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CenturyLink winding up OTT service; DISH's wireless network plans on track


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CenturyLink winding up OTT service; DISH's wireless network plans on track

Top News

* DISH Network Corp. remains on track to complete the first phase of its planned wireless network deployment by March 2020 in accordance with regulators' build-out requirements. In an SEC filing, DISH said it expects to spend between $500 million and $1.0 billion on its wireless projects through 2020.

* CenturyLink Inc. is winding up its over-the-top TV service CenturyLink Stream, less than a year after it was introduced as a beta offering, according to a notice on the CenturyLink Stream website. The company is no longer accepting new subscribers.

* After the Federal Communications Commission voted to eliminate its net neutrality rules, more than two dozen states moved to implement their own protections. Former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell discusses the pending battle between the two sides.

TV Networks

* Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. plans to off-load TV stations in Chicago, New York and San Diego to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's national TV ownership cap as it seeks regulators' approval for its proposed merger with Tribune Media Co. The company has reached sale agreements for WGN-TV, an independent station in Chicago, and WPIX-TV, a The CW (US) affiliate in New York, with undisclosed buyers, Sinclair said in a filing with the FCC, adding that the company also intends to sell Tribune station KSWB, a FOX (US) affiliate in San Diego.


* Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expects the ride-hailing service to have "autonomous vehicles" in less than a year, Bloomberg News reports, citing Khosrowshahi's comments in Delhi. The comments came as Khosrowshahi also tweeted about "great discussions" he had with Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda and Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama about growing the company's partnership with the carmaker.

Internet & OTT

* Twitter Inc. outlined a series of steps to control the use of automation and multiple accounts to post or disseminate spam. According to an official blog post, users with multiple accounts cannot simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content; or perform actions such as retweeting and liking posts; and use automation to post identical content. Also, TweetDeck users will no longer be able to select multiple accounts to perform an action such as tweeting, retweeting, liking, or following.

* Netflix Inc. teamed up with YG Entertainment to develop new original series with the working title of "YG Future Strategy Office." The eight-episode series, which will feature YG artists Seungri of K-pop group BIGBANG and other personalities, will launch this year exclusively through Netflix, the company said.

* Andrew Bosworth, vice president of virtual and augmented reality products and hardware at Facebook Inc., said in a tweet that the company will share AR/VR related news at the "biggest" F8 conference to date. The conference will kick off May 1 in San Jose, Calif.

* Comcast Corp.'s NBC Sports Gold will stream Six Nations rugby matches on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The lineup includes matches between France and Italy; Ireland and Wales; and Scotland and England.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.48% to 30,965.68, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.07% to 21,736.44.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.92% to 7,214.69, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.48% to 1,018.76.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the leading indicators report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, EIA petroleum status report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Orange plans 'French Hulu'; Deutsche Telekom retains CEO: French operator Orange SA is planning to launch a subscription video-on-demand patterned after Hulu LLC, while Deutsche Telekom AG extended the term of its CEO Timotheus Höttges by five more years.

The Pay Check: E.W. Scripps CEO's 2017 compensation; new Meredith CEO's salary: E.W. Scripps Co. CEO Adam Symson took home about $2.0 million in 2017 total compensation. Meredith Corp.'s newly appointed President and CEO Thomas Harty's new base salary will be $900,000.

Hires and Fires: Internap chairman to retire; WWE appoints 2 execs to board: Daniel Stanzione, the nonexecutive chairman of Internap Corp.'s board, will retire from the board following the annual stockholders' meeting, and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. promoted George Barrios and Michelle Wilson to co-presidents and appointed them to the company's board.

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific: Wanda selling film biz stake; Idea Cellular completes share sale: Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd. agreed to sell a 12.77% stake in its film unit Wanda Film Holding Co. Ltd. to an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-led investor group, while Indian telco Idea Cellular Ltd. completed selling 326,633,165 equity shares to Aditya Birla Group entities.

Featured research

Broadcast Investor: An iHeartMedia loan default would be the largest in radio in more than a decade: The clock is ticking down to a March 2 deadline for iHeartMedia Inc. to reach an agreement with its lenders and interest holders on a prepackaged restructuring after it chose to miss its Feb. 1 interest payment of $106 million to its junior noteholders.

Multichannel Trends: Cable stocks in sea of red since January PMV update: U.S. cable shares have retreated 4.4% on a weighted average basis since Kagan's Jan. 25 update, following initial year-end 2017 public reports underscoring a non-negligible deceleration in revenue growth.

Economics of Networks: El Rey & Fusion both turn cash-flow positive for Univision: As Univision Communications Inc. mulls whether it might sell a stake or go public, the company's 2017 earnings paint a picture where a sale appears to be the more likely scenario.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.