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Does Alibaba Plan To Take Control Of Lionsgate?

Lionsgate Logo Grid

Lionsgate shares rose 5.3% to $33.00 today after The New York Post reported that the Chinese e-retail giant is eager to buy Mark Rachesky's 37.4% stake in the independent studio. Although Lionsgate isn't commenting, there's enough in the wind to make the scenario plausible. Alibaba is flush with cash after its record-setting $25B IPO last month — and founder Jack Ma will be in Hollywood next week to talk with different studios. He already knows Lionsgate: Alibaba… Read

Business

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samsung Sign UHD Short-Film Deal

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will direct a digital video short in 4K ultra-high-definition, using a moderately priced new Samsung camera under a deal announced this morning by the electronics giant. Former child star Gordon-Levitt has become something of a mini-media empire as an adult with his music, film, TV and online efforts. He has previously directed several projects, mostly shorts, but also the 2013 comedy feature film Don Jon, with Scarlett Johansson. That film, with an… Read

Business

AMC Networks And BBC Chiefs On The Future Of BBC America

TheWrap - TheGrill 2014 - Day 2

Don't be surprised if you see AMC Networks and BBC America collaborating on digital projects, films, or events following AMC's agreement to pay $200 million in cash for a 49.9% stake in the service. “Because the editorial alignment and point of view is so similar in terms of smart, quality and premium, we think that we will find lots and lots and lots of places to join on things that we are not yet doing today,” AMC chief Josh Sapan tells me. There will be changes at BBC… Read

breakingBusiness

AMC Networks Pays $200M For 49.9% Of BBC America

BBC America

Start now with any jokes about the The Walking Dead meeting Dr. Who. This deal, which has been in the wind for months, is now official. AMC Networks paid $200 million and will receive 49.9% of the equity in BBC America and have operational control including affiliate and advertising sales. AMC says it will “run it consistent with BBC's editorial standards and policies” and will include financials in its quarterly results. BBC America will continue to be managed as a… Read

Business

UPDATE: Comcast Says HBO And CBS Online Plans Won’t Upset TV Ecosystem: Live Blog

Comcast Logo

UPDATE, 6:48 AM:  Two interesting disclosures, both from NBCU chief Steve Burke, during Comcast's quarterly call with analysts this morning. He says, without detail, that the company's thinking about "taking some of our existing sports on other channels and putting them on USA." Also, in response to questions, he says that he was surprised — but not especially concerned — by HBO and CBS' announcements last week about their streaming plans. “I don't think distributing… Read

Business

Streaming Cash: Redbox Reports Losses From Its Joint Venture With Verizon

Redbox, Verizon End Streaming Service

It's become fashionable - especially since last week when HBO and CBS announced their online plans - to look at Internet streaming as a digital gold rush. But the folks at Redbox tell a different story, in an SEC filing today, about their experience with their  now-defunct joint venture: Redbox Instant by Verizon. Parent company Outerwall says that it contributed $77M to the venture, and received $70.5M — including disc rentals tied to the subscriptions and a $16.8M… Read

exclusiveBusiness

Layer3 TV Taps Lindsay Gardner To Lead Programming And Content Acquisition

layer3tv

EXCLUSIVE: A lot of in-the-know media folks have their eyes on Layer3 TV, even though they can't really describe the maddeningly opaque firm that calls itself a “next-generation cable provider.” But here's something new: It will launch next year - and it just hired former Fox Networks President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing Lindsay Gardner to chair its Content Advisory Board. Prior to joining Fox he was executive director of programming for Cox Communications, and… Read

Business

Will Time Warner Feel A Bruise From Its Battle With Dish Network?

TBS / TNT Upfront 2014 - Presentation

The entertainment giant likely won't be bloodied by the new dispute that has left 14.1M Dish Network subscribers unable to watch eight Turner Broadcasting channels, not including TBS and TNT. Veterans of the programming wars expect to see a resolution soon, possibly within days. But the battle could leave stinging bruises at Time Warner if it reinforces the impression that CNN has lost its status as a must-have channel, or that others are disposable. Dish's deal for CNN… Read

Business

BET Hip Hop Awards Dance To Top Of Twitter TV Ratings

BET Hip Hop Awards 2014 logo

The BET Hip Hop Awards danced past last week's Twitter TV ratings champ, The Walking Deadand American Horror Story: Freak Show to lead the week in online audience for broadcast show. In all, more than 2.6 million tweets about the music awards show reached more than 7 million unduplicated audience members, far and away the biggest online crowd for any non-sports show of the week. On the sports side, Peyton Manning's setting of an NFL career record in touchdown passes… Read

breakingFilm

Parents & Frequent Moviegoers Are Desensitized To Violence, Sex In Film; Likely So Is MPAA Ratings Board: Study

ts-aicn-big

After surveying 1,000 parents exposed to multiple clips of on-screen sex and violence in movies, a study found that parents become increasingly desensitized to acts of sex and violence with repeated viewing which appears to lead to an increasing acceptance to both. The result is that these parents are less likely to shield their kids from movies that contain sex and violence. In addition, the authors note that people who rate movies for the MPAA (themselves parents) could… Read

exclusiveFilm

Bart & Fleming: WB’s Spandex OD; Ebola The Series; Neil Patrick Harris Near EGOT

66th Annual Tony Awards - Show

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu told me he sees superhero movies as right-wing poison and cultural genocide for their simplistic values that stamp out human truths. Warner Bros' Kevin Tsujihara told Wall Street his slumping film studio will turn around via a full… Read

Business

Fox And Tribune Call Off Their NFL-Related TV Battle For Seattle

Q13 Fox

The Seattle Seahawks, as well as The Simpsons, will remain on Tribune Media's KCPQ after it announced this morning that 21st Century Fox has extended its affiliation agreement with the station through July 2018. Last month Fox said that it would withdraw its programming on January 17. It wanted more lucrative terms from - or possibly to buy - the station in the home of the NFL's 2014 Super Bowl champions. Tribune says that it will “pay additional programming fees to Fox… Read

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