* AT&T Inc. laid off more than 700 DIRECTV home installers across "all states from Florida to California," The New York Post reports, citing an employee. In a statement, an AT&T spokesman said the company is working to align its workforce with the changing needs of the business and the move includes some premises technician jobs.
* Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC secured rights from the National Football League to stream Sunday Night Football through NBC (US)'s TV Everywhere offering on all mobile devices, starting with the 2018 season. Also, NBCU will extend the authenticated streaming rights to its cable, satellite, and telco partners, as well as virtual MVPDs, according to a news release.
* Republican leaders in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have expressed confidence Congress will vote to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the coming days, trimming the corporate tax rate to 21%.
Internet & OTT
* Verizon Communications Inc.'s go90 premiered "Dear Basketball," the animated version of Kobe Bryant's poem, on go90 and across Verizon's Yahoo Sports, AOL and Complex platforms, the company said. "Dear Basketball" recently won Best 2D Hand-drawn Animation and the Special Jury Prize at the 2017 World Animation Celebration.
* CenturyLink Inc. rolled out the app for its over-the-top service Stream across Amazon.com Inc.'s Fire TV devices, Multichannel News reports. CenturyLink Stream allows subscribers to stream live TV and video-on-demand on up to three devices, and install the service on as many as 20 devices.
* Twitter Inc. enforced new rules to deal with hate speech and harassment on the microblogging service. Under the new policies, the company will ban accounts and remove content that promotes violence and harm on the platform, according to an official blog post.
* Facebook Inc. said it received 224,464 copyright reports about content on the social networking platform, 41,854 trademark reports, and 14,279 counterfeit reports during the first half of 2017. Requests for account data, meanwhile, increased by 21% globally compared to the second half of 2016, from 64,279 to 78,890.
* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s official channel on Google Inc.'s YouTube has reached 20 million subscribers, according to a company post. The channel, which features highlights from "Raw," "SmackDown LIVE" and other content, has recorded more than 18 billion views.
* Michel Coulomb succeeded Sanjay Kaul as Apple Inc.'s new India sales head, Reuters reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Coulomb recently was managing director for Apple in South Asia.
* S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke with Christian Hess, head of the financial sponsor transaction group at international specialist banking and asset management group Investec, to discuss the private equity outlook for the TMT sector in 2018.
* NBC could place a series order for a reboot for workplace comedy "The Office," Deadline.com reports. The reboot is expected to feature a new cast with developer Greg Daniels.
* TEGNA Inc. agreed to buy Midwest Television Inc.'s broadcasting stations in San Diego for $325 million in an all-cash deal. TEGNA will get CBS (US) affiliate KFMB-TV, digital subchannel KFMB-D2 (CW), as well as radio broadcast stations KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM, according to a news release.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.70% to 29,253.66, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.15% to 22,868.00.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.11% to 7,545.49, and the Euronext 100 inched up 0.01% to 1,051.09.
On the macro front
The housing starts report, the current account report and the Redbook are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: Amazon to face €10M fine in France; Kaspersky appeals against US ban: Amazon may face a fine of €10 million over alleged abuse of dominant position, while Kaspersky Lab ZAO has filed an appeal over the ban of its products in the U.S.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Tencent invests US$604M in Vipshop; NZ court dismisses NZME-Fairfax appeal: Tencent Holdings Ltd. and JD.com Inc. will invest about US$863 million in Chinese online discount retailer Vipshop Holdings, while the New Zealand high court dismissed the appeal of NZME and Fairfax Media Ltd. concerning the dismissal of their merger.
The week in OTT: Apple orders 3rd original series; Netflix adding more content: Apple Inc. ordered a new space drama from "Battlestar Galactica" developer Ronald Moore, while Netflix Inc. will premiere the third and final season of original series "Love" on March 9, 2018.
M&A Replay: Apple buying Shazam; Disney inks $52.4B deal to buy Fox assets: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from Dec. 11 to Dec. 15.
M&A Replay: European deals: Disney buying Fox assets; Apple to acquire music app Shazam: Walt Disney Co. has agreed to buy an array of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s assets including a 39% stake in pay TV giant Sky plc, while Apple confirmed a deal to acquire U.K.-based music recognition app Shazam.
Economics of Internet: State of New Zealand online video: Subscription: Thus far, there has not been significant cord cutting in the New Zealand market, mainly because multichannel has never penetrated more than 54% of TV households.
The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Dec. 15.
Economics of Internet: Q3'17 top video provider rankings: The slide of traditional multichannel service providers accelerated in the third quarter, amplified by DBS services' outsized declines.
Economics of Networks: Disney's planned purchase of Fox RSNs could send market in 2 opposite directions: Walt Disney's planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox's regional sports networks would create a sports content behemoth, one that could cause the pay TV market to react in two opposite directions.
Broadcast Investor: New Fox's focus on live news/sports includes potential M&A for station group: The owned-and-operated station group is expected to take a higher role in the remaining Fox assets to be spun off as part of 21st Century Fox's $66.1 billion sale to Walt Disney.
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