Morning Fix: FCC not happy with Dodgers TV situation. Hollywood to keep film alive.
After the coffee. Before hoping there’s no new Dodgers news today.
The Skinny: The Dodgers are keeping me very busy these days. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Better to be a reporter with news to write about than one trying to figure out what to do. Today’s roundup includes the latest Dodgers news. Also, some big studios are close to a deal with Kodak to keep the ability to make some movies with actual film.
Daily Dose: Can’t help but wonder if the fact that so many Dodgers fans can’t see Vin Scully call games this season played any part in the legendary announcer’s decision to stick around for one more year. Only Time Warner Cable is offering the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA as other distributors have not signed deals to carry the channel (see below). The situation seems unlikely to resolve itself this season but next year anticipation is that if Comcast is successful in acquiring Time Warner Cable it will move quickly to resolve the dispute.
The umpire is mad. Federal Communications Commissioner Tom Wheeler sent a scathing letter to Time Warner Chief Executive Rob Marcus on Tuesday about the cable company’s inability to get distribution deals done for SportsNet LA, the new TV home of the Dodgers. Time Warner Cable has the rights to distribute the Dodgers-owned channel but so far has not been able to persuade any of the other big L.A.-area pay-TV companies to strike deals for the channel. Wheeler becomes the latest D.C. big shot to go after Time Warner Cable over the situation which has left many fans without access to the team. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Old school. Hollywood isn’t ready to completely close the door on shooting with film. Although most TV shows and movies are now shot with digital video, some high-powered directors have persuaded the big studios to keep using film for some movies in the years ahead. Several studios, including Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount, are near a deal with Eastman Kodak to keep film alive, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Blast from the past. Former Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Dick Parsons thinks the bid for the entertainment giant by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will need to be sweetened. Parsons, who has his hands full running the Los Angeles Clippers until new owner Steve Ballmer takes over, told Bloomberg that “the price offered is way off the mark and the form of currency is way off the mark.” Parsons said he thought Time Warner would be better off remaining independent.
Tough quarter. DreamWorks Animation lost $15.4 million in the second quarter in large part because of the disappointing performance of “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” The company also said the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing a write-down that the animation production company took on the movie “Turbo.” More on DreamWorks Animation from the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.
Last take. ESPN has suspended “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith for controversial remarks about domestic violence he made while discussing the NFL’s suspension of running back Ray Rice for a physical altercation with his then girlfriend (now wife). Smith suggested provocation by women should also be looked at when discussing domestic violence. It was not the first time Smith went down that road but it was the first time he got called out on it. More on Smith’s remarks and the blow back from the New York Times and Variety.
Follow me on Twitter. Like Vin Scully, I’ll keep working. @JBFlint.
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