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NBCU to pay users to stream shows; activist investor wants Nielsen to sell

Top News

* Comcast Corp. unit NBCUniversal Media LLC is gearing up to launch an over-the-top service that will pay users to watch shows, Multichannel News reports. The service will reportedly offer single episodes of broadcast and cable shows, along with non-exclusive content from YouTube stars and other content creators. NBCU has registered the domain WatchBack.com for the service that will try to entice audiences with redeemable points and gift certificates.

* Activist investor Elliott Management Corp., which has acquired a stake of more than 8% in Nielsen Holdings PLC, plans to push the television-ratings company to go up for sale, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Sources also said that multiple private-equity firms have already shown interest in buying Nielsen.

* Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella earned more than $35 million by selling 328,000 shares of the company's common stock, according to an SEC filing. The shares were sold in the range of $109.08 per share to $109.68 per share. Nadella now owns 778,596 shares of the company's common stock.

* The demise of a $3.9 billion megamerger of U.S. broadcasting giants preceded stock gains for both parties during the week ended Aug. 10, despite a pending legal challenge related to the failed transaction. Tribune Media Co. is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. for breach of contract due to what Tribune described as "a regulatory strategy reflecting its own self-interests rather than its contractual obligations."

Publishing

* Salem Media Group Inc. acquired Hilary Kramer's investment newsletters GameChangers, High Octane Trader, Value Authority and Inner Circle, along with the websites HilaryKramer.com and KramerCapitalResearch.com. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company also said it launched a new Hilary Kramer product, called Turbo Trader.

Internet & OTT

* Hulu LLC started streaming quiz show "Jeopardy!," according to a news release. Hulu kicked off the premiere by streaming the show's flagship special events, including a "Tournament Of Champions," a "College Championship," a "Kids Week" and "Battle Of The Decades."

* Amazon.com Inc.'s game-streaming service Twitch will close Communities by mid-September, TechCrunch.com reports, citing an official statement. Twitch introduced Communities in February 2017. Different types of gaming such as "retro" had their own Communities, but Twitch said there is a significant amount of overlap between different Communities now, so it is less useful.

Film

* Warner Bros.' "The Meg" topped the domestic weekend box office with $44.5 million, followed by Paramount's "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" with $20 million and Walt Disney Co.'s "Christopher Robin" with $12.4 million, according to comScore Inc. Sony Corp.'s "Slender Man" was No. 4 with $11.3 million, while Focus Features' "BlacKkKlansman" was No. 5 with $10.8 million.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.52% to 27,936.57. The Nikkei 225 retreated 1.98% to 21,857.43. In Europe as of midday, the FTSE fell 0.51% to 7,628.81, and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.43% to 1,057.93.

On the macro front

No notable reports 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 Europe: Disney courting Sky execs to beat Comcast; Starz coming to France, Italy, Spain: Walt Disney intends to offer 21st Century Fox Inc. share awards to Sky PLC CEO Jeremy Darroch and other executives, while Starz entered agreements to launch STARZPLAY in new European markets.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank invests US$1B in WeWork; Qualcomm settles antitrust case in Taiwan: SoftBank Group Corp. invested US$1 billion in WeWork Cos., while QUALCOMM Inc. settled an antitrust case with the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission and agreed that the agency would retain a NT$2.73 billion fine.

Data Dispatch: 'The Meg' looks to swallow forecasts after early bite: Shark thriller "The Meg" will open wide Aug. 10, and early results hint at potential upside to forecasts for its opening weekend.

The Best Of: Media & Comm, editor's picks: Tribune-Sinclair deal collapse; Fox-Disney update: Stories about Fox executives discussing Disney deal, and Tribune Media CEO pledging to hold Sinclair Broadcast Group "accountable for its actions" are among the editor's top five story picks for the week ended Aug. 10.

The Best Of: Media & Comm, most read: Disney's streaming strategy; DISH's wireless ambitions: Stories about Disney's streaming services plan, DOJ's claim of 'fundamental errors' in AT&T Inc./Time Warner Inc. decision and complications for DISH Network Corp.'s wireless ambitions are included in the most-read stories for the week ended Aug. 10.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Kagan box office report, week 31: The summer box office slumped for a fourth straight week in week 31. The current trend is a little unsettling considering that the weekly box office is trailing one of the worst summers in a decade.

Economics of Advertising: Outdoor digital inventory outlook: aggressive plans in place for 2018: With an uptick in ad revenue from digital segment, Lamar Advertising Co. and OUTFRONT Media Inc. have chalked out aggressive digital rollout plans to capitalize on the segment's revenue potential in 2018.

Economics of Networks: Independent networks hit hard by cord shaving, VSP rollouts: Independent networks that cannot get placement on virtual service provider platforms will suffer more than large popular channels owned by the major media companies.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 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.