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Steven Spielberg To Direct Sci-Fi Cult Favorite ‘Ready Player One'; Back At Warner Bros

Steven Spielberg

EXCLUSIVE: Steven Spielberg is set to direct Ready Player One, the highly anticipated project based on the popular sci-fi book by Ernest Cline that takes place in a virtual world. What a coup for Warner Bros, which will bring it to the screen along with Village Roadshow. This is expected to be Spielberg’s next movie after The BFG. Ready Player One also marks the director’s return to Warner Bros after a 14-year absence. The last picture he directed there was A.I. Artificial… Read

Business

NFL To Air London Game On Digital-Only Platform

NFL London Wembley

The NFL has been kicking around the concept for a while, and now the ball appears to be teed up. The Buffalo Bills’ PR team tweeted today that one of the league’s three regular-season games to be played in London this season will air in the U.S. on an unspecified digital-only platform. The October 25 Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars tilt wasn’t going to be a national ratings juggernaut anyway, but this will be a first for the country’s dominant TV sport. The Week 7 game, which… Read

Business

Will HBO, Showtime And Sony Find A Way Around The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules?

Broadband Internet lines

Perhaps, according to a Wall Street Journal story this morning that has a lot of people scratching their heads. Seems that HBO, Showtime, and Sony want their new, or planned, video streaming offerings to be classified as “managed” services, which would entitle them to special treatment — potentially at odds with the FCC’s new net neutrality rules. It’s still mostly a theoretical issue. Comcast, the largest broadband provider, seems cool to the idea, especially while the… Read

Business

FCC Chairman Vows That Net Neutrality Ruling Won’t Lead To Price Regulation

Federal Communications Commission Set To Vote On Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other commissioners went back through the looking glass today to testify at House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology — the third consecutive day of largely hostile questioning following the agency”s adoption of tough net neutrality rules. Chairman Greg Walden (R-Oregon) sought to make it more than a tongue lashing: Shortly before the hearing  he offered up a bill that would freeze the FCC budget for four years. Walden, a former… Read

TV

‘Empire’ Streaming Rights Secured By Hulu

Empire

Fox’s freshman drama Empire will keep getting eyeballs even after its record-setting Season 1 finale last night. Hulu revealed this morning that it has struck a new deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television Distribution that makes the streaming service the exclusive SVOD home of the series for all current and future episodes. The entire first season is available now, and future episodes will be available on Hulu Plus the day after they air on Fox. Last night’s… Read

Business

Is Sony’s Playstation Vue Streaming Service Too Big, Too Small, Or Just Right?

Playstation

PlayStation Vue finally became a reality today, more than a year after Sony announced its plan and three months later than it originally planned. But don’t get excited yet unless you own a PlayStation 4 or 3 gaming console and live in New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia. Service to other cities will be added “later this year” and connections with Apple’s iPad will “follow.” Vue seeks to hold a middle ground between the $80+ a month traditional cable and satellite packages… Read

Business

Gumroad Adds Rental Option To Online-Video Distribution Service For Filmmakers

Appropriate Behavior Streaming on Gumroad

Gumroad, which provides behind-the-scenes technology that allows filmmakers and distributors to directly sell their movies and other videos online to consumers, has added Rentals, a function that will allow people to stream the shows for a lesser price instead of having to buy and download a large video file. The site’s technology also can automatically send rental customers a discount coupon to entice them to go ahead and buy the movie, along with other kinds of… Read

Business

Sling TV Plays For Gamers With Xbox One App As It Expands Channel Offerings

Sling TV Logo

More changes this morning for Dish Network’s new $20 a month streaming service. Sling TV just released an app so owners of Xbox One gaming consoles can subscribe. Those who have the Microsoft device and use Xbox Live can watch Sling TV for free for a month. In addition, the first 5,000 people who buy an Xbox One directly from Microsoft will have three months of free service. Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch says the addition makes sense for his product, which targets young adults… Read

Business

Apple Eyes September Rollout For Its Online TV Service: Report

Apple Logo With Dollar Signs

A week after Apple announced a deal with HBO for a stand-alone service called HBO Now, the Tim Cook-led company appears to be following it up with a bigger move. The Wall Street Journal reported tonight that Apple is talking with content providers about launching its much-discussed online TV service in the fall. WSJ is citing sources who say the service would have about two dozen channels including three of the Big 4 networks; NBC is not part of the talks, the Journal… Read

Business

Cablevision Breaks Ranks And Agrees To Offer HBO Now To Broadband Subs

Apple Debuts New Watch

The Long Island-based cable operator is the first pay TV provider to go along with HBO’s effort to offer its premium network to people who don’t also subscribe to an expanded basic package. The companies didn’t disclose pricing or terms. But Cablevision says it has an agreement to stream HBO Now to its Optimum Online customers. “We are well-positioned to support HBO Now, and, as technology advances, Cablevision will continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers,”… Read

Business

Legendary Hires Finance Vet Clint Kisker To Spur Acquistions

legendary-logo

Legendary Entertainment has named Clint Kisker its EVP Business Development, a role that will see the film industry finance veteran lead the company’s acquisition and corporate development activities aimed at building out the company’s interests in digital media, virtual and augmented reality content, and sports. Kisker was founder and CEO of One Media, a media and entertainment firm that specialized in film, TV and sports content. That company operated Incentive Filmed… Read

Business

ABC And Yahoo Expand Infotainment Cross-Promotion Deal

ABC, YAHOO ANNOUNCEMENT

Disney/ABC Television Group will supply airtime to Yahoo personalities, and the online service will promote ABC shows, in what the companies call “an extension and expansion” of their three-year cross-promotion business arrangement. They’ll begin on Monday with a daily Good Morning America segment called “Yahoo Your Day” offering news-you-can-use tidbits from personalities including Yahoo Style’s Joe Zee, Yahoo Beauty’s Bobbi Brown, Yahoo Health’s Michele Promaulayko and… Read