Morning Fix: AT&T buys DirecTV! ‘Godzilla’ is an unstoppable force.
After the coffee. Before having to cover yet another merger.
The Skinny: So much for a relaxing weekend recovering from upfronts and New York City. Instead I spent Saturday and Sunday writing about AT&T buying DirecTV. I have a hunch I’ll be doing that again today. Besides that nearly $50-billion deal, other stories in today’s report include the weekend box-office recap and the decision by OWN and St. Louis Rams prospect Michael Sam to bail on a “documentary” about the gay football player’s possible ascension to the NFL.
Daily Dose: The AT&T-DirecTV deal (see below) won’t mean much for Dodgers fans. Like DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse has also refused to cut a deal to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodgers-owned pay-TV channel that Time Warner Cable is distributing. All this deal does is reduce by one the number of phone calls Time Warner Cable has to make.
Bigger must be better. Telecommunications giant AT&T announced Sunday that it is acquiring satellite broadcaster DirecTV in a stock-and-cash deal valued at about $48.5 billion. For DirecTV, pairing with AT&T will give it the ability to seamlessly offer customers broadband and phone along with TV. For AT&T, getting DirecTV makes it a huge player in the pay-TV game. For consumer activists and media watchdogs, it’s other big deal that will hurt consumers. News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Destroying everything in its path. “Godzilla” came out smoking last weekend, taking in over $93 million, making it the second-biggest opening this year behind “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” “Godzilla” had more than enough juice to strike out “Million Dollar Arm,” the family movie starring Jon Hamm as a sports agent looking for a star pitcher in India. It took in just $10.5 million. Weekend box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
Americans make a splash at Cannes. There’s a lot of red, white and blue at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Not only is there an abundance of American movies competing for top prizes, but some of the foreign films feature American actors in prominent roles. This is the result “an interesting wave of American directors and financing players, as well as European filmmakers increasingly likely to look across borders for both casting and language choices,” says the Los Angeles Times.
Is variety the spice of life. NBC will try its hand at an old fashioned variety/sketch program when it debuts “The Maya Rudolph Show” on Monday night. Once a staple of network TV, variety shows have gone the way of hard news in the morning. Can NBC recapture the glory of “Sonny & Cher,” or will it just be “Pink Lady and Jeff”? Variety has a preview.
Flagged for unnecessary self-promotion. OWN, the cable network co-owned by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, pulled the plug on a “documentary” about Michael Sam, the openly gay football player who was drafted by the St. Louis Rams two weeks ago. (On a side note, it’s been 20 years since they moved and I still started to type Los Angeles Rams). The proposed show was criticized by sports columnists who saw it as the exact opposite of what Sam has said he wants to be, which is just like every other player. Two of the best takes on why this was a bad idea came from ESPN and Variety.
Follow me on Twitter. I’m there even when you’re not. @JBFlint.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.