Morning Consult Entertainment: NBCUniversal and Google Reportedly in the Running to Help Netflix Develop Ad-Supported Tier


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June 23, 2022
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Top Stories

  • Both NBCUniversal and Google are top candidates to help Netflix Inc. develop its ad-supported streaming tier, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an NBCUniversal partnership would likely be exclusive but could spark issues over revenue sharing. The streaming service has reportedly also explored partnerships with ad-tech companies such as The Trade Desk to manage demand from advertisers, though a Netflix representative said that the company is “still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported option and no decisions have been made.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Judge Eric M. Davis of Delaware Superior Court ruled that Fox News parent Fox Corp. can be included in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against the cable channel, saying it was reasonable to conclude that Fox Corp. “participated in the creation and publication of Fox News’s defamatory statements.” Dominion is seeking at least $1.6 billion in damages after Fox News hosts and guests alleged that the company was participating in election fraud in 2020, though Fox News has denied that the on-air comments were defamatory. (The New York Times)
  • LeBron James’ SpringHill Co. is partnering with Interpublic Group in a joint venture that seeks to pair the advertising giant’s clients with creators of color, a move that IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky said will help the company’s efforts to “elevate voices that need to be heard and help our clients connect with new creative perspectives and purpose-driven projects.” Though financial terms were not disclosed, SpringHill President Devin Johnson said his company is still free to work with advertisers and agencies outside of IPG, though it is prohibited from forming a similar partnership with an IPG rival. (Variety)

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What Else You Need to Know


CAA Amplify’s In-Person Summit Returns: “A Place to Build Community, Reconnect and Recharge”

Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter

After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, CAA’s in-person Amplify Summit is back.


James Rado, Co-Creator of the Musical ‘Hair,’ Is Dead at 90

Barry Singer, The New York Times

James Rado, who jolted Broadway into the Age of Aquarius as a co-creator of “Hair,” the show, billed as an “American tribal love-rock musical,” that transfigured musical theater tradition with radical ’60s iconoclasm and rock ’n’ roll, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 90.


Steve Fickinger, Tony-Winning ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Producer, Dies at 62

Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter

Steve Fickinger, who received a Tony Award for producing the blockbuster musical Dear Evan Hansen after helping bring Newsies and The Lion King to Broadway as a Disney executive, has died. He was 62.


NBCU’s Jeff Shell Keeps Cards Close To Chest On Rumoured Netflix Ad Deal, Talks Up Apple News Partnership – Cannes Lions

Caroline Frost, Deadline

If there is any blossoming romance between Netflix and NBCUniversal amid speculation the former is looking for an ad sales partner, the latter’s CEO Jeff Shell wasn’t spilling the beans Wednesday when he sat down for a discussion at the Cannes Lions event.


‘Titanic’: Remastered Version Set For Theatrical Release In Time For Valentine’s Day 2023

Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of James Cameron’s Titanic, the multiple Oscar winner and box office phenomenon has been set for a fresh theatrical release just in time for Valentine’s Day next year. A remastered version will be available in cinemas in 3D 4K HDR and high-frame rate with Disney releasing internationally beginning February 10, 2023, Deadline has confirmed.


Nia Vardalos Announces ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3’ Is Filming Now in Greece

Carson Burton, Variety

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” has started filming in Athens, Greece. The franchise’s writer and star Nia Vardalos made the announcement on her  Instagram page, and she also revealed that she is directing this third installment.


‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ Dashes Past $400M Global Box Office Milestone

Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline

Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has crossed the $400M threshold at the global box office, including $190.6M from domestic and $209.5M internationally through Tuesday. It is currently the No. 8 film worldwide in 2022 and is likely to jump up a few notches as it still has Japan and Hong Kong to release.


Oscars org adds Marlee Matlin, Jason Reitman to board

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

Actor Marlee Matlin, director Jason Reitman and producer Jason Blum are joining the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Europe’s Theatrical Window Standoff Gives Studios Pause Over Strategy

Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter

After two years of pandemic upheaval, one of the biggest debates in the movie industry appears to be settled. 


‘I have no desire to be on TV again’: Maury Povich, king of daytime, takes a bow

Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times

Inside a studio in Stamford, Conn., a man and a woman were at each other’s throats. Tashima and her live-in boyfriend, Darnell, were battling after he accused her of infidelity during their three-year relationship, including sleeping with the mailman.


FCC Looks for Post-Nielsen Directory Market Metric

John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC is gearing up to find another way to determine a TV station’s local market for must-carry and other purposes. The move comes after decades of using Nielsen’s TV Station Index directory as its local market regulatory bible of sorts.

Technology and New Media

Jan. 6 Insurrection Documentary With Access To Trump Lands At Discovery+
Michael Schneider, Variety

Discovery+ has revealed that it is the streaming service that has secured the rights to “Unprecedented,” the three-part documentary series from filmmaker Alex Holder that will feature video of Donald Trump, his family and staffers during the final weeks of the 2020 election — including his actions, presumably as he attemped to subvert democracy and engineer a coup to maintain his grip on power.


Geoff Keighley isn’t worried about E3 making a comeback

Ash Parrish, The Verge

Geoff Keighley isn’t sure what E3 is anymore. Even before COVID forced the cancellation of the in-person version of the giant video game commercial masquerading as an industry trade show three years running now, the event was already a pale, big-three-publisher-less imitation of its former self.


Activision Blizzard Shareholders Vote To Require Video Game Firm To Publish Annual Report On Its Efforts To Curb Workplace Abuse

Dade Hayes, Deadline

Shareholders of video game giant Activision Blizzard have voted in favor of a plan for an annual report on the company’s efforts to curb workplace abuse and harassment.


Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper to Step Down Next Year

Anne Steele, The Wall Street Journal

Warner Music Group Corp. Chief Executive Steve Cooper will exit the company next year, the music company’s longest-running CEO told employees in an email.


Ed Sheeran Awarded Over $1.1 Million in Legal Fees in ‘Shape of You’ Copyright Case

Emily Zelmer, Rolling Stone

The two artists who sued Ed Sheeran for copyright infringement over “Shape of You” have been ordered to pay the pop star over $1.1 million in legal fees, Billboard reports. 


Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Morgan Wallen & More Among ACM Special Award Honorees

Jessica Nicholson, Billboard

The 15th annual Academy of Country Music Honors ceremony will return to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, Aug. 24, and will honor Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Morgan Wallen, Shania Twain and more.


Does Beyonce’s new summer song channel the ‘Great Resignation’?

Sharon Kimathi, Reuters

American pop star Beyonce Knowles-Carter has surprised fans with an early release of her single ‘Break My Soul’ from upcoming album ‘Renaissance’, setting social media ablaze with song lyrics that some say tap into rising worker anger at conditions.

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