The House of Representatives approved via voice vote a bill that requires broadcasters to permanently negotiate retransmission consent renewals in good faith, but lawmakers did not renew the rule to provide satellite companies with the compulsory license needed to import distant signals. The Television Viewer Protection Act also requires multi-video program distributors to disclose upfront all of their fees to subscribers and prohibits charges on some equipment.
Earlier this fall, Discovery Channel came out with a six-part docuseries that hones in on a unique topic that isn't normally examined or discussed in depth for television entertainment: the human condition of hate. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney, "Why We Hate" was first born out of a conversation between Spielberg and Discovery CEO David Zaslav about a passion project they could produce that would have a large global reach and impact--something that Discovery's programming is known for. Read more.
Showtime will present as a limited series Michael Chabon's 2000 novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" as part of an overall deal between corporate cousin CBS TV Studios, Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman. The pair are also developing for Showtime a project based on Waldman's book "A Really Good Day," about taking LSD.
Comcast's Sky News will stream results of the UK election under a partnership with BuzzFeed UK as an extension of Sky's linear TV coverage, the companies said. The show, "Election Social," will run across a number of digital platforms including Sky, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch as well as BuzzFeed's social channels in the UK and US.
Comcast confirmed it has started field trials in undisclosed markets of Technicolor's XB7 gateway, based on the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, that will more than double, to 2.5 gigabits per second, the previous supported download speeds as well as incorporate Wi-Fi 6. The DSL Reports message board reported details of the Technicolor-made device as a Comcast web page.
AT&T's Xandr ad sales unit and the company's WarnerMedia unit will work more closely together starting with their joint presentation in May that will kick off the annual Upfront market. Xandr CEO Brian Lesser said the units are conferring on other projects, such as working on new ad formats for HBO Max for when the upcoming streaming service plans to launch its ad-supported version in 2021.
"TV everywhere" and password sharing, rather than the rise of streaming services, are the biggest accelerants for cord-cutting, Charter Communications leader Tom Rutledge said, adding that consumers may soon tire of over-the-top services that lack broadcast and live sports channels. Rutledge also told an analyst conference that Charter is "looking at all angles" as it makes its wireless plans.
Michael Cavanagh, Comcast's chief financial officer, told an analyst conference on Monday that the cable company will pour $2 billion into its Peacock streaming platform during the two years following its April 2020 introduction, and remain in the red for five years. Ad-supported Peacock will be free to Comcast subscribers and possibly other cable customers, though Cavanagh didn't reveal details.
Bob Bakish, chief executive officer of ViacomCBS, pointed to an array of synergy opportunities for the newly merged company and discussed its streaming plans as well as cable network renewals for next year. He also said the company will sell its iconic "Black Rock" headquarters in Manhattan and use the proceeds to raise operating capital and buy back shares.
"America's Newsroom" co-host Bill Hemmer will fill the time slot left vacant by Shepard Smith's October departure from Fox News, the network has announced. Hemmer will begin hosting "Bill Hemmer Reports" in Smith's old time slot starting Jan. 20, 2020.
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