After the coffee. Before the week that never ends finally ends.
The Skinny: This has been one long week! But I'll also say on a personal front it has been one of my most productive. If I had enough money socked away, this would be a good way to go out! OK, enough humble brags. Today's roundup includes the definitive piece (oops, another humble brag) on the Dodgers TV situation. Also, the latest news and analysis of 21st Century Fox's audacious bid for Time Warner. Also the weekend box office preview and a review of "Sex Tape" just so I can put "Sex" in my headline and get lots of clicks.
Daily Dose: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday to this reporter (I've always wanted to write that) that he expects the league to have a new deal with DirecTV for Sunday Ticket, the package that gives subscribers to the satellite service access to every Sunday game. Goodell was speaking at CBS' portion of a press tour. Another highlight was New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft goosing CBS Chief Leslie Moonves at the network's party later that night. Maybe I buried the lede on this one.
You're out! Dodger fans who don't have Time Warner Cable better get used to the idea of listening to the team on the radio. As the second half of the season starts, Time Warner Cable, which is distributing the Dodger-owned network SportsNet LA, has made no progress in getting deals done with area pay-TV providers including DirecTV, Charter Communications and Cox. David Rone, who heads Time Warner Cable's sports unit, says he is not optimistic about that situation changing this season. Fans meanwhile are left in the lurch although many are mad at the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable for signing such an expensive deal. More on the SportsNet LA fiasco from the Los Angeles Times.
Everyone has a price. Time Warner passed on Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox's offer to buy in a deal valued at $80 billion but will it be able to pass on a higher offer from the media mogul? The two companies share a lot of shareholders and analysts think it is only a matter of time before Murdoch makes an offer, perhaps around $100 a share, that Time Warner's board can't refuse. Meanwhile uncertainty fills the air among Time Warner and 21st Century Fox employees, who are all wondering what does this mean for their job? The latest on 21st Century Fox's attempt to buy Time Warner from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, New York Post, and Wall Street Journal.
Apes, sex tapes and purges. This weekend, the box office battle will be among reigning champ "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and newcomers "Sex Tape" and "The Purge: Anarchy." And once again, I'll be staying home. All three are projected to take in around $30 million. Also expected to have a solid debut is the animated family film "Planes: Fire & Rescue," which should bring in $20 million. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Exit stage left. Another casualty of Microsoft's restructuring is Xbox Entertainment Studios, the Hollywood unit the software giant launched to make content for the Xbox platform. Headed by former CBS executive Nancy Tellem and ex-CW chief Jordan Levin, Xbox Entertainment Studios will continue to work on a few projects already in the works including a series based on the "Halo" game but otherwise is winding down operations. It employed about three dozen people. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Because there just isn't enough sports on TV. Sinclair Broadcast Group, the biggest owner of local TV stations, is launching the American Sports Network, which will cover college sports. Sinclair will put the content on its TV stations. Ultimately, this is about Sinclair looking to make its stations more valuable to pay-TV distributors that carry them, which will mean more money in carriage fees. Details on the network from the Baltimore Sun, which is where Sinclair is based.
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