The Morning Fix: Malone causing mayhem. FX snags 'New Moon.' BMW ready for its close-up!
After the coffee. Before shopping for the yams and cranberries.
Mayhem from Malone. Cable mogul John Malone continues to speak out about Comcast's efforts to take over General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal. In an interview with CNBC, Malone said he thought NBC's affiliates might line up against the deal out of fear that NBC would drop them and create channels with Comcast. Of course, that kind of talk about the deal being bad for the future of broadcast TV is exactly what will make regulators nervous. Malone, whose spent a career battling broadcasters and regulators, seems to have another agenda at play here along the lines of, how much trouble can he cause Comcast and NBC and what can he get out of it. Details from Broadcasting and Cable and another look at the irony in Malone's actions from the Los Angeles Times.
"New Moon" over FX. Cable channel FX has snagged the rights to Summit Entertainment's smash "New Moon." It's the second week in a row that the News Corp.-owned network has bought the rights to the No. 1 movie as last week it acquired Sony's "2012." Although "2012" makes sense for FX, one wonders how a movie aimed primarily at women and girls fits in with a cable network whose original programming is aimed directly at men ("Rescue Me," "Sons of Anarchy," "The League."). Details on the deal from the Hollywood Reporter.
Vivendi likes Canal Plus. While it continues to haggle with General Electric Co. over the value of its 20% stake in NBC Universal, French conglomerate Vivendi has bought more of France's pay-TV giant Canal Plus, according to PaidContent.
BMW drives back into Hollywood. BMW, which once made a big bet on Hollywood by launching a new model in a James Bond movie, has signed up with marketing giant Propaganda Gem with an aim of boosting its image on screen. Variety reports that, as of late, BMW has become the car of choice for bad guys while the good guys cruise around in an Audi or a Mercedes.
The future looks like the past. Advertisers are making a big bet on Internet television shows, or webisodes, as they are known in industry jargon. New York Times advertising ace Stuart Elliott explains how this is reminiscent of the old days of television when advertisers had a much more prominent role in the making of TV shows.
Black Friday forecast. Video games and television sets will be hot this holiday season, which officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. The Wall Street Journal says households are expected to spend about 7% less than usual, but the cuts will come in the clothes department.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: "New Moon" box office keeps rising. Dan Neil on National Geographic Channel's new image campaign. "Avatar" star Zoe Saldana promises the James Cameron movie will be "big." Well, if you say so, Zoe.
-- Joe Flint