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05 января, 19:00

Netflix faces crunch year as Disney, Apple and more vie for streaming crown

Streaming service could lose up to 16 million subscribers to rivals, says analystNetflix is this year facing its sternest challenge since it embarked on the path to global streaming dominance, with a prediction it could lose 16 million subscribers to cash-rich rivals led by Disney.This year marks the start of a worldwide streaming battle, with the biggest threat to Netflix posed by Disney, which backed the US launch of its Disney + service in November last year with the debut of the $100m Star Wars spin-off TV series, The Mandalorian, seen as the biggest threat to the dominance of Netflix. Disney+, which has received a wave of free global publicity Thanks to the Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda sensation, amassed 10 million subscriptions on its first day. Analysts say Disney +, which launches in the UK and Europe on 31 March, is set to put the global brakes on the relentless growth of Netflix. Continue reading...

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02 декабря 2019, 15:07

ET go home: why Spielberg’s alien shouldn’t be flogging wifi

‘The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits,’ say bosses, as they casually destroy your childhood memories to sell a cable TV and internet subscriptionIn 1978, Steven Spielberg was aghast to find that footage from his debut film, Duel, had been reused in an episode of the television series The Incredible Hulk. The experience led him to insist on a contractual clause preventing other film-makers from cannibalising his work. “I’d hate to see the mothership from Close Encounters end up on Laverne & Shirley five years from now,” he said.But it appears he has given his blessing for one of his most beloved characters to sell cable, internet and phone services. A new, four-minute advertisement for Comcast Xfinity brings ET, the main character of Spielberg’s 1982 masterpiece ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, back to Earth for a reunion with Elliot, his friend and protector from that movie. The original actor, Henry Thomas, has returned to play Elliot, and to give his stamp of approval to the project. Continue reading...

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29 октября 2019, 13:46

Comcast лоббирует запрет на шифрование DNS

Иллюстрация из статьи zhovner «Google Public DNS тихо включил поддержку DNS over TLS» Mozilla и Google продолжают продвигать протокол шифрования DoH. Его уже внедрили в ранние альфы Firefox и Chrome. Шифрование DNS-запросов поддерживают Google Public DNS, Cloudflare DNS и другие резолверы. Шифрование DNS-трафика с невозможностью слежки «человеком в середине», составлять и продавать профили пользователей — сильный удар по интернет-провайдерам, которые занимаются всем перечисленным. В отдельных странах это не понравится правоохранительным органам, которые затрудняют гражданам доступ к определённым ресурсам в интернете (например, в России заблокированы «Луркоморье», «Рутрекер» и 289 955 других ресурсов). Протокол DoH практически сводит на нет усилия властей. Своё недовольство уже высказали провайдеры Великобритании, которые назвали Mozilla «главным злодеем интернета» якобы за подрыв системы блокировки сайтов с детской порнографией. На этой неделе стало известно о закулисной борьбе в коридорах законодательной власти США, где компании могут лоббировать свои интересы и легально «подкупать» депутатов. Читать дальше →

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13 июля 2019, 18:00

The Netflix cash machine needs the kind of hits that money can’t buy

It is worth $166bn and has 150m users. But as it loses the rights to other networks’ best shows, it must create its own classicsNetflix is a multibillion-dollar programming machine in dire need of homemade hits – and it can no longer rely on Friends for help. Last week the streaming giant announced it would be bidding farewell to the perennially popular comedy from its US service at the end of the year, as it was confirmed that WarnerMedia would now offer it exclusively on its rival service, HBO Max, when it launches in 2020. Friends is the most watched show on Netflix, but traditional media companies are no longer willing to supply a commercial phenomenon that has upended their own business models. Continue reading...

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05 ноября 2018, 09:01

Sky faces tough Disney content talks as it leaves the FTSE 100

Comcast must now renegotiate contracts with the firm it beat to buy Murdoch’s platform Sky leaves the FTSE 100 this week with its new owner facing the threat of Disney, which narrowly missed out on acquiring the pay-TV group, playing hardball over deals to screen its content, which include the Star Wars films and hits from the Marvel universe.Some of Sky’s key TV and film contracts could be at risk after US pay-TV giant Comcast triumphed over Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox – now owned by Disney – in a high-stakes auction. Continue reading...

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12 октября 2018, 18:59

Sky chief executive receives £37m after Comcast takeover

Bumper pay day for Jeremy Darroch after bidding war with Murdoch’s Fox boosted shares Sky’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, has been handed a near-£40m bonanza following Comcast’s £30bn takeover of the satellite broadcaster.The windfall will see Darroch pay a monster tax bill estimated to be about £14m – which is more than the total UK tax paid by Amazon (£4.5m), Facebook (£7.4m) and Netflix (received a £174,000 rebate) combined last year. Continue reading...

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26 сентября 2018, 18:57

Rupert Murdoch's Sky reign to end as Fox sells all shares to Comcast

US media firm issues final knockout £30bn bid in battle for control of Sky TVRupert Murdoch’s three-decade reign at Sky TV is to end after his company 21st Century Fox announced it would sell all of its shares in the British broadcaster to the US media firm Comcast.The two companies had been locked in a bidding war for the satellite TV and broadband business, which culminated when Comcast tabled a knockout bid valuing the company at £30bn in a high-stakes auction on Saturday night. Continue reading...

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26 сентября 2018, 14:32

Сделка на $38 млрд и ее последствия: как Comcast и Disney с помощью инвестиций борются с Amazon и Netflix

Изображение: Mike Mozart | CC BY 2.0 Американский телекоммуникационный конгломерат Comcast победил в аукционе на покупку телекоммуникационной компании Sky plc за $38 млрд. Конкурентом Comcast выступила принадлежащая Disney компания 21st Century Fox Inc. Акционеры Comcast совсем не рады этой победе. Многие из них считают, что стратегия инвестиций компании затруднит ей борьбу с главной угрозой – Amazon и Netflix. Читать дальше →

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23 сентября 2018, 20:23

As Comcast takes control of Sky, Murdoch could yet bounce back

Mogul’s influence on worldwide news is unlikely to be weakened by latest defeatRupert Murdoch’s dream of taking full control of Sky dissolved on Saturday night as he was outbid by the US firm Comcast. But anyone celebrating a setback for the mogul should be warned. The most divisive figure in Britain’s media may still have the last laugh.Murdoch’s abrasive and headline-grabbing era in charge of Sky came to an end in a high-stakes auction. There was no head-to-head face-off across a boardroom table: it was a simple email that sealed the future of Sky after a bruising battle between Fox and Comcast. Continue reading...

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23 сентября 2018, 18:59

Comcast's £30bn bid for Sky: what does it mean?

What sort of business is Comcast, what will happen to Sky News and will Sky customers be affected?Traditional media companies are increasingly concerned about the threat from tech and streaming video companies such as Netflix. Sky is a very profitable business, with 23m customers across Europe and produces its own content. Opportunities to buy such a business are increasingly rare, helping to drive up the price to an extraordinary £30bn. There is also an element of revenge: Comcast lost out to Disney in the battle for the entertainment assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox but has now outbid its rival, albeit at a high price. Continue reading...

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22 сентября 2018, 23:06

Comcast outbids Rupert Murdoch’s Fox to win control of Sky

US cable giant wins auction with offer of £30bn, ending years of Murdoch controlRupert Murdoch’s control of Sky is likely to end after three decades after his 21st Century Fox company was outbid by US rival Comcast, which offered £30bn to take full control of the British-based broadcaster in a high-stakes auction.The announcement on Saturday that Comcast has emerged on top was made after both companies submitted blind bids in a highly unusual process overseen by the Takeover Panel following a two-year bidding process. Comcast bid at £17.28 per share, substantially more than Fox’s £15.67 offer. Continue reading...

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20 сентября 2018, 21:15

Bets are off in 21st Century Fox and Comcast showdown for Sky

Broadcasters set to do battle in unusual auction – but which company will show their hand first?Fancy bidding for Sky? Get yourself down to Paternoster Square, just behind St Paul’s Cathedral, on Saturday. The auctioneer promises to get the process wrapped up by the evening so, with a bit of luck, you’ll be home in time to watch the Anthony Joshua fight on your newly acquired TV station.That’s not wholly accurate, of course. For starters, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, who have been slugging it out for months, will be the only bidders allowed in the auction. And, disappointingly, the Takeover Panel will not require Rupert Murdoch from Fox and Brian Roberts from Comcast to turn up in person at its office to catch the auctioneer’s eye. Instead, investment bankers will relay offers via secure phone lines. But it’s a real auction with real deadlines. Three rounds maximum. Cash only. Best price wins, assuming Sky’s board and shareholders then give a thumbs-up, which is highly likely. Continue reading...

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20 сентября 2018, 13:00

Sky takeover battle must go to auction, orders regulator

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and rival Comcast must table new bids this weekend in rare auctionBritish broadcaster Sky will be auctioned off this Saturday in a dramatic end to a two-year £26bn takeover battle that has pitted Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox against the US media giant Comcast.The Takeover Panel, which regulates bids for British listed companies, has ordered a rare auction that will allow Fox and Comcast to make new bids for the broadcaster. Both companies have made already offers for Sky but so far neither has declared it will not go higher, prompting the highly unusual showdown. A statement on the final bids is expected on Saturday evening, with the eventual winner due to be confirmed by 7am next Monday before the markets open. Continue reading...

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05 августа 2018, 16:50

Rupert Murdoch must make £26bn-plus Sky bid to thwart Comcast

21st Century Fox has until the end of Thursday in battle for control of pay-TV broadcasterRupert Murdoch must table a new £26bn-plus offer for Sky this week or see rival Comcast become the new owner of Europe’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster.Under UK takeover rules, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has until the end of Thursday to table a new bid to take control of the 61% of Sky he does not already own. Continue reading...

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29 июля 2018, 17:00

'It's really not the Murdochs': Thick of It's Jesse Armstrong on his new show about a media dynasty

The screenwriter skewered political spin doctors: now his new show targets media’s ultimate players: America’s rich and powerful TV barons. ‘Comedy has to be part of how you portray these people,’ he saysAn ageing and cantankerous media billionaire is living in New York with his third wife, surrounded by a brood of children and hangers-on who spend their time squabbling over who will inherit the family conglomerate. Desperate to win the favour of their foul-mouthed father, the offspring spend their time taking over online startups and arriving at family gatherings in helicopters – anything they can think of to impress the mogul.So far, so familiar. But Jesse Armstrong would like to make it absolutely clear that Succession, the writer’s new big-budget drama series, is definitely not about a certain Australian-born media magnate. “It’s not bullshit to say it really isn’t the Murdochs,” says Armstrong, who previously wrote an unproduced film script about Rupert Murdoch and his family. Continue reading...

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26 июля 2018, 20:20

Sky posts forecast-beating annual results as bidding war rages on

Profits rise of 7.6% underlines why broadcaster is target of Comcast and 21st Century FoxSky posted a forecast-beating rise in annual profits on Thursday, as its chief executive said the results underlined why the company is at the centre of a £26bn bidding war between Comcast and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.Sky comfortably beat City expectations with pre-tax profits up 7.6% to £864m in the year to the end of June and revenues rising 5% to £13.6bn. Continue reading...

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20 июля 2018, 13:01

Royal Mail faces revolt over boss's pay – but the board is free to do nothing | Nils Pratley

Rico Back’s package is lavish, but far from the City’s worst. Blame the advisory voting systemOrna Ni-Chionna, head of remuneration at Royal Mail, is “very disappointed” that 70% of voting shareholders think her pay report should be filed in the bin, along with the junk mail. The company will reflect “very carefully” on their views. Then it will consult with them, again “very closely”. Then it won’t change a thing.The last part wasn’t spelled out, naturally, but it’s how the plot usually works when the resolution in front of shareholders is purely advisory. Even when two-thirds of investors are unhappy, the board is free to do nothing. The system is silly. Continue reading...

15 июля 2018, 09:00

Trump’s trade war makes political sense to his base. Rivals must beware

China may have underestimated the president’s determination, and the global fallout from any US ‘victory’ will come laterWhen Donald Trump’s chief trade adviser went to Beijing in May with proposals to open up China’s vast domestic market to American goods – and thereby reduce a ballooning trade deficit with China – the mission was declared a failure.Before Robert Lighthizer set off, the veteran rightwing economist told Congress: “It is not my objective to change the Chinese system. It seems to work for them … But I have to be in a position where the US can deal with it, where the US isn’t the victim of it. And that’s where our role is.” Continue reading...

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12 июля 2018, 18:42

Sky's independent directors should learn valuation is art, not science | Nils Pratley

Rupert Murdoch versus Comcast battle shows board rolled over too cheaply previouslyCan it be only 19 months since outside shareholders in Sky were supposed to be grateful for a bid from the Murdochs at £10.75 a share? It is. In December 2016, the independent directors, led by Martin Gilbert, declared they had given “full consideration to the fundamental value and prospects” for Sky and, while they remained supremely confident in those prospects, £10.75 in cash was too good to miss.Offers at almost 40% above the previous week’s share price don’t come along often, ran their argument. And, hey, with 21st Century Fox sitting on a 39% stake, Rupert could have cut up rough by offering a 20% premium in an attempt to crawl to a position of majority control. Continue reading...

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12 июля 2018, 13:48

Rupert Murdoch wins government clearance for Sky takeover

21st Century Fox gets go-ahead to buy the 61% of the business it does not already own The government has finally given Rupert Murdoch clearance to take over Sky as the media mogul mulls a £26bn-plus bid to try to see off rival Comcast.The new culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, has given Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox the green light to buy the 61% of Sky he does not already own after a final consultation on plans to make him sell Sky News to reduce his control of UK news media. Continue reading...