Morning Media Newsfeed: Netflix Ups Global Expansion | Turner, CBS Prep for Dish Blackout

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Netflix to Expand to Australia, New Zealand (THR)
Netflix is continuing its march worldwide, unveiling plans on Tuesday to expand to Australia and New Zealand. The streaming service said that it will expand to those countries in March 2015. Variety Pricing for a subscription to Netflix in the countries will be announced “at a later date.” In a press release, Netflix said the Australia and New Zealand collection will include upcoming original series Marco Polo, animated BoJack Horseman and kids titles including DreamWorks Animation’s All Hail King Julien. Movies and TV shows will be available in high definition and in 4K where possible. GigaOM The launch will bring the number of countries Netflix is available in to more than 50 and the announcement is not unexpected: Netflix CFO David Wells said earlier this month that the company plans a “sizeable expansion” for 2015 and Netflix has reportedly been preparing to enter Australia by hiring local agencies for a launch campaign. WSJ He said over the next three to five years, Netflix believes it is possible to generate 50 percent of its revenues from countries outside the U.S., up from about 28 percent now. Assuming that Netflix signs up 10 percent of broadband households outside the U.S., Wells says, it is possible for the company to have about 50 million to 60 million non-U.S. subscribers or even more. The company had 14.4 million international paying customers at the end of the third quarter, compared with 36.3 million U.S. customers. Deadline The initiative positions Netflix for an interesting fight: Only about 30 percent of Australian households subscribe to pay TV, far less than in the U.S. and even less than in the U.K., where about half subscribe. Australia’s leading distributor, Foxtel, expected to see some competition from streaming services and recently halved the price of its basic service.

Turner Girds for Dec. 5 Dish Blackout of TNT, TBS (Variety)
Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting stepped up its publicity campaign in its ongoing rights battle with Dish Network, alerting viewers of the possible loss of TNT and TBS on the satellite-broadcast service as soon as early December. Deadline Turner quietly noted on a website Tuesday that the satellite company’s 14 million subscribers soon might lose TNT and TBS — a contrast to CBS, which just issued a noisy call-to-arms to its fans who might see network-owned stations go dark on Dish as early as Thursday. Turner says that it also plans spots on TNT and TBS, online ads, a social media campaign, and billboards in Atlanta. Dish hasn’t aired Turner’s other networks, including CNN, since late October. THR Meanwhile, CBS is accusing Dish Network of “deliberately dragging its feet for months” instead of striking a new carriage deal, and the network says that the provider of satellite TV services pays “considerably more money to much lesser-watched cable networks that what CBS is asking.” Dish’s current distribution deal with the 14 TV stations that CBS owns ends on Thursday and CBS has been warning customers in those markets that its programming could be interrupted absent a new arrangement. Variety The root cause of the bickering remains unclear, but such talks would typically encompass not only broadcast rights but also digital retransmission and broadband streaming. Dish is planning to launch an over-the-top Internet TV service before the end of 2014, having signed pacts with Disney/ESPN, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive.

Uber CEO Apologizes for Executive’s Controversial Comments (PRNewser)
If you were waiting for Uber chief Travis Kalanick to apologize for Monday night’s BuzzFeed reveal, his statement arrived Tuesday afternoon in the form of 14 tweets. FishbowlNY An Uber executive, Emil Michael, speaking at a dinner, told an audience that included journalists that in order to defend itself from critical reporters, the company could look into “your personal lives, your families,” BuzzFeed reported Monday. Through a spokesperson, Michael has already made an apology. Mashable Tuesday, Kalanick tweeted the following, which include an apology to Sarah Lacy, the founder and editor-in-chief of Pando Daily, whom Michael named as the possible target of a multi-million-dollar smear campaign: “Emil’s comments at the recent dinner party were terrible and do not represent the company.” The comments from Michael have also spurred others to come forward with concerns about Uber’s privacy policies and its treatment of journalists. THR Kalanick did not fire the senior vice president of business, despite calls for his ousting on Twitter. Instead, Kalanick said that he believes “that folks who make mistakes can learn from them — myself included. And that also goes for Emil.”

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Facebook Launches FB Techwire (AllFacebook)
Members of the media who cover the technology sector have a new resource, compliments of Facebook, as the social network announced the launch of FB Techwire, which is powered by social content discovery and verification provider Storyful. GigaOM Described as a “resource for technology journalists,” the new offering appears to be a shot across the bow of Techmeme, the popular technology-news aggregator run by Gabe Rivera and his editorial team. Mashable Techwire will share newsworthy content from tech influencers on Facebook — including embeddable photos, videos and status updates that journalists can use for their own content. Storyful, which News Corp. purchased for $25 million in December, verifies such posts for accuracy. The launch comes seven months after the introduction of FB Newswire.

In Shakeup, Time Inc. Names New Publisher of InStyle (Ad Age)
InStyle magazine has hired Wall Street Journal executive Nina Lawrence to serve as its publisher. She succeeds Karin Tracy, InStyle’s publisher since May 2013. A Time Inc. staffer said the company chose Lawrence due to her “impressive” digital background. WWD / Memo Pad At the Journal, she served as vice president of global marketing and advertising sales. There she oversaw 100 staffers and led the newspaper’s in-house native advertising agency, WSJ Custom Studios. Prior to a two-year stint at the Journal, Lawrence spent 15 years at Condé Nast. Her most recent post there was as W’s vice president and publisher, a role she held from 2005 to 2012. FishbowlNY Meanwhile, in another Time Inc. succession, the company Tuesday announced the new executive editor of People StyleWatch — Beth Heitman.

Sony Targets Stronger Entertainment Revenue Growth to Help Restructuring (Re/code / Reuters)
Sony Corp. aims to lift its movie entertainment revenues by more than a third in the next three years, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as the loss-making consumer electronics firm tries to counter flagging smartphones sales. Deadline Sony’s U.S.-traded shares touched a 52-week high Tuesday morning after CEO Kazuo Hirai reiterated his support for the entertainment business. He unveiled ambitious new revenue and profit targets — along with additional cost cutting — for the fiscal year ending March 2018. Variety Hirai forecast that revenue at Sony Pictures Entertainment would be in the $10 billion to $11 billion range by 2017-18 fiscal year. That compares with $8.1 billion expected for the current full-year fiscal period ending March 2015. Hirai said that top-line growth would be achieved by the TV network business, program production and focus on blockbuster movies. He said margins would also improve and that film-related costs would be reduced by $300 million.

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Netflix Shelves Bill Cosby Special, NBC Series Next? (Deadline)
With the controversy surrounding Bill Cosby showing no signs of subsiding as more women come forward with rape allegations, Netflix has scrapped plans to premiere the Cosby comedy special it had scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving. BBC News Netflix’s announcement came shortly after Tuesday’s airing of an interview with model and TV host Janice Dickinson, who claimed Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982.

FNC’s MediaBuzz Delivers Highest-Rated Program Since Launch (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel’s MediaBuzz with Howie Kurtz delivered its highest-rated program since its debut, with 1.3 million total viewers on Sunday. MediaBuzz was also the No. 1 cable news program in the demo for the day, according to Nielsen. FishbowlDC Among the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, MediaBuzz had nearly double the viewership of CNN and MSNBC combined for the 11 a.m. ET hour, according to Nielsen. The show launched last September and has since increased its viewership by 53 percent.

Evening News Ratings: Week of Nov. 10 (TVNewser)
Last week all three network broadcasts grew in both total viewers and the demo from the prior week. NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams holds first place in viewers and was up 3 percent compared to the same week last year, but down 5 percent in the adults 25-54 demo. Deadline ABC’s World News Tonight is having best start to the season in 19 years in the news demo, winning seven of eight weeks of the season to date in the age bracket. That said, last week’s edge over NBC’s newscast (2.283 million vs. 2.270 million) was 13,000 viewers — Tonight’s second smallest lead over Nightly since ABC’s news began regularly taking the demo back in early July.

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NYT Relaunches Real Estate App (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has revamped its iOS Real Estate app for the first time since 2007. Capital New York Paul Smurl, who serves as general manager for core digital products, said that the new app incorporates search and personalization functionality made available in the latest versions of iOS software.

HLN Partners With Tech News Website The Daily Dot (TVNewser)
HLN is partnering with tech news website The Daily Dot for weekly co-branded segments. On-air segments kick-off Monday, Dec. 1 on HLN Now (noon-5 p.m. ET) and will also be shared across the Daily Dot sites. The first series, “Next Sex,” features Daily Dot’s EJ Dickson.

Time Inc. Makes Exclusive Deal With Outbrain (FishbowlNY)
Time Inc has struck a deal to make Outbrain the exclusive provider of the recommended stories that appear on Time Inc. sites. Outbrain is a “content discovery platform,” which means it gets paid by media companies to have their links placed below stories on a wide variety of websites.

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NRCC Denies Sharing Campaign Info With PACs on Twitter (Mediaite)
The National Republican Congressional Committee vehemently denied knowing anything about Twitter accounts that appeared to publish internal polling data, which CNN reported was intended for outside groups looking to spend money on midterm election ads.

Disney Animation, Pixar Get Their Own Presidents (THR)
Pixar and Disney Animation Studios are getting their own presidents. Andrew Millstein will fill the newly created position at Disney Animation Studios, where he previously served as executive vice president and general manager. Over at Pixar, Jim Morris is being promoted from executive vice president and general manager to president, likewise a new position.

YouTube’s Refusal to Remove 20,000 Songs Leads to New Irving Azoff Warning (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
YouTube has apparently made the decision not to immediately remove songs composed by popular musicians including The Eagles, Pharrell Williams and John Lennon, and as a result, the popular video website is being warned of the risks of “defiance.”

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