The Morning Fix: Big media worry FCC is overreaching on conditions for Comcast-NBC deal. Some 'Desperate Housewives' desperate for raises. 'Green Hornet' hopes to sting `Dilemma.'
After the coffee. Before wondering why I have to get sick on a Friday.
The Skinny: Got knocked out by a fever last night so if the material isn't 100%, that's why. Hope all you Golden Globe folks have a fun weekend. While media watchdogs are worried that proposed conditions on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger don't go far enough, some rival media giants fear they could go too far. Wait, big media looking out for one another, stop the presses!
Not so fast. Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. are nervous that conditions that the Federal Communications Commission wants to put on Comcast's proposed acquisition of NBC Universal could stifle innovation in online video distribution. The main concern is that the world of online video is still relatively new and big media companies are worried that the FCC's efforts to put conditions on Comcast to ensure it doesn't behave in anti-competitive fashion could have unintended consequences on everyone. More from the Wall Street Journal. On Friday, News Corp. also acknowledged in a public filing that it too had concerns with the conditions.
Will "Green Hornet" have some sting? The first three-day weekend of 2011 will see Sony's "The Green Hornet" square off against Universal's "The Dilemma." For some reason, I'm reminded of the scene in "Airplane" when Leslie Nielsen's character asks what the passengers on the ill-fated flight had eaten. Told it was a choice of chicken or fish, he replies, "Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna." Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times.
Looking for an upgrade. Some of the cast of ABC's long-running prime time soap "Desperate Housewives" are looking for a pay raise. Bloomberg reports that Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria are all playing hard ball in contract talks. Costar Teri Hatcher has already signed a deal. Usually, these disputes get worked out, but one never knows and if the cost of the show outweighs the benefits, perhaps ABC would walk away.
Keep it in the family. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is in talks to buy Shine Group, a production company owned by his daughter Elisabeth, according to the Telegraph. Shine also owns Reveille, producer of "The Office."
It's party time! The Golden Globes are this Sunday. Man, remember when that was just a little show that no one paid attention to? Well, Variety looks at the economics of the big parties that are being tossed, many of which include sponsorships. I'm still leaning towards staying in.
Speaking of the Globes. Just days before the Golden Globes, a former publicist has filed a suit against the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which puts the awards program together, making all sorts of nasty charges about people buying influence. Details from the Wrap.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Ryan Kavanaugh appears to have fallen short in his efforts to get the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize his producer's credit on "The Fighter." That means if the movie should win a best picture trophy, he'll have to stay in his seat. Video game sales were down for the second year in a row.
-- Joe Flint
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