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Media & Comm, editor's picks: CBS sports HQ service; FCC's treatment of Sinclair

Here are the editor's top picks for the week.

CBS to add sports OTT service this month, 'Entertainment Tonight' entry in fall

CBS Corp. plans to launch a direct-to-consumer sports highlights product later this month and another streaming service tied to the "Entertainment Tonight" franchise this fall. CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves on the company's Feb. 15 earnings call told analysts that CBS Sports HQ will proffer round-the-clock news highlights and analysis "in a unique way. We believe we can build a significant audience by launching an ad-supported free service with full mobile and on-demand capabilities. More importantly, we're setting ourselves up to the direct-to-consumer future with another vertical that is right in our wheelhouse."

House Democrat: FCC inspector general probing agency's treatment of Sinclair

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., confirmed Feb. 15 that the FCC inspector general has accepted a request to investigate whether Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his aides improperly pushed for rule changes to benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s proposed $6.6 billion combination with Tribune Media Co. The investigation, according to Pallone, will also look at whether Pai and his staff improperly coordinated with Sinclair on those rule changes.

NBCU meets viewership guarantees, opens up more Olympic ad inventory

Buoyed by its Pyeongchang presentations and coverage of Super Bowl LII, NBC (US) now ranks as the most-watched broadcast network for the first time since the 2001-02 TV season. With its prime-time performance remaining close to the delivery from the Sochi Games and other dayparts performing well, NBC Chairman of Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus on a Feb. 13 press call from South Korea said NBCUniversal Media LLC had met unspecified advertiser guarantees through the first five days of the 2018 Winter Olympics and is now taking inventory that had been put aside for potential audience under-delivery and offering it to the market.

Data-driven OTT ad market poised for gains, SpotX study says

The study, commissioned by video ad server platform SpotX and conducted by Kagan, found that respondents anticipate a significant shift to audience-based buying. Audience-based buying marks a departure from the way TV advertising has traditionally been transacted against via age-and-gender-based demographic metrics.

TDC takeover marks move away from media, telecoms convergence

The M&A carousel continues to spin in the rush to merge telecoms and media assets. All eyes are on the Nordics where Danish operator, TDC Group, bucked the trend and demonstrated that M&A in the industry is not exclusively focused on convergence.