The Morning Fix: Amazon wants to battle Netflix. Time Warner has strong finish. Rupert’s latest big bet.
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After the coffee. Before hoping against hope that Warner Bros. doesn’t ruin ‘Fletch.’
The Skinny: Are you reading this or looking at Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper? Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt. It’s all about new media today. Amazon wants to take on Netflix while Comcast strikes a multi-platform deal with Time Warner.
Rupert’s latest gamble. Wednesday marks the debut of News Corp.'s Daily, a digital newspaper designed specifically for Apple’s iPad. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has been very intrigued with the iPad and thinks it could be the platform in which a pay model for news content can be built. The challenge will be convincing consumers -- who have been spoiled by the decision of most news organizations to throw their content online for free -- to shell out some cash. One has to think ultimately all news services will have to figure out a pay model for the web or ... well let’s not go there. Analysis of News Corp.'s latest adventure from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the New York Times is apparently working on its own digital paper, but theirs is driven by social media sites such as Twitter. Users would get stories based on people they follow on social networks. More on that from TechCrunch.
Closing the year with a bang. Time Warner Inc., parent of Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting and HBO, released its fourth-quarter results Wednesday morning and said its net income jumped 22% to $769 million and revenue improved by 8.3% to $7.81 billion. The media giant cited strong advertising at TNT and TBS as a key driver. On the movie side, film revenue was up almost 10% to $3.64 billion, but profit fell about 2% because of weaker DVD sales and promotional costs associated with the latest Harry Potter movie. Time Warner also boosted its stock buyback authorization to $5 billion. More on the results from Bloomberg.
Amazon’s coming! Lookout Netflix, looks like Amazon wants to get into your business and launch an online movie service. The Los Angeles Times reported that Amazon has been meeting with studios and independent producers looking for deals for product. Netflix, which has more than 20 million subscribers, has become the envy of other online video distributors and a stone in the shoe of media companies such as Time Warner’s HBO. More on Amazon’s plans from Variety.
Every Mistake Imaginable. That’s an old nickname for EMI, the music label that Citigroup on Tuesday struck a deal to take control of the company, which has been challenged by a heavy debt load. The Wall Street Journal says Citigroup will now try to find a buyer for EMI, which still has a big catalogue that includes the Beatles and the Beastie Boys as well as Frank Sinatra.
Comcast and Time Warner make nice. Comcast Corp. struck a wide-ranging deal with Time Warner Inc. for carriage of the media giant’s various cable networks including TBS and TNT across multiple platforms. The deal is indicative of how big media wants to make sure that their business models are protected as content migrates to the Web. Recaps and analysis from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
Cape takes fall. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that NBC has cut the order of its ambitious mid-season show ‘The Cape’ to 10 episodes. The show started out with decent -- for NBC -- ratings, but since then the show has taken a dip. In the meantime, ‘Harry’s Law’ continues to defy logic and bring in OK numbers although the demographics are similar to what ‘Andy Griffith’ reruns get on TV Land.
Kennedys find home. ‘The Kennedys,’ the miniseries that History Network’s owners wimped out on airing after getting pressure from the guardians of the legacy of Camelot, will be shown on ReelzChannel, which is a channel that you never watch. More on the deal from the Hollywood Reporter.
-- Joe Flint
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