* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX News Channel (US) will unveil a stand-alone subscription streaming service today, The New York Times reports. Called Fox Nation, the new service will reportedly be available without a cable package, and will start by the end of the year.
* Facebook Inc. plans to verify the identities and locations of those wishing to purchase ads related to U.S. elections by sending postcards containing specific codes through the U.S. mail, Reuters reports, citing Katie Harbath, Facebook's global director of policy programs. The code will prove that the purchaser is located in the U.S., Harbath said while speaking at a conference. The postcard process will be put into use ahead of the November mid-term elections.
Internet & OTT
* Netflix Inc. will exclusively premiere "Adel Karam: Live from Beirut" on March 1. In the Arabic comedy special, Karam will discuss relationships, social issues and other topics with a "local blend of smart, sarcastic humor," the company said.
* Middle East pay TV provider OSN has entered into a partnership with Netflix. The deal will give OSN subscribers access to Netflix content via the OSN Box that will be launched at the end of the second quarter, according to a news release.
* Netflix kicked off production on its first original Spanish documentary series "The Alcàsser Murders." The four-episode crime documentary will premiere globally in 2019, the company said.
* Uber Technologies Inc. will halt its services in Morocco on Feb. 23 amid current "regulatory uncertainty," TechCrunch.com reports, citing an official blog post. The company said it is awaiting clarity from the regulators regarding the integration of the app-based ride-hailing service into existing transport model.
* Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. renewed its affiliation agreements for Comcast Corp.'s NBC (US) in three markets. The multiyear deal covers KSNV in Las Vegas, WJAC in Johnstown, Pa., and WTOV in Wheeling, W.Va., the company said.
* Buoyed by its Pyeongchang Winter Olympics coverage, NBCSN (US) registered the most-viewed seven-day prime-time delivery in its history. From Saturday, Feb. 10, through Friday, Feb. 16, NBCSN averaged 2.4 million viewers in primetime, according to Nielsen Holdings data. Over that span, NBCUniversal Media LLC's national sports cable network's lineup included live figure skating, snowboard slopestyle and Team USA women's hockey, as well as cross-country skiing, ski jumping, curling, biathlon and luge.
* Walt Disney Co.'s "Black Panther" raked in $192 million to top the domestic box office for the Feb. 18 weekend, followed by Sony Corp.'s "Peter Rabbit" at No. 2 with $17.2 million and Universal's "Fifty Shades Freed" at the third spot with $16.9 million, according to comScore Inc. Sony's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was No. 4 with $7.9 million, while Warner Bros.' "The 15:17 To Paris" was No. 5 with $7.7 million.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.78% to 30,873.63, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.01% to 21,925.10.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.11% to 7,240.23 and the Euronext 100 was down 0.03% to 1,016. 14.
The Daily Dose Europe: MTG sells Bulgarian unit NOVA; BT puts unit up for sale: Modern Times Group sold its 95% stake in its Bulgarian unit NOVA Broadcasting Group AD to investment firm PPF Group NV, while British Telecom has put its cable-making arm BT Cables Ltd. up for sale.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank wants to join Swiss Re board; Reliance heads US$9.3B digital investment: SoftBank Group Corp. is in discussions with Swiss Re over potentially taking several seats on the reinsurer's board, while Reliance Industries Ltd. will spearhead an investment worth 600 billion Indian rupees to build an integrated industrial area.
M&A Replay: European deals: TDC accepts takeover bid; Fox under pressure to hike Sky offer: The board of Danish operator TDC A/S accepted a revised takeover offer from a Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Ltd.-led consortium, while 21st Century Fox is under increased pressure to boost its offer for British pay TV giant Sky plc after the latter's Premier League rights deal.
M&A Replay: Google buys IoT platform; Microsoft acquires education startup: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from Feb. 12-16.
Data Dispatch: Disney lets its big cat out of the box office bag: Disney is releasing its newest tentpole, "Black Panther," which will roar into theaters over the Presidents Day holiday weekend and likely break records.
The Program Guide: The CW to reintroduce original content; 'Bosch,' 'Carpool Karaoke' renewed: The CW (US) launching original programming, Apple Music renewing "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," and Amazon.com Inc. ordering a fifth season of original series "Bosch" are included in this edition of The Program Guide.
The Best Of: Media & Comm, editor's picks: CBS sports HQ service; FCC's treatment of Sinclair: Stories about CBS Corp.'s sports OTT plans, the FCC inspector general probing the agency's Sinclair treatment and NBCU meeting viewership guarantees are included in the media and communications editor's top five picks for the week ended Feb. 16.
The Best Of: Media & Comm, most read: Viacom plans OTT offering; YouTube TV raising price: Stories about Viacom Inc. plans for an over-the-top offering, Comcast mulling plans to revive Fox bid and YouTube TV raising price and adds new channels are included in the most read stories for the week ended Feb. 16.
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