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Hackers declare war on Hollywood with new threats; Fox unit buys game developer


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Hackers declare war on Hollywood with new threats; Fox unit buys game developer

Top News

* The Dark Overlord, a group of hackers behind the premature release of Walt Disney Co.'s ABC (US) show "Steve Harvey's Funderdome" and episodes from the fifth season of Netflix Inc.'s "Orange Is the New Black," told The Hollywood Reporter that it has unaired studio movies in addition to series and films from networks such as IFC (US) and National Geographic Channel (US). The group claims that it is only interested in "earning vast amounts of internet money."

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s video games division FoxNext acquired mobile games developer Aftershock, the company said. Aftershock chief Aaron Loeb and his team will join FoxNext, with Loeb serving as president of studios for FoxNext Games.

* Executives from Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have each spent the last couple of weeks making the case that a tie-up between the two companies would be good for competition and consumers. But some industry observers are not so convinced.

* Though the broadcast incentive auction only recently ended, promising to free up 70 MHz of low-band spectrum for mobile broadband, the hunt for more spectrum is far from over thanks to the transition to next-generation wireless technology 5G.

Internet & OTT

* As expected, Bozoma Saint John left Apple Inc.'s Apple Music to join Uber Technologies Inc. as chief brand officer, Variety reported, citing a statement from the ride-hailing company. Saint John, who was the head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, will be tasked with helping the company "build a deeper, more meaningful connection" with its customers, according to the report.

* Apple on June 6 premiered an original series "Planet of the Apps," starring Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, rapper and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, Bloomberg News reports. Episodes of the series, which will feature the panel of celebrity investors evaluating app developers, will be released on Apple Music on a weekly basis.

* South Korean cinema chains Lotte Cinema and Megabox joined CJ CGV in refusing to screen Netflix's fantasy drama "Okja" at their theaters, Variety reports. The move is in response to the streaming giant's plan for a day-and-date cinematic and online release, which the theater chains claim disrupts the distribution ecosystem in South Korea.

* Facebook Inc. unveiled a feature that allows publishers to add closed captions in Facebook Live, according to a post on the company's newsroom page. The closed captions will let people who are deaf or hard of hearing experience live videos on the social network.


* Yahoo Japan Corp., a joint venture between Yahoo! Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp., backed The Venture Reality Fund with an investment, reports. The VR fund is working on technologies and applications for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.

* Analysts said Apple's product announcements from its June 5 annual developer's conference held important insight into the direction the company will take as its legacy products mature. At the event, the tech giant unveiled its first connected home speaker alongside updates to the iPad, Watch OS and other products and services.

Regulation & Policy

* A group of internet activists and website owners are planning a "day of action" aimed at keeping in place the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules. The activist groups, led by Fight for the Future, plan for the protest to occur on July 12, but it remains unclear what the protest will entail.

TV Networks

* Despite a pair of blowouts, Disney's ABC has registered the most-watched NBA Finals in almost 20 years with its coverage of the Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers matchup. Through the first two games, ABC had averaged a total live audience — linear TV, plus streaming — of 19.6 million viewers, according to Fast Nationals data from Nielsen Holdings.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Broadcom closes in on Toshiba deal; Bharti Airtel-Telenor merger gets nod: Toshiba Corp. is looking to grant exclusive negotiating rights for its semiconductor unit to U.S. chipmaker Broadcom, while the Competition Commission of India has approved Bharti Airtel Ltd.'s proposed merger with Telenor India.

Q&A: Counter terrorism expert: scapegoating Facebook, Google will not curb extremism: The internet continues to take center stage in the fight against extremism. S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke to counter terrorism expert Marc-André Argentino to examine global digital counter terrorism strategies.

Malaysia's iflix extends to 23 territories; Japanese JV to launch OTT platform: In this biweekly Asia video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

The Daily Dose Europe: Vivendi to buy Havas stake; Vivendi Italia to launch in June: Vivendi SA entered into an agreement to acquire the Bolloré Group's 60% stake in Havas Group, while Vivendi Italia is eyed for launch in late June.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Disney claims 2016 wholesale video crown: Analysis of 462 video releases in 2016 showed that wholesale video revenue increased 0.8% to $2.62 billion from $2.60 billion in 2015. Walt Disney was at the top of the wholesale video revenue market share chart with a 28.6% share.

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