Danny O’Brien, who heads up Fox’s lobbying arm in D.C., has hit the ground running today, day one of the new Fox Corp. He has been ramping up the operation for the past four months, including for what will be a months-long battle with cable operators over renewal of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) act.
DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim slots the event for May 2-3 and says the event may result in Justice changing how it looks not only at mergers, but also at spot advertising and retrans.
The group is now ACA — America’s Communications Association, branded as ACA Connects. CEO Matthew Polka: “With this name change, we’re recognizing that communication is the priority, not the medium.”
The spinoffs reflect Nexstar’s regulatory compliance plan to secure approvals for its Tribune Media deal. Tegna is buying 11 stations in eight markets and Scripps gets eight stations in seven markets.
The ripple effects may not become clear for years. Analysts say that Disney could force smaller studios to merge as they scramble to compete. It will have greater leverage over theater owners when it comes to box office splits. And Disney’s plans to use Fox content to forcefully move into streaming could slow the growth of Netflix. “This deal definitely reshapes the landscape,” said Michael Nathanson, a leading media analyst.
Viacom is blasting telco giant AT&T on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of Tuesday, Viacom had begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels could go dark on AT&T’s DirecTV as of midnight ET on Friday, when the current contract expires.
The demise of 20th Century Fox as a standalone studio is an epochal event in Hollywood, one that casts long shadows over a movie industry grappling with new digital competitors from Silicon Valley and facing the possibility of further contraction.
It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets on Wednesday, more than a year after the mega merger was proposed . Disney gets far ranging properties ranging from Fox’s film studios, including “Avatar” and X-Men, to its TV productions such as “The Simpsons” and networks including National Geographic.
The deal for Fox’s entertainment businesses is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.
CBS and the three Turner networks — TNT, TBS and TruTV — have sold 95% of the ad inventory in the 67 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games at a cost-per-thousand 5% to 6% higher than last year. Advertisers love the tournament and the nets love to offer it. While neither CBS nor Turner executives will comment on how much total advertising the three weeks of televised games brings in, it will likely top $1 billion.