Dish Turns Up Heat In Nexstar Dispute

Dish Network and Nexstar Media Group are warning subscribers and viewers of a potential blackout. As with past contract disputes, the companies are blaming the other. In a Thanksgiving news release, Dish said Nexstar is threatening the "largest local station blackout in TV history" that could "black out" customers' access to "164 local channels in 120 markets across 42 states and the District of Columbia." The contract between Dish and Nexstar expires Dec. 2, according to Gary Weitman, Nexstar EVP and chief communications officer, who said: "We felt it was important to start advising our viewers who are Dish subscribers of the potential for an interruption in service, since Dish has a history of repeatedly forcing stations off of their system."

Disney Raises Layoffs Target To 32,000

The company discloses that it plans to cut about 4,000 more staffers than previously targeted, mostly in its theme parks unit, during the first half of fiscal year 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.

Amazon Web Services Outage Hobbles Businesses

Amazon's widely used cloud computing service suffered a major outage in its eastern U.S. operations Wednesday, hampering everything from services for Web-connected security cameras to software applications that businesses use to design products.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

TikTok Divestment Plan Gets Another Extension

Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok, was granted another 7-day extension from the U.S. Treasury on Wednesday afternoon to divest from its American assets. TikTok was given a two-week extension earlier this month to have its divestment plan approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, but that was set to expire on Friday.

CLOSING BELL

Dow Gives Up 174, Nasdaq Gains 58

Stocks mostly fell Wednesday, even as tech gains pushed the Nasdaq to a new record of 12,094.40. The S&P 500 dropped 0.2% a day after setting an all-time high. Industrial, energy and health care companies accounted for much of the decline.

NFL Shifts Thanksgiving Primetime Game To Sun.

After the Baltimore Ravens had at least 10 positive Covid-19 tests, the NFL postponed the team’s primetime matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers to Sunday. NBC had been scheduled to air the game and had been airing heavy promotions of its three notable Thanksgiving events, with the game preceded by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show. It wasn’t immediately clear which network will broadcast the game, or even what time it will be played. A decision on both matters is expected later today.

OVERNIGHTS

ABC’s ‘Big Sky’ Steady In Week 2

ABC’s Big Sky delivered 4.4 million total viewers and a 0.7 rating, building on its premiere audience while holding steady in the demo. CBS's NCIS (9.8M/0.9) easily drew Tuesday’s largest audience and was steady in the demo with its 400th episode, while FBI (8.2M/0.8) dipped and Most Wanted (5.5M/0.7) ticked up.

Ad Demand Up Just 0.7% In October

Year-over-year ad demand rose for the third consecutive month in October, albeit at its smallest rate since the U.S. ad economy began recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. ad demand rose 0.7% in October vs. the same month in 2019, according to a MediaPost analysis of Standard Media Index's U.S. Ad Market Tracker, which is derived from actual ad spending by the major agency holding companies.

ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster For $2.17B

German media giant Bertelsmann's purchase of Simon & Schuster would reduce the so-called Big Five of American publishing to four. The deal, expected to close in 2021, requires approval from the US Justice Department. No U.S. publisher in modern times would approach the power of the new company.

While the coronavirus pandemic and recent mergers have led to widespread layoffs throughout the entertainment and media industry, a number of high-level executives still in the prime of their careers at major Hollywood companies have voluntarily bowed out to regroup and rethink their futures.

FCC Seeks Comments On NextGen Petition

The FCC is seeking comment on a National Association of Broadcasters petition to clarify the application of the FCC's ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) rules to multicast streams. Those are the extra channels broadcasters got in the switch to digital.

NETWORK RATINGS ROUNDUP, NOV. 16-22

Fox News Viewership Slips Post-Election, Prodded By Trump

However, Fox News was still the top-rated cable network in primetime last week, averaging 2.98 million viewers. ESPN averaged 2.58 million, MSNBC had 2.18 million, CNN had 2.05 million and Hallmark had 1.43 million. NBC was the top-rated broadcast network last week with an average of 6.3 million viewers. Fox had 5.8 million, CBS had 4.5 million, ABC had 4.2 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 990,000 and Ion Television 980,000.

Hulu Offers Steep Discount For Black Friday

Hulu is cutting the price of its SVOD-only service by more than 60% as limited time Black Friday deal. The company said that new and eligible returning subscribers — those who haven’t been subscribers for more than three months — can get Hulu’s ad-supported plan, normally $5.99 per month, for $1.99 per month for one year. The deal is available beginning midnight on Thanksgiving through Nov. 30.

The National Press Photographers Association filed a request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices asking “that journalists who have direct contact with the public on a regular basis, and particularly visual journalists, be expressly included in the phase of the COVID-19 vaccine that includes the essential and critical infrastructure workforce.”

RUMOR MILL

CBS Panics As ‘The Talk’ Sinks In Ratings

Drama behind the scenes of daytime talk shows is heating up as Sharon Osbourne’s CBS show The Talk sinks in the ratings against ABC rival The View. CBS insiders say producers and network execs are “panicking” after The Talk’s ratings dropped to 1.5 million, half of The View’s audience of 3 million.

YouTube Temporarily Bans OANN

YouTube has barred One America News Network, a cable TV news channel, from posting new videos for a week after it uploaded a video promoting a cure for COVID-19. “After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a ‘strike’ on the channel for violating our Covid-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” said Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokesperson.

Netflix Doubles UK Spend To $1B In 2020

NewsTECHForum: How News Will Look In ’22

Executives from CBS Television Stations, NBCU Stations, Graham Media and SmithGeiger will discuss changes looming for news programming, technology and audiences at TVNewsCheck’s virtual NewsTECHForum event in December. Register here.

TVN’S MEDIA JOBS

Openings In News, Operations, Engineering, Sales

New jobs posted to TVNewsCheck’s Media Job Center include openings for an assistant news director, operations supervisor, regional account manager and director of engineering.

A pair of TV station GMs will join the head of news services for Gray Media Group and two technology experts to examine how local TV news organizations are contending with growing demand for local news in an increasingly competitive media ecosystem. Set for Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. ET, the webinar will feature speakers (clockwise from left): Bob Ellis, VP-GM, WJXT-WCWJ Jacksonville, Fla.; Lew Leone, SVP-GM, WNYW-WWOR New York; James Finch, director of news services at Gray Television; Craig Wilson, product evangelist for broadcast and media enterprise at Avid; moderator Glen Dickson, contributing editor, TVNewsCheck; and Paul Adrian, CEO and co-founder of Latakoo. Register here.   

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