After the coffee. Before deciding whether to pick the Jets or Patriots.
The Skinny: I love the Saul Goodman character on “Breaking Bad,” but anytime I hear the words “spinoff,” “prequel” or “sequel,” I get very nervous as visions of “Joey” start flashing through my head. We’ve got a busy Morning Fix for you today as Warner Bros. is back in business with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Also, NBC has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to profits.
Daily Dose: Since putting its shows on Netflix, Cartoon Network has seen its ratings take a hit. The same thing has happened in the past with Nickelodeon and Disney. “There can no longer be any debate – putting kids’ content on SVOD [subscription video on demand] hurts ratings for kids’ linear networks,” said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger. So the question is whether the money Netflix pays for content is worth it. Juenger says no because consumers will be encouraged to go to Netflix instead of Cartoon Network and the next step after that is cutting the cord. “The consumer value of the pay-tv bundle erodes, jeopardizing the entire ecosystem,” he warned.
Playing catch-up. NBC has a lot work to do. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke told analysts Wednesday that the Peacock Network lags behind its rivals ABC, CBS and Fox when it comes to profitability. The two reasons are that NBC collects far less in retransmission consent fees from pay-TV distributors, and its weaker ratings means it has to charge less for commercials. Burke expressed optimism about the upcoming television season and NBC’s ability to increase its take from distributors down the road. The Los Angeles Times on NBC’s woes.
They’re off to see the wizards. Warner Bros. and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling are teaming up on new movies inspired by Potter’s Hogwart’s textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Rowling will write the screenplay for the first movie, which is a first for her. For Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara, forming a new agreement with Rowling is a huge coup as the “Harry Potter” franchise was huge for the studio. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Paying the price. Time Warner Cable Chief Operating Officer Rob Marcus said the pay-TV distributor lost subscribers after it stopped carrying CBS channels in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas as the result of a contract dispute. Marcus declined to say how many subscribers dropped the operator for a competitor. The distribution fight between the two companies was resolved last week. More from Reuters and the Los Angeles Times.
Better call Saul. “Breaking Bad” fans have something to cheer about. While the AMC drama may be ending its run in a few weeks, plans for a new show featuring sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman are moving forward, Sony, which makes “Breaking Bad,” said. The show will be a prequel to “Breaking Bad” and show Saul’s character in action before Walter White entered his life. Let’s hope “Better Call Saul” isn’t another “After M*A*S*H” or “Joey.” Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
Out of tune. Several big record labels including Sony and Universal have sued SiriusXM, charging that the satellite radio operator has violated copyright law. At issue are older songs SiriusXM has played that the labels charge SiriusXM has not paid copyright fees to use. If successful, the suit could also be bad news to Internet music services. Details from the New York Times.
Parting ways. Normally we steer clear of publishing news but we’ll make an exception in the case of Tina Brown, who is exiting as editor of the Daily Beast, which is owned by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActive Corp. The exit of Brown, who said she was starting a new live event venture, puts a cloud over the future of the Daily Beast. Details from BuzzFeed and the Wall Street Journal.
Inside the Los Angles Times: Mary McNamara on the new Netflix series “Derek” starring Ricky Gervais.
Follow me on Twitter. It’s going to be a long day and I’ll need a lift. @JBFlint.