* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. agreed to buy Twitter Inc. unit Fabric as part of the tech giant's goal to further its mobile development for iOS, Android as well as for mobile web apps, according to an official blog post. Fabric will join Google's Developer Product Group and will work with the Firebase team, Google's mobile development platform.
* Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC decided to close Esquire Network (US), about a month after it was dropped by AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV and U-verse, Variety reports. The company reportedly plans to relaunch Esquire as a digital-only platform on Esquire.com.
Internet & OTT
* Hulu LLC is working to launch the offline viewing feature for users in a "few months," Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told Adweek in an interview. Hopkins also said the video service will introduce a streaming bundle for subscribers in the "next few months."
* Hulu unveiled user profiles for subscribers accessing the service via its app on Apple Inc.'s iOS, TechCrunch.com reports. Rolled out as part of an update for the app, the move allows subscribers to select a special profile for children.
* Google's YouTube rolled out an in-app messaging feature for Canadian users, Canada's Financial Post reports. Users can access the social chat feature via the YouTube app on Android and iOS.
* About 80 rights groups criticized Facebook Inc. for allegedly employing "racially biased censorship" on the social network, Reuters reports, citing a response sent to a December 2016 letter from Senior Vice President Joel Kaplan. The rights groups, such as SumOfUs, Center for Media Justice, and the American Civil Liberties Union, found the company's disclosure about its removal policies and cooperation with law enforcement unsatisfactory and suggested that the issue could be addressed "only through direct activist intervention or significant media attention."
Film & TV Programming
* Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Home Media Distribution inked a new distribution deal for 2017 with Redbox Automated Retail LLC, the company said. Under the deal, Paramount will continue to provide Redbox access to its newly released DVDs and Blu-ray titles on the same day they are released in stores.
* Facebook announced plans to set up a data center in Denmark, Reuters reports. The new data center, which will be located in the city of Odense, will be the company's third such facility outside the U.S.
* The FCC's Enforcement Bureau "admonished" T-Mobile US Inc. for failing to take actions to protect its customers' data in relation to a 2015 hack, Multichannel News reports. The hack resulted in a third party gaining access to about 15 million customers' confidential information, including names, addresses, birthdates, and encrypted fields with Social Security and ID numbers.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.21% to 23,049.96, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.94% to 19,072.25.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.48% to 7,212.65, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.02% to 933.71.
On the macro front
The housing starts report, the jobless claims report, the EIA natural gas report, the EIA petroleum status report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
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Multichannel Trends: US Multichannel Market Quarterly Industry Presentation, Q4'16: SNL Kagan's latest quarterly presentation report examining industry trends and data for the U.S. multichannel sector.
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Economics of TV & Film: Programming & Film Trends Quarterly Industry Presentation, Q4'16: SNL Kagan's latest quarterly presentation report examining industry trends and data for the U.S. programming and film sector.
Economics of Advertising: Advertising Quarterly Industry Presentation, Q4 '16: SNL Kagan's latest quarterly presentation report examining industry trends and data for the advertising sector.
Economics of Advertising: NFL reclaims top telecast spot in December '16: Bolstered by the popularity of the Dallas Cowboys, NBC (US) secured the top telecast spot for the month with its coverage of the team's game against the New York Giants on Dec. 11, 2016, according to data from comScore's TV Essentials.
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