The Morning Fix: AEG swings Axs! Obama pops in. DC Comics revamp.
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to get the brakes fixed today or wait until Friday.
The Skinny: I put up with a yapping dog and screaming kids on my flight from Dulles to LAX on Monday. Sometime down the road I'll share my idea for a "family-friendly" airline. Tuesday's headlines include AEG's attempt to take on Ticketmaster, DC Comics' attempt at a makeover and President Obama's pop-in on a top media executive.
Got tickets? AEG, the concert promotion giant that's also looking to bring NFL football back to Los Angeles, now wants to take on Live Nation's dominant Ticketmaster. The service, dubbed Axs (no, it's not being done in partnership with the popular body spray), will be in full swing by the end of 2012. Seminal punk band Social Distortion -- "I Was Wrong" and "Ball and Chain" are two of my favorites -- will be one of the first bands to have their tickets sold by Axs. More on AEG's big move from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. I tried to find an article on the AEG's Axs from the websites of Billboard and Rolling Stone and sadly struck out.
Backhand. Cablevision, one of the nation's biggest cable operators, is in another fight with the Tennis Channel. At issue is how the channel is sold to consumers. The Tennis Channel wants the largest distribution possible (duh), while Cablevision prefers to offer it on a less-distributed tier and notes that all the big upcoming matches at the U.S. Open are on ESPN2 and CBS. I just watched a segment on HBO's "Real Sports" about the lack of top U.S. tennis players and my free PR advice to the Tennis Channel is to start playing up the patriotism angle. Does Cablevision have something against America? Do they not want to inspire kids to take back a sport the U.S. once dominated? Outrageous! More on the spat from the New York Times.
Play ball! After going through several directors and lots of extra innings, the film "Moneyball" about colorful Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, is making its way to the big screen next month. New York Magazine looks at what it took to get "Moneyball" completed and whether it will rise out of the second division.
Hyperbole much? A couple of analysts at Needham & Co. have downgraded News Corp. stock because the company is the subject of a "witch hunt" and has "powerful enemies." "Witch hunt" is an interesting term to use for a probe into the media giant's phone hacking habits and whether it also engaged in improper relations with law enforcement officials. Details on the report from Forbes.
Let's not make a deal. Studios and networks are finding a new revenue stream selling old shows to Netflix. But why are they so reluctant to sell new shows? Part of the reason, of course, is to protect the traditional rerun windows. But the other factor is the relationship between networks and the multichannel video programming distributors they are trying to squeeze for dollars in return for content. Analysis from Variety.
Not too Christian. ABC's upcoming drama "Good Christian Belles," which used to be called "Good Christian" you-know-whats and may end up being known just as "GCB" (can you invent an acronym for a term no one uses?), doesn't sound too Christian. Darren Star, who was the driving force in getting the pilot made and picked up, is clashing with the other producers on the show, according to Deadline Hollywood. I've seen the pilot, and someone needs to tell Star and the rest of the producers that Dallas, where the show is set, is actually a fairly cosmopolitan city and not everyone there talks with deep Southern accents. Oh well, why let stereotypes get in the way of television?
Get out the good silverware. President Obama popped in on Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts at the cable king's Martha Vineyard home. Maybe they discussed the White House cable bill. Former News Corp. President Peter Chernin is a neighbor of Roberts' up there. Wonder if he just happened to pop in to borrow some milk. Details from TV Newser.
He's mad as hell. Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers is not too happy at the summer movie season and he lets Hollywood know in this amusing video. There's something about his rant though that reminds me of the infamous Chris Crocker "Leave Britney Alone" YouTube video, which I won't link to because it's filled with F-bombs.
-- Joe Flint
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