USA-Ghana Sets Ratings Record for ESPN (TVNewser)
ESPN’s last World Cup before turning over the broadcast rights to Fox Sports is off to a good start: Monday night’s USA-Ghana match was the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on ESPN or ESPN2, drawing 11.1 million viewers per minute. Capital New York Univision averaged 4.8 million viewers for its language coverage, according to overnight data from Nielsen. All told, an average of 16 million people watched the game live on television, with at least 1.4 million more watching (legally) online. Bleacher Report But even before that game, ESPN was already enjoying some of its best ratings ever. Through the first 11 games, the networks of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC had averaged about 3.7 million viewers. That was a 2 percent bump over the 2010 World Cup, which of course included a weekend game featuring the United States and England on ABC. If the ratings from that England match are removed, ratings were up a rather mind-blowing 37 percent. AllFacebook Team USA’s thrilling 2-1 victory caused some 10 million Facebook users to produce more than 15 million interactions on the social network, according to the Facebook Data Science Team. Variety The soccer tourney has already broken the previous global record for online-video streaming. Monday’s Germany-Portugal match drove a peak of 4.3 terabits per second of streaming video on the Akamai Technologies content-delivery network — blasting past the previous high of 3.5 Tbps for the U.S.-Canada men’s hockey semifinal during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The streaming-video peak for the USA-Ghana match came in at 3.2 Tbps, behind last Friday’s 3.5 Tbps for the Spain-Netherlands contest, according to Akamai.
Apple Reaches Settlement on eBooks Suit (WSJ)
Apple has reached a settlement in a civil class-action lawsuit pertaining to the pricing of eBooks, according to a filing with a New York court on Monday. GalleyCat Apple was found guilty of eBook price fixing in July 2013. A trial was scheduled for this July to determine the damages that Apple would have to pay. Apple lost an appeal in the eBook judgement back in February, and has since been pushing to delay the trial. GigaOM The proposed settlement is still under seal (we can expect to see details in July) but it’s a safe bet that it’s worth considerably less than the $840 million that the class action lawyers said Apple might owe. Keep in mind that the five publishers who were Apple’s co-conspirators paid a total of around $160 million. Bloomberg Businessweek Apple, through its lawyers at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, has denied the price fixing charges and called the government’s case and the arguments it was built on “absurd,” “fundamentally flawed,” and favoring “monopoly, rather than competition.” The appellate brief says Judge Denise Cote’s ruling contradicts other Supreme Court and Second Circuit decisions in price-fixing cases. Apple’s case could itself make its way to the high court.
Facebook Debuts Photo-, Video-Sharing App Slingshot (Officially This Time) (AllFacebook)
The second application from Facebook Creative Labs, Slingshot, was officially released Tuesday after a brief cameo last week, and what is being billed as the social network’s answer to Snapchat is available for iPhones running iOS 7 via the iTunes App Store, and for Android devices running Jelly Bean and KitKat via Google Play. Re/code The app is designed for frequent, mass sharing of mundane moments. The photos and short videos are captured within the app and sent to one or many friends who can’t view what is shared until they share something back. GigaOM The second Creative Labs app to be produced after Paper, Slingshot is a lightweight app that actually has very little traditional “Facebook” design cues. Users can choose to sign up via Facebook or simply by phone number, and begin sending “slings” — ephemeral photos or video — to friends in their contact lists. THR Facebook first looked to capitalize on the success of disappearing photo apps like Snapchat with the 2012 launch of Poke, a Snapchat clone that never caught on. The Mark Zuckerberg-led tech giant later tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion, an offer that the Venice startup ultimately spurned.
News Reporters Located Benghazi Terror Suspect Long Before U.S. Government Did (TVNewser)
The arrest of Benghazi terror attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala Sunday, revealed late Tuesday morning, begs an important question: Can U.S. cable news channels locate a terror suspect quicker than the U.S. government? Fox News, CNN and CBS News were among the news outlets that were able to track down and interview Khattala after the attack on the U.S Consulate in Libya. HuffPost Khattala’s interviews with reporters began just weeks after the deadly attack, which took place on Sept. 11, 2012. On Oct. 18, Khattala, who was reportedly in hiding, met with both New York Times and Reuters reporters separately at a Benghazi hotel. “These reports say that no one knows where I am and that I am hiding,” Khattala told Reuters reporters Hadeel Al Shalchi and Ghaith Shennib at the time. “But here I am in the open, sitting in a hotel with you.” Khattala told Reuters that while he was at the scene of the attack on the U.S. consulate, he was directing traffic. He made similar claims in other interviews. Poynter / MediaWire The Washington Post held for one day its scoop about Khattala’s capture. Fox News published a less comprehensive version of the story, which it labeled an “exclusive,” at the same time the Post’s story went up, 11:19 a.m., according to Fox’s RSS feed. ABC News reported a short story that it published at 11:40 a.m. Neither story mentioned pressure from the government to hold publication.
YouTube to Block Indie Labels as it Launches Paid Music Service (Financial Times)
YouTube is about to begin a mass cull of music videos by artists including Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, after a number of independent record labels refused to sign up to the licensing terms for its new subscription service. THR YouTube and the labels have thus far been unable to agree on royalty terms for the subscription service in addition to existing terms with its free service. YouTube executives argue that they cannot offer music on the free service without it also being available on the paid service as this would disappoint its subscribers. GigaOM YouTube content head Robert Kyncl said that official music videos from labels that haven’t reached an agreement with YouTube will disappear from the service “in a matter of days.”
Subrata De Leaves MSNBC for ABC News (TVNewser)
Subrata De is joining ABC News as VP of newsgathering. De takes over for Kate O’Brian, who left ABC last year after being named president of Al Jazeera America. Deadline Hollywood ABC News president James Goldston announced De’s hire Tuesday morning in a memo to staff. De most recently had been exec producer of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports since January of 2012. Before that, she was producer for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media De has been with NBC Universal for 15 years. MSNBC has yet to find a permanent replacement for De. Goldston called De’s hire an important step in “the creation of a true One ABC News operation,” combining the network’s television, digital and social media efforts into “a unified, more powerful whole.”
CNN, Tumblr Team Up for Town Hall With Hillary Clinton (LostRemote)
Tumblr embarked on its first news network partnership Tuesday night, joining forces with CNN for Christiane Amanpour‘s live town hall interview with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tumblr engaged users well in advance: They were able to send in questions for Clinton via text, video and animated GIF through CNN’s event Tumblr page. Mediaite Amanpour kicked off the town hall with questions about Benghazi, and Amanpour grilled Clinton on whether, in retrospect, she would have wanted Ambassador Christopher Stevens to be in Libya on the anniversary of Sept. 11, where he tragically died in the attack on the Benghazi consulate.
Amazon to Partner With AT&T to Unveil First Phone on Wednesday (WSJ)
Online retailer Amazon.com on Wednesday is expected to reveal its first smartphone, featuring a display designed to respond to users’ eye movements and capable of displaying three-dimensional images. The device is Amazon’s first foray into the highly competitive market dominated by Samsung and Apple. Mashable The smartphone that Amazon is expected to announce will reportedly be available exclusively through AT&T.
NYT Top 3 Paid Generously Given Results, Size: Analysis Shows (Reuters)
While the New York Times Co. has shrunk by more than half in the past eight years, the compensation of the top three executives at the company has held steady. Measured against some key metrics of financial performance at comparable U.S. media companies, their pay is among the most generous, a Reuters analysis shows. Capital New York New York Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. made roughly $5.3 million in 2013, including his base salary, stock awards and other compensation, whereas his 2012 earnings package totaled around $6.9 million. CEO Mark Thompson, meanwhile, made $4.6 million in 2013, which was his first full year with the company. Vice chairman Michael Golden made a little under $2 million, while chief financial officer Jim Follo took in $1.8 million and general counsel Kenneth Richieri $1.3 million.
Sources: Hillary Clinton Book Sells ‘Strong’ 100,000 (Politico)
Officials with Hillary Clinton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, insist her book has fared well amid reports of weak sales, and that its succeeded despite a dramatically altered retail landscape since her last memoir. The book sold roughly 100,000 copies from the Tuesday when it was released through the following Saturday, according to a Simon & Schuster source.
New York Nabs Annie Lowrey From NYT (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
New York Magazine has hired economic policy reporter Annie Lowrey from The New York Times, editor-in-chief Adam Moss announced Tuesday. Lowery joins the magazine as a contributing editor and online columnist, covering policy, politics and technology, among other topics. Lowrey, who is married to Ezra Klein, will be based in Washington, D.C.
PBS to Add Shorter Version of Sesame Street in Bid for More Viewers (NYT)
For nearly 45 years, Sesame Street has been an hour long, a stalwart holdout in an era of half-hour programs. But this fall, in a nod to the realities of increased mobile and online viewing and the heightened competition for preschool viewers, PBS will begin broadcasting and streaming a half-hour version of the show. PBS planned to announce on Wednesday that the shorter version of the show will join its afternoon lineup starting Sept. 1. The traditional hour-long version of Sesame Street will continue to be broadcast in the morning.
OZY Media Snags Politico CTO Ryan Mannion (FishbowlDC)
OZY Media announced that as of September, Politico’s chief technology officer Ryan Mannion will serve as its head of product. Founded last September by veteran broadcast journalists Carlos Watson and Samir Rao, OZY is based in Silicon Valley, where Mannion will relocate.
Disney Brands Generate Record $40.9 Billion From Licensed Merchandise in 2013 (Variety)
Merchandise featuring Marvel’s superheroes, Disney’s princesses, Pixar’s toons and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars helped Disney ring up a record $40.9 billion in global retail sales in 2013. The sales topped 2012’s $39.4 billion, $37.5 billion, in 2011, and $28.6 billion in 2010, according to Disney Consumer Products. Those kinds of numbers have long made the company the world’s top licensor.
Monica Crowley Named Online Opinion Editor of The Washington Times (FishbowlDC)
The Washington Times has named Fox News contributor Monica Crowley as its online opinion editor. In this role, she will oversee all online opinion content and will write original content for the Times. She’s slated to start Monday, June 23.