The Morning Fix: Hulu off block. Netflix makes CW rich.
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After the coffee. Before deciding between seeing the ‘Footloose’ remake or having a colonoscopy.
The Skinny: Looking forward to a weekend of football and baseball. In Friday’s headlines, Hulu isn’t for sale anymore, the CW has struck a deal to sell its shows to Netflix and Friday night is becoming a dumping ground for the broadcast networks.
Off the table. The media giants that own Hulu including Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. have decided not to sell the popular online video site. In a statement, the parent companies said Hulu ‘holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners.’ Translation: We couldn’t get the price we wanted. I was somewhat jaded about the prospects of a Hulu sale all along. Unless the content was coming with it for a long time -- more than two years -- what would the appeal be to a new owner? Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
Streaming ‘Gossip Girl.’ The CW Network has long had a problem. Its shows -- serialized dramas aimed at teens and young adults -- typically don’t make big bucks in reruns, which means the producers who make said shows don’t make money. Enter Netflix with its streaming service and a big checkbook. Netflix is buying rerun rights to CW shows including ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Gossip Girl.’ While a billion-dollar price tag has been floated, it is impossible to determine how much Netflix will cough up until the agreement ends, as it is based on how well the CW does and could end up being worth much less. Details from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Variety.
‘Footloose’ or a lobotomy? Sorry if I seem down on the remake of ‘Footloose.’ It’s just that having walked out on the original when I was just a young lad (even then I could take having my intelligence insulted for only so long), I don’t quite get who was screaming out for a remake. Nonetheless, the box office experts think it could take in $20 million and be at the top of the box office this weekend. Just please tell me ‘Let’s Hear It for the Boy’ isn’t in the soundtrack. Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
No TGIF on TV. Saturday night has been a wasteland of reruns for broadcast TV for years and now Friday may be next. The New York Times looks at the network’s struggle to find shows that work on Friday and asks whether it may ultimately join Saturday as a home for repeats. Just to show that the challenges of programming Friday are nothing new, here’s a story I wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 2006 about how the broadcast networks were trying to revitalize the night.
Get in the ring. HBO Sports has finally filled the void left by the abrupt exit of Ross Greenburg last summer. He’ll be replaced by Ken Hershman, head of sports for rival Showtime. Hershman has been given credit for boosting Showtime’s boxing presence, including the wooing of Manny Pacquiao away from HBO. The story from Broadcasting & Cable and ESPN.
Stay away from my kid. Teachers picketed the scheduled appearance of News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch at an education conference in San Francisco. Murdoch is supposed to speak Friday at the National Summit on Education Reform. While Murdoch is under attack for News Corp.'s phone hacking activities abroad that led to the closing of its News of the World tabloid, the protests are about the media giant’s push into the education business, which they see as being more about making money than helping kids. Really? I’m shocked at that cynicism. More from the Associated Press.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on ‘Footloose.’
-- Joe Flint
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