May 6, 2015
8:23 am

TV’s Hold on Live Sports Faces New Threat (Washington Post)

Live sports, which has been a stronghold for traditional television even as online streaming and on-demand viewing gain market penetration, is facing a serious threat from new technology. The Washington Post reports that new live-streaming apps including Periscope and Meerkat put TV’s “golden egg” at risk.

“Just hold a smartphone up to a television to record and stream what’s airing, and suddenly piracy is easier than ever,” the article reports. “That stunning recognition arrived this past weekend when droves of boxing fans skipped the $100 pay-per-view fee and watched the much-anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao free Saturday evening.

The report adds: “Dozens of live streams of the fight were available through Periscope, and even though the app shut down 30 illegal streams, users gloated about their ability to watch.”

While media companies say their bottom line has yet to be damaged, some observers have voiced concerns.

Jesse Redniss, a co-founder of the media consulting firm BraveVentures, is quoted in the piece saying: “This is a breaking-of-the-dam moment because everyone has massively powerful computers in their hands that can shoot HD-quality video and live stream it to thousands of people simultaneously. There are major rights implications, and Periscope is treading over very thin ice because they have the ability to police the streams.”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read the Post’s in-depth report.

periscope tv-logo

May 6, 2015
7:52 am

Jamie Foxx Explains His ‘Off-Script’ National Anthem (Access Hollywood)

After being ridiculed for his performance of the National Anthem before the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, Jamie Foxx offered an explanation. The actor and singer, who won an Oscar in 2005 for playing Ray Charles in “Ray,” told Access Hollywood that the fiasco can be blamed on his earpiece.

Foxx is quoted in his interview with Billy Bush saying: “We had a little bit of a situation with our ear pieces. The [ear] pack actually dropped off, so I couldn’t, you know … I can’t hear what’s playing. So I just had to go on my own. Hopefully they understand.”

Foxx added: “I think a little bit was just people wanted to have something to talk about. But everything’s cool.” He also joked that he would be putting the National Anthem on his next album.

Here’s a clip of Foxx’s performance:

May 6, 2015
6:37 am

Sports Emmy Awards Announced — We Have the Complete List of Winners (TVWeek)

NBC had a big night as the Sports Emmys were awarded Tuesday night, leading all networks with nine trophies for the broadcast net, while the NBC group — including NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA and — took home 17 Emmys to lead the way in that category. The awards were presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The ESPN group — including ESPN, ESPN 2, ABC, ESPN Deportes and ESPNews — was close behind in the group standings with 15 trophies, including six for ESPN (second among individual networks) and five for ESPN 2 (third).

The NBC group’s coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games led all individual programs with seven Sports Emmys, followed by “Fox Sports Live” with four and the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and Univision with three, while ESPN 2′s “E: 60″ also took home three Emmys. HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” won two awards, for outstanding sports journalism and outstanding sports news anthology.

In some of the other top categories, ESPN won the Emmy for outstanding studio show — weekly, for “College GameDay,” and MLB Network won outstanding studio show — daily, for “MLB Tonight.” NBC took the award for outstanding live sports special for Super Bowl XLIX, and Fox and Fox Sports 1 received the Emmy for outstanding live sports series for “NASCAR on FOX.”

Please click here for the full list of Sports Emmy winners.


May 6, 2015
5:57 am

Scientific Study Determines That the Impact of the Beatles and Stones Has Been Eclipsed by … (Spoiler Alert) — If You’re Old School, You May Not Want to Find Out; Otherwise, Read On … (NY Times)

A new scientific study that included a computer analysis of 17,000 songs determined that the impact of the 1964 British invasion led by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been eclipsed by the impact of hip-hop, The New York Times reports.

“The unusual study found three revolutions on the charts: the 1991 emergence of rap and hip-hop on mainstream charts; the synth-led new wave movement of 1983, and the advent of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who and other British rockers in the early 1960s,” The Times reports.

The article adds: “Although the Beatles — paced by the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney — enjoy perhaps the highest place in critics’ esteem, the researchers found the hip-hop movement — from pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa to megastars like Jay-Z — more profound.”

The researchers wrote called the advent of rap, hip-hop and related genres “the single most important event that has shaped the musical structure of the American charts in the period we studied.”

The study, released today by the University of London and Imperial College, found that the early British rock bands, who were strongly influenced by U.S. pioneers such as Chuck Berry, were following existing trends.

meet the beatles-album cover

May 5, 2015
1:11 pm

Lee Daniels Confirms Return of Key Cast Member to ‘Empire’ (Inside Edition)

“Empire” executive producer Lee Daniels has confirmed that a cast member on the Fox drama will be back for the show’s second season. Inside Edition reports that Daniels said he’s bringing back supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Campbell made an impact in a recurring role in season one as fashion designer Camilla Marks.

The publication put the question to Daniels when he and Campbell showed up together Monday at the Met Gala.

The publication reports that Daniels “exclusively revealed to Inside Edition that he is, indeed, bringing Campbell back on ‘Empire’ next season. ‘Yes.’ [Turning to Campbell] ‘I said you were!’ Campbell expressed surprise at hearing the news confirmed. ‘I didn’t know! I didn’t know if I was on! That is exclusive!’ she said.”


May 5, 2015
1:01 pm

Miley Cyrus Enlists Veteran Rocker to Launch Happy Hippie Foundation (LA Times)

Miley Cyrus joined forces with a veteran rock star to kick off Cyrus’ new charity initiative the Happy Hippie Foundation. The Los Angeles Times reports that Cyrus and Joan Jett recorded a live video of Jett’s song “Different” as part of Cyrus’ ongoing Backyard Sessions to generate publicity for the charity.

The foundation’s goal is “rallying young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.”

The Times notes: “Cyrus has participated in other LGBT charity campaigns over the past few years, notably the the NOH8 campaign and her appearance at last year’s MTV VMAs, when she sent a formerly homeless 18-year-old boy to accept her award for ‘Wrecking Ball.’”

happy hippie foundation-logo

May 5, 2015
12:44 pm

Chairman of National Cable & Telecommunications Association Hates the Name ‘Cable’ (B&C)

The chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association revealed today that he hates the name “cable” — and explained why.

B&C reports that Michael Powell, in an appearance at the Internet & Television Expo in Chicago — INTX 2015 — hinted that it’s time to retire the name.

In a Q&A with Re/Code’s Kara Swisher, Powell said: “I hate the name. I do think it has a proud history but I think it has to be retired in some way because I think your past can be a part of your glory but it also can be a weight around your ankle. And it also doesn’t fairly capture what they do.”

Powell’s comment came in response to a jab by Swisher at the name, with the interviewer likening the subject to talking about a “motorized horse.”

The cable name, Powell hinted, does not reflect what the industry has accomplished with the buildout of broadband.

“He said that the digital business was making exponential leaps, with the audience passionate about community and friends, and to have ‘real life be entertainment,’” the B&C report notes.

Swisher added: “What is competing with traditional television is real life, the ability to document, share, and propagate that.” She observed that the industry finds itself in a place where “people are not linking to cable, are not having a relationship with cable in any way, have bad feelings toward it or don’t even use it.”

The conversation touched on a wide range of topics — please click on the link near the top of this story to read B&C’s full report.


May 5, 2015
12:17 pm

TV One and Verizon Reach Long-Term Distribution Agreement (TVWeek)

TV One and Verizon today announced that the companies have entered into a multi-year distribution agreement. The renewal means Verizon “will continue to deliver content from TV One and introduce the launch of the network’s HD Channel,” the announcement notes.

The release adds: “As part of the agreement, Verizon subscribers will continue to receive a robust offering of programming including award-winning original series such as ‘Unsung’ and ‘Unsung Hollywood,’ popular reality series ‘R&B Divas LA’ and ‘Hollywood Divas,’ exclusive original specials such as the prestigious NAACP Image Awards, monthly original movies, and via News One Now, the only live daily news program targeting Black viewers.”

Said Michelle L. Rice, executive vice president of Content Distribution and Marketing for TV One: “TV One delivers a high-quality product that is valued and sought after by viewers resulting in continued ratings and distribution growth of the network. The extension of our agreement is a testament to Verizon’s support of our partnership and commitment to the audience we serve. We are excited to continue our partnership with Verizon in serving this highly desired audience with our diverse content offering and pleased to enhance the viewing experience with the addition of a HD feed.”

TVOne-TV One-logo

May 5, 2015
9:31 am

Disney in Battle With Theater Operators (WSJ)

A blockbuster movie is at the center of a dispute between the Walt Disney Co. and movie theater operators. The Wall Street Journal reports that a battle is going on behind the scenes of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

“The head of the trade group representing the theaters told Walt Disney Studios he had received ‘an avalanche of complaints, concerns and fears’ from members after the movie studio imposed new conditions on theaters that wanted to show the ‘Avengers’ sequel, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the publication reports.

The new conditions reportedly include stipulations about “when cinemas can offer matinee discounts or alternate showings of ‘Avengers’ with other movies on the same screen; and new payment rules that the National Association of Theatre Owners said could over the long term raise prices for everyone,” WSJ reports.

The article adds: “Following the outcry from theaters, the studio is altering its approach on some issues, including the matinee cutoff and suggested payment limitations. The studio had outlined the requirements in its standard licensing agreement, which says how exhibitors can show a film but can be modified on a theater-by-theater basis.”

The new movie reportedly opened to $191.3 million in ticket sales over the weekend in the United States and Canada, second only to the original “Avengers” movie.

With the success of films including “Frozen” and “Cinderella,” and with new “Star Wars” movies on the horizon, Disney wields considerable power in the marketplace, the report notes.

avengers age of ultron-poster

May 5, 2015
9:17 am

Commentator: ‘Fight of the Century’ Undermined by Pacquiao’s ‘Stupid Decision’ (USA Today)

In the aftermath of what was billed as the “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao — which by almost all accounts was a disappointment in terms of its entertainment value — much of the focus is on what went wrong.

One commentator, Mike Foss, writing for USA Today, pins the blame squarely on Pacquiao, noting: “It was revealed Monday that Pacquiao will undergo surgery to fix what is being reported as a ‘significant tear’ in his rotator cuff. According to Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, the injury was sustained in early April.”

Foss doesn’t give any slack to Pacquiao for what the fighter’s fans might consider a legitimate excuse for a poor performance.

“This is worse than simply underperforming,” Foss writes. “This is stupidity incarnate, and truly confirms that this fight was only about the money.”

Foss adds: “The Pacquiao of old would have put the fight on hold and allowed himself the nine months it would have taken to heal from surgery. That’s what a fighter with a desire to win would have done. That’s what any competitor would have done. But by fighting anyway, Pacquiao made the decision to take the loss and the money now.”

Please click on the link near the top of the story to read the rest of the Foss commentary.


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