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Comcast offers to buy Fox assets; Netflix has no plans to 'get into gaming'


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Comcast offers to buy Fox assets; Netflix has no plans to 'get into gaming'

Top News

* As expected, Comcast Corp. formally made an all-cash offer to buy select 21st Century Fox Inc. media assets. Comcast cited a judge's approval of AT&T Inc.'s purchase of Time Warner Inc. and Fox's upcoming shareholder meeting as the rationales for making the offer now. The cable operator said it sent a letter to Fox's board outlining a "superior proposal" for the assets Fox previously agreed to sell to Walt Disney Co. Under the terms of the new offer, Comcast would pay $35 per share in cash, which represents a premium of about 19% to the value of Disney's all-stock offer as of 12 p.m. ET on June 13.

* In related news, AT&T's decisive legal victory in arguing that its purchase of Time Warner would not harm competition in the U.S. video distribution industry is expected to touch off a wave of deal making. But legal experts told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the judge's ruling should not be read too broadly.

* Netflix Inc. said that it does not have "any plans to get into gaming," and is only adding "Minecraft: Story Mode" as a licensed five-episode interactive narrative series, reports. A previous report had claimed that Netflix was getting into gaming.


* Microsoft Corp. moved its Xbox booth to a separate venue at this year's E3 and used the space at the annual video game industry event to highlight its game-streaming platform Mixer. The expanded real estate on the annual video game conference floor comes a few days after Microsoft announced that its Mixer service, which allows gamers on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox consoles to broadcast the games they are playing to audiences, doubled its viewership in the last six months to hit the 20 million mark.

* In more Microsoft news, the company is developing technology to track items that shoppers add to their carts, Reuters reports, citing six sources. Microsoft reportedly held talks with Walmart Inc. for a potential partnership, according to three of the sources.

* Apple Inc. is testing a new feature, called USB Restricted Mode, that may prevent investigators from accessing data on a locked iPhone, The Wall Street Journal reports. Currently being beta tested by Apple, the new feature stops other devices from accessing data on the iPhone via its Lightning port an hour after a phone is last unlocked.

* The growing complexity of IT systems, the increasing aggression of state actors and the challenge of undereducated digital users are driving the adoption of AI-based cybersecurity technology, according to panelists at CogX, an annual artificial intelligence conference in London.

TV Networks

* Time Warner Inc.'s CNN (US) renewed President Jeff Zucker's contract to keep him through the 2020 election, Vanity Fair reports, citing sources. The contract was signed several months ago, according to the report.

* The CW (US) struck a multiyear deal for "The Jerry Springer Show," Broadcasting & Cable reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Starting next fall, pre-produced and encore episodes of the tabloid talk show will air on The CW as well as in broadcast syndication.

Internet & OTT

* Former Facebook Inc. executive Daniel Danker joined Uber Technologies Inc. as a senior director and head of driver product, reports. Danker previously served the social-networking giant as a product director for video and Facebook Live.

* MobiTV, a provider of live and on-demand video delivery services, signed up more than 210 networks for a new, hosted IP video platform, Multichannel News reports. The multitenant video delivery platform, called MobiTV Connect, will offer access to C-SPAN (US), Disney Channel (US), ESPN (US), Fox Networks, NBCUniversal Media LLC, Pac-12 Networks, CBS Corp.'s Showtime (US), Outdoor Channel (US) and Viacom Inc.-owned networks, among others.

* Apple placed a straight-to-series order for a drama about pre-teen investigative reporter Hilde Lysiak, Variety reports. Dana Fox and Dara Resnik created and executive produced the 10-episode series.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.93% to 30,440.17, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.99% to 22,738.61.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to 7,667.60, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.45% to 1,058.74.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the business inventories report, the EIA natural gas report, fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Sky, Perform Group win Serie A rights; Atresmedia, Televisa to launch SVOD: Pay TV giant Sky PLC and Perform Group secured the rights to Serie A soccer matches over a four-year period for about €973 million, while Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia and Mexico's Grupo Televisa SAB will jointly launch a subscription video-on-demand service.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Grab secures US$1B from Toyota; Sea to raise US$400M via convertible notes: Toyota Motor Corp. will invest US$1 billion in Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., while NYSE-listed gaming company Sea plans to offer US$400 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes.

Featured research

Economics of Networks: Judge OKs AT&T/Time Warner, opening a potential bidding war for FOX assets: A look at the competing offers for the 21st Century Fox assets.

Economics of Networks: Bucks extend rights agreement with FOX Sports Wisconsin in $205M deal: The Milwaukee Bucks agreed to extend their local sports rights agreement with FOX Sports Wisconsin (US) in a reported seven-year deal worth an estimated total of $205.4 million.

Economics of Internet: Mobile and OTT dominate digital viewing for most broadcast and cable networks: Network owners continue to embrace a brave new digital world, with top broadcast networks and cablenets alike seeing online audiences from their online sites, apps and YouTube channels significantly extend their reach.

Technology: TCL continues to gain ground on LG as global smart TVs see strong growth in Q1: After the peak holiday season, global smart TV shipments once again showed good year-over-year growth in the first quarter, with a 15% increase.

Global Multichannel: Mixed progress keeps Canadian MVPD margins relatively flat in Q1: Top Canadian operators reported mixed first-quarter results, as they secured a 1.2% year-over-year increase in aggregate revenues to C$7.68 billion.

Consumer Insights: DIRECTV NOW user profile: Subscription cost is what draws subscribers to DIRECTV NOW according to MediaCensus survey data.

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