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Jan 16, 2015

For NBC chief, ‘critical mass’ of accusers ended Cosby’s TV show

PASADENA, California (Reuters) – NBC canceled plans for a new television show with Bill Cosby because the number of women accusing the comedian of sexual assault reached a level that tainted the project, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said on Friday.

Greenblatt, speaking at a Television Critics Association meeting, said it was “safe to say” NBC would never pursue a future show with the comedian, who starred in the network’s hit 1980s family sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

Jan 16, 2015

Dish reaches deal that brings back Fox news, business channels

LOS ANGELES, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The Fox News and Fox
Business channels returned on Thursday to satellite TV provider
Dish Network Corp’s lineup after both sides agreed to a
multiyear deal.

The channels owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century
Fox Inc had been blacked out for Dish’s 14 million
customers since Dec. 21 when the companies failed to agree on a
new contract.

Jan 15, 2015

Theaters clamor for Oscar contenders ‘Budapest,’ ‘Birdman’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – What impact does an Oscar nomination have on a film’s prospects at the box office? Look no further than “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a movie released 10 months ago that generated a flurry of phone calls from theater owners to studio Fox Searchlight on Thursday morning.

Wes Anderson’s quirky comedy scored nine Academy Award nods on Thursday, including best picture, raising new interest in a film that for months has been available on DVD and digital formats.

Jan 13, 2015

Amazon lures Woody Allen to write, direct new TV series

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Director Woody Allen will make his first foray onto the small screen, writing and directing an online series for Amazon.com, the latest coup by deep-pocketed cable and streaming companies in luring the biggest names in film to television.

The Internet retailer rolled out the news of Allen’s series on Tuesday, two days after winning its first major awards at the Golden Globes following years of experimentation with streaming original programming.

Jan 11, 2015

Liam Neeson wins U.S. box office again with ‘Taken 3′

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian filmgoers turned out for a third time to see Liam Neeson in his action movie franchise “Taken,” which led box office charts over the weekend with $40.4 million in ticket sales.

Civil rights film “Selma” finished in second place with $11.2 million from Friday through Sunday as the awards contender expanded to more theaters.

Jan 9, 2015

Pay TV revamps clunky guides in battle with Internet services

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – U.S. cable and satellite TV providers are rolling out new services to solve a problem that drives customers crazy – which channel is HBO? And how do I find the latest episode of “The Walking Dead?”

Faced with competition from Internet upstarts with graphical guides that are relatively painless to use, traditional media companies are adding voice control to remotes, cutting the number of buttons, and reducing clutter from screens.

Jan 8, 2015

Media embracing digital TV with strings attached

NEW YORK/LAS VEGAS Jan 8 (Reuters) – Media companies that
are starting to allow their programs onto Internet-delivered TV
and mobile devices are putting limits on digital rights as a
safety hatch if problems arise with the new distribution
systems, executives say.

The debate over digital rights that determine how and when
content is consumed is adding a new layer of complexity to
negotiations between media companies and distributors, leading
to drawn-out wrangling and programming blackouts in some cases.

Jan 7, 2015

Off to the races! Disney park runs mix fitness, fantasy

ANAHEIM, California, Jan 7 (Reuters) – At 5 a.m. on a
Sunday, thousands of people stream down Disneyland Drive dressed
in a mix of running gear, homemade costumes and face paint as
Captain America, Thor or The Hulk.

It’s the first Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, a
13.1-mile contest that is part of an expanding slate of sold-out
races at Walt Disney’s theme parks in California and
Florida.

Jan 5, 2015

Dish unveils Sling TV video streaming service

Jan 5 (Reuters) – Dish Network Corp on Monday took
the wraps off its long-anticipated video streaming service,
named Sling TV, targeted to younger consumers who shun pricey
cable and satellite subscriptions.

The $20 a month service, the first from a distributor, will
be available through Internet-connected devices such as Amazon
Fire TV, Roku and Google Nexus Player for TVs, tablets,
computers and smartphones. It will include television
programming and sports events from Walt Disney’s ABC,
ESPN and Maker Studios, Time Warner’s TNT, CNN, TBS,
Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and Food Network, HGTV and
Travel Channel.

Dec 31, 2014

Sony’s ‘Interview’ lands on pay TV and in 580 theaters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Pictures Entertainment added more viewing options for its provocative comedy “The Interview,” making the film available through U.S. pay television operators and nearly doubling the number of independent theaters that will show the movie.

The film, blamed for triggering a massive cyberattack on Sony’s movie studio, will also be sold through Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s digital on-demand service, Vudu, and on Sony’s PlayStation Network, Sony said in a statement on Wednesday.