* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. is working to unveil two new flagship smartwatches in the first quarter of 2017, TheVerge.com reports, citing Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google. The new models, which are expected to be powered by Android Wear 2.0, will not get Google or Pixel branding but will be branded by the company that is manufacturing them.
* Discovery Communications Inc. backed out of the acquisition of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's food specialty network FoodFood, The Economic Times of India reports, citing a company representative. In a statement, the Discovery spokesperson reportedly confirmed that the companies are not "entering into the partnership with FoodFood," while assuring that India remains a global priority market.
* Niantic's Pokémon Go game is now available on Apple Inc.'s Apple Watch, TechCrunch.com reports, citing a statement. The AR and GPS-powered game will reportedly utilize Apple Watch's fitness tracking feature and push notifications.
* Layer3 TV added NFL Network (US) and NFL RedZone (US) to its content lineup, Multichannel News reports, citing a statement. NFL Network is reportedly available in Layer3 TV's "allHD Platinum" package, while NFL RedZone has been added to its Sports & Info tier.
* Frontier Communications Corp. remains in talks with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. to renew their carriage agreement that is scheduled to expire Dec. 31. Steve Ward, Frontier's senior vice president of video, said the company is "working hard" to establish fair terms of renewal with Sinclair, but cannot agree with the proposed terms.
Internet & OTT
* Twitter Inc. resolved a technical error that affected some video ad campaigns from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12, according to a company blog post. Twitter has reportedly refunded the affected clients who ran video ads on Twitter's app on the Android OS between that period, Bloomberg News reports.
* Maoji Wang, a director of Professional Diversity Network Inc. and CEO of Cosmic Forward Ltd., will now serve as CEO of Professional Diversity Network, while Katherine Butkevich, the company's former chief executive, will become CEO of its unit NAPW Inc., the company said. Also, David Mecklenburger is stepping down as CFO of the company to pursue a new senior executive position, effective Dec. 31.
* Hal Jones is retiring as senior vice president of finance and CFO of Graham Holdings Co., effective March 31, 2017. Jones will be succeeded by Wallace Cooney, the company's vice president of finance and chief accounting officer, the company said in an SEC filing.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.28% to 21,574.76.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.03% to 7,065.69, and the Euronext 100 had climbed 0.06% to 929.40.
On the macro front
The new home sales report, the consumer sentiment report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Baidu plans $1B IPO for iQiyi; Honda in car tech talks with Alphabet unit: Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. is reportedly considering a Hong Kong or U.S. listing for its video-streaming site iQiyi, while Honda R&D and Alphabet unit Waymo are discussing adding self-driving technology to Honda vehicles.
CAPITAL Letters: Music streaming is booming without boomers: Awareness could help bridge the boomer gap between music consumers and providers.
Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Dec. 21: Time Inc., Twitter, Viacom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.
Q&A: Cybersecurity exec: Most attacks are never reported to the public: Following a range of high-profile hacking and data breach cases, S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke to Ian Mann, CEO of cybersecurity company ECSC Group.
The Daily Dose Europe: Vivendi lifts Mediaset stake further; Telenet buying SFR BeLux: Vivendi SA said it increased its stake in Mediaset SpA to 28.80%, while Liberty Global plc unit Telenet acquired Altice NV's businesses in Belgium and Luxembourg, dubbed SFR BeLux.
Consumer Insights: Fall 2016 US survey summary report highlights growth in online video subscriptions, smart TVs: Results from the Consumer Insights third-quarter U.S. survey found a substantial increase in the use of smart TVs/4K TVs to access online digital entertainment directly from the device.
Technology: As video resolution increases, compression and video optimization bring down bandwidth requirements: As the march to higher resolution video continues and with greater amounts of Ultra HD and 360-degree video for virtual reality being produced, network bandwidth requirements to deliver video increase as well.
Broadcast Investor: Broadcast public trading multiples: TV and radio stocks push towards new 52-week highs in December: With a newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban repeal moving through Congress, along with other proposed deregulatory moves led by a Republican-controlled FCC under a Trump presidency, some TV and radio stocks traded near new 52-week highs as of Dec. 21.
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