Google wins game that already played out

June 24, 2010

Google’s victory in the closely-watched lawsuit launched by Viacom alleging the Internet giant let users upload copyrighted videos including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to YouTube represents a win in a game that played out long ago.

Hizzoner Roasts Murdoch

April 27, 2010

Rupert MurdochLast night, The Wall Street Journal held a party at Gotham Hall for a slew of  media, advertisers, bigwigs (Barry Diller, the cast of In the Heights!) to introduce Greater New York, a souped up metro section that debuted on Monday. Perhaps you have heard of it.

Viacom digs up more YouTube documents for court case

April 15, 2010

EricSchmidt1Viacom’s ongoing legal fisticuffs with Google over alleged piracy on YouTube rages on. The MTV and Nickelodeon owner on Thursday put out nine additional exhibits in addition to the hundreds of pages that were  put out last month including transcripted deposition from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.  Viacom, which extended CEO Philippe Dauman’s contract today, said the exhibits “make clear one of our core claims in the case: that Google made a deliberate, calculated business decision not only to profit from copyright infringement, but also to use the threat of copyright infringement to try to coerce rights owners like Viacom into licensing their content on Google’s terms.”

Happy Monday, Sumner Redstone

March 29, 2010

It was a very pleasant start to the week for Sumner Redstone’s Viacom, owner of  BET, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Paramount movie studio. A flattering Barron’s story, analyst upgrades… What more can a media company want these days?

Viacom: Don’t look to us for major dealmaking

December 7, 2009

After Comcast-NBC Universal, investment bankers are clearly drooling at the thought of some big money wheeling and dealing in the media business. Probably best not to count too heavily on Viacom being a player.

Time Warner Cable ready to fight high program costs

November 25, 2009

Time Warner Cable, the normally placid No.2 U.S. cable operator, is getting ready for a fight with its programming partners at the cable networks and broadcasters over rising affiliate fees. In truth, TWC has always been ready for a fight with the programmers. This time, it wants to make the first move and get its 14 million subscribers behind it.

Media, tech moguls meet in New York (You are NOT invited)

November 3, 2009

Media and technology executives are meeting Wednesday and Thursday in New York City at a conference hosted by private equity firm Quadrangle. Note the word private.

Media merger mania? Viacom’s Dauman doesn’t see it either

October 20, 2009

Just about everyone who covers media is talking about whether a potential Comcast-GE deal for NBC Universal will kick off a round of consolidation in media.******One executive — one very smart executive — who doesn’t think we’re in for a tidal wave of mergers is Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. (Word is Dauman earned a perfect score on the SAT — at the age of 13). After a speech at Executives’ Club of Chicago on Tuesday, we asked Dauman about consolidation.******”As far as we’re concerned, we ‘re focused on growing our brands, growing our business. We have tremendous brands with a lot of room for growth both in the U.S. and internationally. It’s a big opportunity for us.******”We’ve been involved involved in a lot of consolidation in our corporate history. The record of success in media consolidation has not been all that great for the most part so for ourselves we think the better strategy is to grow organically.”******But what does Dauman think about about the rest of the industry? To that question, he noted that “all of us in the traditional media business have seen the pitfalls” of big mergers, but Comcast may decide to chase a deal because of its unique circumstances. He didn’t elaborate, but we all know that Comcast has longed for more content for quite some time. The structure of the deal reportedly under consideration may work in Comcast’s favor since it doesn’t have to issue any equity.******Dauman isn’t the only smart guy in the media industry of course. Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes made similar though slightly more cutting comments about the prospect of the Comcast-NBC deal last week and about what it said about success of previous big media mergers.******Dauman was more diplomatic.******”There’s a unique set of circumstances here that won’t necessarily in and of itself trigger a wave of other activity,” Dauman said.

from Commentaries:

Gut feeling: How Google CEO valued YouTube deal

October 7, 2009

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, sits for an interview at the Newseum in Washington on Oct. 2, 2009Let the second-guessing, the mock horror, the disbelief, the crowing begin.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has acknowledged he realized upfront that he was overpaying to acquire YouTube, to the tune of $1 billion, judged by any conventional measures.

Is Comcast on the prowl for Big Media ?

August 17, 2009

Comcast made a bold $54 billion bid for Walt Disney Co. in 2004. It failed — but there are those who wonder today if the cable provider might be considering a play for another media giant.