Latest Business News

China’s Largest Theater Group Enters Movie Merchandising Market

Ryan Kavanaugh, Robert Simonds Speak At Miliken Institute China Film Industry Panel

Wanda Cinemas, China's largest theater group, has partnered with Mtime to build movie merchandising centers in all of Wanda’s top theaters in the country. Mtime is considered China’s leading movie portal and film e-commerce destination with more than 160 million unique monthly users after only opening online in January. The companies also will co-develop an O2O (online-to-offline) model, linking together online and offline users through the integration of… Read

Donald Trump Issues New Statement On Mexican Immigrants

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As businesses continue to cut ties to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump – including NBC, Univision and ESPN –  the former Celebrity Apprentice star this afternoon issued another statement, developing his controversial theme about Mexican immigration. In his latest statement, Trump acknowledges “I have lost a lot during this Presidential run” because of his statements about immigrants made in his June 16 campaign announcement, which today he described as “defending… Read

Donald Trump Immigration Stance Costs Him ESPN’s ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic

Donald-Trump

More fallout for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump over his comments about immigrants from Mexico. ESPN said this afternoon that it is moving its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic on July 14 from Trump National Golf Club to Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach: "We decided it was appropriate to change the venue, and are grateful for the opportunity to stage the event at Pelican Hill on short notice. This charity outing benefits The V Foundation's Stuart Scott… Read

Matt Forde Replacing Jane Tranter As Head Of BBC Worldwide Productions

Jane Tranter

As had been widely reported, Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions, is officially stepping down from her position to launch her own production company. She will be replaced by Matt Forde, BBC Worldwide’s EVP TV Sales & Digital Distribution, who now will lead both LA-based production units. Tranter will leave her post August 14. Forde's new title will be EVP Content Production, Sales and Distribution. He will report to Ann Sarnoff, the… Read

Ryan Kavanaugh’s Latest Deal For Relativity Raises More Questions Than It Answers

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Even senior financial experts are scratching their heads over the structure of the deal that THR says Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh made with Catalyst Capital Group to help his struggling company. The Toronto-based private equity firm is said to have agreed to pay $150 million for all of Relativity's senior secured debt, and spend $170 million for an unknown amount of its equity. Relativity would not comment and Catalyst did not respond to requests for comment. Some of… Read

CAA Taps Time Warner Dealmaker James Burtson To Be CFO

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Looks like Creative Artists Agency is still hungry to make deals. It just picked a CFO, James Burtson, who’s best known in financial circles for his work as a Time Warner SVP where he oversaw global mergers and acquisitions. He was involved with the media giant’s spin offs of Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc., and purchases of content and new media properties. He’ll move into his new job on July 13, replacing Jeff Berry, who joined CAA in 2012. In addition to his work… Read

Roku To Offer User-Translated Global Video Service Viki

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Here’s the latest reason to pay attention to the video service aiming to compete globally with Netflix and Amazon by asking users to translate foreign TV shows and movies: Viki (it’s a combination of “video” and “wiki”) will announce today that it’s available in the U.S. on Roku — potentially giving it access to about 7 million homes. Roku users will be able to watch a few thousand shows with subtitles in as many as 200 languages. The line up will include the South Korean… Read

John Malone’s Liberty Global Completes Acquisition of Ireland’s TV3

John Malone

As had been widely expected, John Malone’s Liberty Global has completed its acquisition of Ireland’s commercial broadcaster TV3. The deal was made between Liberty Global's UPC Ireland and UK private equity group Doughty Hanson, which bought TV3 in 2006 for $292 million. "We're pleased to welcome TV3 to the Liberty Global family," said UPC Ireland CEO Magnus Ternsjo. "The investment we are making today secures the long-term future of TV3. With its wide range of home-grown… Read

BBC Faces Billion-Dollar Bill After Gov’t Asks It To Pick Up Welfare Costs; Move Marks Latest Setback

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The BBC keeps taking hits rather than making them. Days after the iconic broadcaster announced it was cutting more than 1000 jobs to make up for a shortfall in its license fee revenues, a report in the Sunday Times today claims the BBC will also face a bill in excess of $1 billion for new welfare charges. The public broadcaster is being asked to absorb the cost of the license fee for viewers over age 75 as the government attempts to shift the cost currently covered by the… Read

Is Chicago’s “Netflix Tax” A Web Scourge Or One Way To Level The Playing Field?

LOS GATOS, CA - JANUARY 22:  A sign is posted in front of the Netflix headquarters on January 22, 2014 in Los Gatos, California. Netflix will report fourth quarter earnings today after the closing bell.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This week the City of Chicago amended its amusement tax rules among others to include a 9% “cloud tax” on digital entertainment streaming services. Taking effect September 1, it will include everything from rentals of shows, movies, videos, music and games to e-commerce transactions to online gambling. That of course means services like movie and TV hub Netflix and music services like Spotify will be officially taxed inside the Windy City’s limits. The city would collect… Read

Canal Plus CEO Rodolphe Belmer Out And Replaced By Maxime Saada

Rodolphe Belmer

Canal Plus CEO Rodolphe Belmer has been ousted from his post following a meeting today by the French pay TV giant’s Supervisory Board, on the recommendation of Bertrand Méheut, chairman of Canal Plus' management board. Belmer will be replaced by Maxime Saada, who joined Canal Plus in 2001 and previously served as EVP of the Canal Plus Group and and head of Pay-TV. The board also appointed Grégoire Castaing, Canal Plus CFO, to Canal Plus' management board. It promises to… Read

‘Hello Kitty’ To Be Turned Into Film For 2019 Release

Hello Kitty

Iconic Japanese brand Hello Kitty, famous globally for the red-bowed cat with six symmetrical whiskers, is getting her own film adaptation. Japanese lifestyle company Sanrio is planning to finance and produce a feature based on the character and release it globally in 2019. The film will go through Sanrio’s recently established U.S. subsidiary. The project will have an expected budget of anywhere from $160 million-$240 million, including P&A, according to Sanrio… Read