pandemic


EBay buys Cargigi; FCC kicks off incentive auction

TOP NEWS

* Onlineauctioneer eBay Inc.acquired Cargigi Inc., a provider of online advertising and marketing servicesfor the auto industry. According to a company , eBay will leverageCargigi's technology to help onboard auto dealers' inventory onto eBay.com.Additionally, Cargigi will replace eBay's Dealer Center, providing sellers withthe tools to streamline and enhance the vehicle selling process. Theacquisition, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is also expected tohelp eBay build out its structured data capabilities for the vehicles industry.

*The FCC kicked off the incentive auction for companies looking to build their wirelessnetworks. In an official newsrelease, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the auction will align theuse of the public airwaves to meet the spectrum needs in the U.S. According toa Reuters report,there are an undisclosed number of applicants who asked to take part in thereverse auction and had until 6 p.m. ET March 29 to submit a binding agreementto participate. The forward auction saw 104 applications from participants,including Verizon CommunicationsInc., AT&TInc., ComcastCorp. and DISHNetwork Corp.

Technology

*Apple Inc. struck adeal to provide every Major League Baseball team with iPad Pro tablets thisseason, The Wall Street Journal reports.As part of a multiyear agreement, the coaching staff of the MLB teams will usethe 12.9-inch tablets to check performance stats from current and past seasons,evaluate potential pitcher-hitter matchups, and look at "spraycharts" showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, among otherthings. The iPad Pros that team managers and coaches will reportedly use willbe fitted with rugged cases displaying the league's logo.

*Alphabet Inc.'sGoogle Fiber is introducing a phone service, called Fiber Phone. The home phoneservice provides unlimited calls locally and nationally for $10 a month,according to an official blog post.Google Fiber will roll out the service to a few areas at first before expandingit to residential customers in all cities that feature Google Fiber.

Film & TV Programming

*21st Century Fox Inc.is considering making a play for a minority stake in Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures unit, the New York Post reports,citing sources familiar with the details. 21st Century Fox could pursue a dealto invest in the studio — estimated to be worth $5 billion to $6 billion — ifit could provide synergies to the movie studio, sources said. The twocompanies, however, have yet to engage in talks. Viacom has reportedly hiredthe services of PJT Partners to find a potential buyer for the Paramount stake.

Internet & OTT

*Sony Corp. will beginoffering its 4K movie streaming service Ultra by April 4, Variety reports.Ultra can be accessed via Sony 4K TV sets, with films available only forpurchase at $30 each during the initial phase. Content to be offered at launchreportedly includes titles, such as "Concussion," "CrouchingTiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Walk" and "The NightBefore." Special features, which are commonly found on physical discs,will also reportedly be offered via the new service. Sony will roll out avideo-on-demand rental option later if there is a demand, according to thereport. Moreover, customers will be able to upgrade SD and HD quality movies intheir UltraViolet cloud locker for $12 to $15, respectively, and stream them onUltra.

*Amazon.com Inc.'sAmazon Logistics Inc. unit will pay more than $80,000 in restitution andpenalties on behalf of a delivery contractor hired by the online retailer thatfailed to comply with wage and hour laws in Massachusetts. Amazon Logistics hadhired VHU Express Inc. and its owner, Lisa Bythewood, to provide deliveryservices for two warehouses in Massachusetts located in Chelsea and Dedham,according to an official newsrelease. The penalty was decided after an investigation determinedthat, from December 2015 to February 2016, a total of 52 employees had not beencompensated for work performed delivering Amazon packages. State law requiresemployers to pay most employees within six days of the end of the pay periodduring which the wages were earned.

The day ahead

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

InAsia, the Hang Seng was up 2.15% to 20,803.39. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.31% to16,878.96.

InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 1.71% to 6,210.52, and the Euronext 100climbed 1.81% to 879.07.

On the macro front

TheBank Reserve Settlement, the ADP employment report and the EIA petroleum statusreport are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: EU digs deeper into Hollywood pay TV deals; Telefónica chairman to stepdown: EU antitrust regulators sent and Hollywood film studiosquestionnaires regarding film revenue and other related information, whileCésar Alierta is stepping down as Telefónica executive chairman.

ConferenceChatter: Upfront and Personal: Travel Channel dives into summerprogramming: TravelChannel (US) wants to make a splash with viewers by bringing a hostof new series, specials and beach-themed episodes to the dial.

CAPITALLetters: US media/entertainment industry faces sizable gender pay gap:Men earn an average 6.6% more than women in U.S. media, entertainment, arts andrecreation industries, according to a new study on gender pay disparities.

Africa andMiddle East video spotlight: Netflix could face sanctions in South Africa overlicensing fees: In this monthly feature, SNL Kagan provides aroundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online videoinitiatives in different African and Middle Eastern markets.

The PayCheck: The 2015 pay package of Verizon Communications Chairman andCEO Lowell McAdam is among those highlighted in the latest installment of ThePay Check.

Featured research

Economics of Advertising: Live TV events lead Februarytelecasts: February was a very important month for TV networks andadvertisers alike as it featured some of the most-watched live events of 2016,including the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the Grammys.

Economics ofInternet: Google and Facebook gobble share of the US digital admarket: The roughly $50 billion in digital ad revenue generated inthe U.S. in 2015 was spread across thousands of sites and services but the U.S.digital ad landscape has increasingly become dominated by just two companies:Google and Facebook Inc.

BroadcastInvestor: Deal market February: Dominated by FM translator sales:February's big story is not one of the five million-dollar deals, but the saleof no fewer than 246 FM translators.

MultichannelTrends: Cable TV Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 739,published March 2016.

BroadcastInvestor: Broadcast revenues up 4.3% YOY in FY'15, boosted by M&A, online,retrans: While revenues reported by 24 radio and TV broadcastersincreased year over year by 4.7% and 4.3% in the fourth quarter and full year2015, respectively, cash flow margins declined for both categories followingthe decrease in political ad revenue.

Economics ofInternet: OTT players take top 2 video subscription service spots inQ4'15: NetflixInc. retained the No. 1 spot on SNL Kagan's list of top U.S. videosubscription services in 2015, but the estimated annual gains in Amazon'scustomer count shifts the spotlight onto the No. 2 provider.