Fox, Dominion Argue Over Legal Standards To Prove Defamation

Lawyers for Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems tangled Wednesday over the high bar to prove defamation in a $1.6 billion lawsuit that has embarrassed the conservative network over its airing of false claims related to the 2020 presidential election. The argument is at the heart of each side's attempt to persuade a Delaware judge that he should grant summary judgment in its favor and avoid a jury trial scheduled to start next month that would focus in part on media protections afforded in a nearly six-decade-old libel standard.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Amazon Fire TV Device Sales Top 200 Million

Amazon may be laying off thousands of employees, but it’s still selling a ton of stuff — including streaming devices and connected TVs. The company said sales of Fire TV streaming devices and smart TVs have now surpassed 200 million units to date. Amazon, which doles out such stats selectively, previously announced a milestone of 150 million Fire TV devices sold in January 2022.

FCC Proposes Mandating ‘All-In’ Cable Video Price Disclosure

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel wants cable and satellite TV subscribers to know just how much they are paying to defray the broadcast-TV retransmission and regional sports net fees their providers must pony up for programming, and to help them compare traditional video costs with those of streaming services. Rosenworcel has proposed an item to the other commissioners that would require cable and satellite providers to “specify” an “all-in” price for video service both in promotional materials and on subscribers’ monthly bills.

CLOSING BELL

Dow Drops 530, Nasdaq Falls 190, S&P Loses 66

Stocks fell, bond yields tumbled Wednesday after the Fed's latest rate hike. The S&P 500 fell 1.6% for its first drop in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.6%, while the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.6%.

TUESDAY OVERNIGHTS

‘Gotham Knights’ Audience Slips In Week 2

With CBS’ well-watched FBIs in rerun mode: NBC’s The Voice delivered Tuesday’s largest audience and landed in a four-way tie for the nightly demo win with 5.4 million/0.4). On The CW, Gotham Knights‘ audience (420,000/0.1) fell 31% percent from its debut.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s TCM Marks Warner Bros. Studio’s 100th Anniversary

Celebrating “the stuff that dreams are made of,” Warner Bros. Discovery’s TCM cable network will mark the 100th anniversary of the Warner Bros. studio with 30 days of special programming. Beginning April 1, the channel will screen legendary films from every decade of the studio’s existence, including 10 films being shown for the first time since being restored. (Some of the films will also be available on the Classics Curated by TCM Hub on HBO Max.) Pictured, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz on the Warner Bros. lot.

Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News Breaks The March Madness Press

Fox News Channel withstood a challenge from March Madness-heavy TNT and TBS to remain at the top of the primetime and total-day charts last week, according to Nielsen. Fox News averaged 1.9 million viewers for the week of March 13-20 to garner its eighth-straight win in primetime, according to Nielsen. TNT finished a close second with 1.8 million viewers, followed by TBS’s 1.7 million viewers and truTV’s 1.1 million watchers. All three networks benefited from early round coverage of the March Madness NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.

Apple TV+ Announces 2nd Season Of ‘Friday Night Baseball’

Apple TV+ will begin its second season of "Friday Night Baseball" on April 7. It will carry twin bills over 25 weeks with no local blackout restrictions. In a change from last year, when there were doubleheaders on the East and West coasts, both games will be going on simultaneously most weeks.

‘The Young And The Restless’ Celebrates 50 Years Of Drama

The CBS soap began  on March 26, 1973. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, it also lays claim to being the No. 1 daytime drama for 35 consecutive years. It helped launch the careers of such primetime and film actors as Vivica A. Fox, David Hasselhoff, Adam Brody, Tom Selleck, Penn Badgley, Shemar Moore, Eva Longoria, Justin Hartley and the late Paul Walker.

Rachel Kay Named Hearst SVP/Chief People Officer

She becomes Hearst’s most senior human resources executive, leading companywide strategy, programs and human capital management support, while maintaining the company’s tradition of local oversight of the majority of human resource decision making.

DirecTV Resolves Carriage Fight With Newsmax

DirecTV has reached a carriage deal with conservative news outlet Newsmax, ending two months of media industry acrimony that spilled into Washington. Under the new multi-year deal, Newsmax will return Thursday to DirecTV satellite systems, DirecTV Stream internet bundles and U-verse cable. With about 13 million subscribers, DirecTV is one of the top pay-TV providers in the U.S.

WEEKLY SYNDICATION RATINGS ROUNDUP

Little Movement Among Syndies

In the week ending March 12 the status quo ruled, with the majority of shows across genres either flat or down.

A group of three creditors have filed a petition in the United States for Mexico's TV Azteca to enter bankruptcy involuntarily, alleging the broadcaster is not paying the $63.32 million it owes them. The bondholders, Luxembourg-based Plenisfer Investments SICAV, New York-based Cyrus Capital Partners and Sandpiper Ltd, registered in the Cayman Islands, filed the Chapter 11 petition in a federal court in New York.

Pulling The Plug On TikTok Will Be Harder Than It Looks

The tensions over the Chinese-owned social media app will come to a head on Thursday, when the company’s chief executive testifies on Capitol Hill. The TikTok app has 150 million users in the United States, but some fear that its Chinese parent company might give Beijing access to American users’ data. (Anjum Naveed/AP)  

Dish Gets Judge To Toss Jury’s $469M Patent Verdict

The decision comes just 11 days after a Salt Lake City jury awarded parental-control tech maker ClearPlay nearly half a billion dollars over two technologies used in Dish's AutoHop commercial-skipping feature.  

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was among “23 extraordinary Americans,” as Biden described them, awarded honors Tuesday in a star-studded East Room gathering. Along with Louis-Dreyfus, Bruce Springsteen, José Feliciano, the “Empress of soul” Gladys Knight, Mindy Kaling, Antonio Martorell-Cardona, Judith Francisca Baca, Fred Eychaner, Joan Shigekawa and Vera Wang, along with organizations the Billie Holiday Theatre and the International Association of Blacks in Dance, received medals.

ARF Looks To Map Providers of Attention-Based Metrics

With attention becoming a more important metric to advertisers looking to ensure their messages are connecting with viewers, the Advertising Research Foundation said it has begun mapping attention measurement providers. The initiative is a part of the ARF’s Attention Validation initiative.

Magic Johnson Joins Washington Commanders Bid: Source

WASHINGTON (AP) — Magic Johnson has joined Josh Harris’ bid to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because details of the bid are not being publicized. Johnson, a basketball Hall of Famer who has become a […]

Netflix To Release 40 Video Games This Year, 70 In Development

Netflix continues to ramp up its video gaming ambitions, unveiling plans to release 40 more games this year. Since launching Netflix Games in November 2021, the streamer has released 55 games. Furthermore, Netflix said it’s developing 70 games with its partners, not including 16 games that are currently being developed by the company’s in-house game studios.

California Measure Would Force Tech Giants To Pay News Outlets

California lawmakers this week are launching a plan to force digital giants like Facebook and Google to pay publishers for news content, taking a contentious global fight to the state level. Pictured: Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) has led several state-level efforts targeting the tech giants. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Finding Content Gold In Your Archives At Programming Everywhere

Executives from Fox News, The Weather Channel, Capitol Broadcasting and Bitcentral will explain how they’ve delved into their archives to unearth content for new shows and lucrative licensing opportunities in a panel at TVNewsCheck’s Programming Everywhere conference at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 16. Register here.

WEEK ENDING MARCH 20

Station Trading Roundup: 1 Deal, $1,000,000

The purchase of WJGN-CD Chesapeake, Va., by Bridge News tops the latest list of TV station transactions submitted to the FCC for its approval, according to BIA Advisory Services.

TVN’S MEDIA JOBS

New Jobs Posted To TVNewsCheck

New jobs posted to TVNewsCheck’s Media Job Center include openings for a director of sales, an account executive, a news photographer, creative services writer, a local sales manager and a photographer/editor.

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