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Amazon Studios chief resigns; Viacom, Charter reach agreement in principle

Top News

* Amazon Studios chief Roy Price has resigned shortly after being suspended over sexual harassment allegations, CNN Money reports, citing an Inc. spokesperson. Albert Cheng, who took over Price's responsibility following the suspension, will continue as the interim head of Amazon Studios.

* Two days after they agreed to an extension to continue negotiating, Viacom Inc. and Charter Communications Inc. reached an agreement in principle on a new carriage pact. The pact, which is still being worked on, averts a potential blackout and keeps the programmer's networks on systems owned by Charter.

* ComScore Inc. appointed Gregory Fink, executive vice president of finance, as its new CFO and treasurer, according to an official release. Interim CFO and Treasurer David Kay resumed his full-time role at CrossCountry Consulting LLC. Moreover, Michelle McKenna-Doyle joined comScore's board as an independent director, effective immediately.

* Big tech stocks are leading this bull market. So why are we seeing so many negative headlines in financial and general news feeds that highlight our fear of big tech? Currently, the five largest market caps globally are all in the tech sector — that's a first — plus all five also have a healthy dose of media and entertainment in their business models, blogger Bishop Cheen notes in his latest post.

Regulation & Policy

* The Federal Communications Commission reached a settlement with Verizon Communications Inc. for possible violations of the agency's competitive bidding rules for the E-rate program. As part of the settlement, the carrier agreed to pay about $17.7 million to resolve parallel investigations by the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice, the FCC said. Verizon will also withdraw any rights it may have to hundreds of millions of dollars in requested and undisbursed E-rate support.

Internet & OTT

* Facebook Inc. placed an order for a scripted drama series, called "Five Points," for Watch, the social media company's new platform for original shows, Variety reports. The series is set on the South Side of Chicago and takes a look at high school students from five unique points of view.

* Also, Facebook Watch placed a second-season order for its docu-reality series "Ball In The Family," Multichannel News reports, citing company officials. The series, which revolves around the lives of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and his family, will return for a 13-episode second season later this year.

* Google Inc.'s YouTube outlined steps it is taking to deal with violent terrorist content on the video service. The steps include the use of machine learning for faster detection and removal of such content, the help of expert partners and tougher standards, according to an official blog post.

* YouTube premiered its virtual-reality video series "The Confessional" on Oct. 17, Reuters reports. The new VR series stars comedians Trevor Noah, Judd Apatow and Howie Mandel who will share embarrassing and awkward moments in their lives during seven episodes over the next few weeks.

* Twitter Inc. unveiled a new video-centric format, called the Video Website Card, to increase user engagement, according to an official blog post. The new format will let users unveil a product via a First View option, invite people to click through to learn more or present gameplay to promote a new video game.

Film & Programming

* Original content is fast emerging as the key battleground for Europe's mobile operators. But strong competition from over-the-top services and national broadcasters means that their efforts will not be plain sailing, industry observers said.

* Wracked by allegations Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted women in Hollywood for nearly 30 years, Weinstein Co. is now considering a sale. The studio's low- and middle-budget titles have yielded mixed results at the box office.


* Regina Dugan will step down as head of Facebook's Building 8 research lab early next year to focus on a new endeavor, reports, citing a Facebook post by the executive. The former Google executive joined the social networking giant in 2016.

Live entertainment

* Live Nation Entertainment Inc. booted Andrew Macrae, a former vice president of finance and strategic initiatives, for making up-skirt videos of women on his way to work, the New York Post reports. The former London-based executive was reportedly caught by an off-duty Scotland Yard detective while attempting to use a pen camera on his commute via a train.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.05% to 28,711.76, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.13% to 21,363.05.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.32% to 7,540.50, and the Euronext 100 had grown 0.48% to 1,054.99.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the Housing Starts report, the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations survey, the EIA petroleum status report, the Beige Book and the Treasury budget report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: BBC, Tencent ink content deal; European operators face content hurdles: BBC Worldwide Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. agreed to co-produce natural history series "Blue Planet II," while European operators are facing strong competition from over-the-top services and national broadcasters, according to industry observers.

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific deals: Bain Capital to buy Asatsu-DK; Tata Tele, Airtel to merge: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a biweekly wrap-up of Asia-Pacific media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 1 to Oct. 13.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank JV to buy U.S. cell towers; Tata, Bharti in talks to merge DTH biz: SoftBank Group Corp. partnered with Australian property giant Lendlease to form a joint venture that targets US$5 billion of U.S. telco infrastructure assets, while Tata and Bharti Airtel Ltd. are in talks to merge their direct-to-home businesses.

M&A Replay: European deals: ITV Studios buys Cattleya; 'Pressure' in Altice's Portugal deal: ITV Plc unit ITV Studios Ltd bought a majority stake in Italian production company Cattleya Srl, while Altice NV said its rivals are exerting "undue and unfounded" pressure on Portuguese regulators that are due to rule on its planned takeover of Media Capital.

Featured research

Consumer Insights: 2017 South Korea Survey Summary report: 7 in 10 internet households own smart TV: The 2017 South Korea Survey Summary Report presents the full results from our recent Asia Consumer Insights survey. For example, the survey found that 96% of smart TV owners view over-the-top video on their home TV.

Broadcast Investor: Top 50 commercial TV station groups by US TVHHs, 2017-18: Under a Republican-led Federal Communications Commission and deregulatory-minded Chairman Ajit Pai, we could see more consolidation in the top 50 commercial TV station group owners in the coming year.

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