After the coffee. Before seeing if I can get instant replay for my life.
The Skinny: As if you couldn’t tell, I’m a little bit old school. That means I’m not exactly thrilled that baseball is now going to fully embrace instant replay. Human error and mistakes are part of life. Plus baseball is already too long. Friday’s headlines include the distribution deal in the works between Viacom and Sony and the weekend box office preview.
Daily Dose: It is now two weeks since CBS-owned TV stations went dark on Time Warner Cable systems. While the two companies say they are talking, there doesn’t seem to be much progress. On the other hand, the rhetoric between CBS and Time Warner Cable seems to have cooled down. Either that or we’ve just gotten used to it. At this rate, CBS seems determined to wait until the NFL season is starting, which is when it figures to have the most leverage to squeeze Time Warner Cable for maximum dollars. As we say in the business, stay tuned.
Are you down with OTT? Viacom, parent of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is wrapping up a deal to offer its programming on the Internet-distributed programming service that Sony Corp. has been quietly developing. This is significant because Viacom becomes the first major programmer to agree to sell its networks to a so-called over the top service (OTT). Sony and Intel are racing to launch new OTT video programming distributors. Cable operators have expressed concern about their potential rivals and are doing what they can to make acquiring programming a challenge for the newcomers. More on the Sony - Viacom talks and OTT from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
A “Kick-Ass” weekend. “Kick-Ass 2,” the sequel to the surprise 2010 hit, will battle “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” at the box office this weekend. Both are expected to open in the $20 million to $25 million range. Also opening is the Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs,” but unlike a new iPhone it doesn’t seem like anyone will be lining up early for this. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Play ball. Saturday, Fox will launch Fox Sports 1, a national cable channel, with a NASCAR race and later a big UFC fight. We’ve linked to several preview stories this past week on Fox Sports and its efforts to enter an arena long dominated by ESPN and here is another one, this time from the New York Times.
He shoots, he scores! Ken Howard, still probably best known for his role on the classic CBS series “The White Shadow,” was reelected president of SAG-AFTRA, the entertainment industry’s biggest union. He beat Esai Morales, who I still remember as the heavy in the Sean Penn movie “Bad Boys.” Now that I’ve shown my age, here are recaps of the race from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
Growing pains. The Wrap looks at public radio station KPCC-FM Los Angeles, which has said goodbye to some longtime personalities as it seeks to broaden its audience to better reflect the region. It is also trying to balance being a radio station and a digital platform.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
Follow me on Twitter. It’ll make you feel special. @JBFlint.