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Feuding with the mouse. Nearly 15 million Charter cable subscribers are going without Disney and ESPN programming as a feud over pricing of programming continues. Charter says its subscribers foot the bill for about $2.2 billion in annual Disney costs while only about 25% of them regularly engage with the content. For its part, Disney has launched social media promotions encouraging Charter subscribers to make the switch to Hulu.
Barbie coming home. Warner Bros.’ record-breaking release, Barbie, will be available for in-home rental and purchase on digital platforms beginning next week. WB has set September 12th as the release date after the film’s successful 54-day theatrical run that has generated more than $600 million in the U.S.
‘Tis the season … almost. Comic legend Eddie Murphy is starring in his first Christmas movie. The actor will helm “Candy Cane Lane” to be released on Prime Video on December 1st. The holiday comedy will have Murphy and his family battling magical holiday critters to save his town after a bargain with an elf goes sideways. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.
Eyes on the Ball
Project Flagship. ESPN+ has been a complimentary, non-competitive streaming service for a number of years. As of late, it has been reported that “Project Flagship” is a go. The code-named project has been actively planning and aims to launch a standalone streaming service that sells direct-to-consumers. ESPN is an integral part of many cable deals, and it begs the question of what will happen next?
ACC at the movies. The Atlantic Sports Conference will have 75 games televised with the Theater Sports Network (TSN). These games will appear on the big screen after a distribution agreement with ESPN. Of the 75 games, 6 will be Bowl Games and will give fans “the feel of a stadium experience.”
Just for kids! Super Bowl LVIII will not only air on CBS in 2024, but on Nickelodeon too. Paramount Global is trying its hand on a special broadcast just for kids. John Bogusz, EVP of sports sales at CBS, said sponsors will have the opportunity to run separate creative. Ads highlighting alcohol or gambling will be swapped entirely.
Growth spurt. While still dwarfed by many of the top platforms, Snapchat may be an up and comer. Users have doubled since 2018 and, this year with a projected 13.4% growth in users, the app is expected to dethrone TikTok as the fastest growing social.
A Facebook subscription? Meta is exploring ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram that would depend on user subscriptions for revenue. The new business model is being discussed for the EU but could pertend big changes in how social platforms address revenue generation and privacy issues.
Hot take incoming. “Social Media Is Dead” reads the headline of a recent Insider article. The article goes on to bemoan the shift of social platforms to a largely commercial ecosystem and predicts more and more users will turn to messaging apps and group chats for their social outlets.
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