After the coffee. Before again trying to shake this cough.
The Skinny: Got my power steering fixed. Nice not to have to feel like I did 50 push-ups after driving my car. Now I just have to get my health back! Wednesday’s roundup includes Verizon’s deal to buy Intel’s online video unit and a look at all the deal-making at Sundance. Also, Ellen DeGeneres gets her show distributed in China.
Daily Dose: The Weather Channel isn’t making much headway in its efforts to get back on satellite broadcaster DirecTV. Now the network wants DirecTV to waive its pricey cancellation fees so people who miss the Weather Channel can drop the service and sign on with rival pay-TV company that carries it. DirecTV doesn’t seem to be taking the request or this whole contract dispute too seriously. Here’s the latest.
Omaha! Is the NFL calling an audible on its own network? That is certainly one way to look at the league’s push to take games from the NFL Network and sell them to one of their TV partners. If the league follows through with plans to create a new Thursday package, it could ultimately undercut the value of its own channel that it spent a decade building up. But for the NFL, building a bigger Thursday package (and developing a new revenue stream) is a priority that overshadows its own asset. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times.
Over the top! Intel couldn’t make a real go of its plans to launch an online video service, so it is selling its OnCue unit to Verizon. The challenge for over-the-top services has been trying to get networks to sign on. But Verizon is already a pay-TV player with its FiOS service, so it might have a better shot than Intel did. More on Verizon’s deal from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon, which already has an online video service called Prime Instant, wants to also carry pay-TV channels to potentially compete with cable and satellite. However, Amazon denied it had such plans in the works.
Hope she has a passport. Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has finally done something Oprah Winfrey didn’t do first. She’s getting her show on in China. Warner Bros., which produces and distributes “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” has struck a deal with Sohu Video, an online service that will carry episodes of the show just two days after they have aired here. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.
Wide release is a stretch. Universal Pictures is bailing on the movie “Stretch” from low-budget producer Jason Blum, who has been on something of a hot streak as of late and the subject of numerous glowing profiles. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Universal has decided that “Stretch,” a comedy-thriller that was supposed to hit the big screen in March, won’t deliver the goods. “Universal executives concluded it would be unwise to spend the $20 million to $40 million that it would take to release Stretch theatrically,” the article said.
Taking his ball and going home. Director Quentin Tarantino is so mad that a new script of his was leaked after he shared it with a handful of actors that he has decided to shelve plans to make the movie for now. Tarantino tells Deadline Hollywood that he thinks Creative Artists Agency, which represented an actor who got the script, was behind the leak (which led to lots of calls from agents looking for parts for their clients). CAA denied that. Tarantino said he’ll publish the script and then maybe make a movie of it in several years.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the wheeling and dealing that goes on at Sundance.
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