The Morning Fix: Disney and Starz sue Dish! Time Warner revenue up, profit down. Charlie Sheen misses Emmy deadline.
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After the coffee. Before something that will surely annoy me.
The Skinny: I hate earnings season. Just wanted to get that out in the open in case anyone was wondering. This morning Time Warner reports and this afternoon News Corp. gets its numbers out. Elsewhere, don’t look for Charlie Sheen to win at this year’s Emmy Awards.
Time Warner shoots and scores. Media giant Time Warner Inc., parent of Turner Broadcasting cable channels TNT, TBS, Tru TV as well as HBO and magazine company Time Inc., released its first-quarter results, with net income falling to $651 million from $725 million for the same quarter a year ago. The dip was attributed to rights fees tied to Turner’s new deal for the NCAA basketball tournament and a less-than-stellar quarter at Warner Bros. Though the NCAA is costly, it also helped Turner, which had a strong quarter thanks to strong advertising demand for its coverage of the basketball tournament. Early coverage from Bloomberg and Reuters. Separately, Time Warner’s Warner Bros. announced it is buying Flixster, the online company whose holdings include Rotten Tomatoes, a popular movie-review site.
Go it alone. Should HBO go away from Time Warner and become its own stand-alone company? That’s what prominent media analyst Rich Greenfield is arguing. Forbes takes a look at Greenfield’s proposal to spin off the pay-TV channel, which generates $4 billion in revenue and $1.4 billion in profits for Time Warner.
Scott’s turn. The second worst-kept secret in media circles after Katie Couric’s plans to leave CBS was that ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Scott Pelley would be tapped to succeed her. On Tuesday, CBS made it official. Pelley will try -- as Couric did -- to rejuvenate a third-place newscast at a time when the majority of viewers are getting their news elsewhere. He’ll probably do it for a lot less money too. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal.
Can’t we get along? Netflix, the entertainment company that keeps everyone in the cable industry up all night, wants to be friends. ‘We’re small enough that we don’t want to incite World War II or World War III with the incumbents,’ Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said at a Wired magazine conference.
Oh, it’s on! Earlier this year, satellite broadcaster Dish Network started giving away the pay-TV channel Starz free to all of its 14 million subscribers. That didn’t sit too well with Starz, and on Tuesday the Liberty Media-owned network sued Dish saying the giveaway had violated their contract. Walt Disney Co., which is one of the biggest suppliers of movies to Starz, also sued Dish, claiming the value of its movies were being damaged by the yearlong promotional offering. Although Dish isn’t saying why it decided to give Starz away, people familiar with the matter said it is because Starz has a deal with Netflix, which Dish sees as a competitor. The details from the Los Angeles Times.
Not winning. It appears that Charlie Sheen will not be in the running for the best actor in a comedy Emmy Award. TVLine, a TV industry website, says Sheen missed the deadline to submit himself for an award. Too bad, because if he won, that would be the most-watched speech in Emmy history. In the meantime, the new issue of Vanity Fair has a lengthy story about the Sheen debacle.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Scott Collins looks at which TV shows are on the bubble.
-- Joe Flint
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