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.”