Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, September 14th, 2021. I'm writing this from a light rail train heading back home from a Twin Cities Start-Up Week prep gathering. AllYourScreens HQ is powered by brownies and a beer grabbed as I headed out the door.
Today's newsletter is a wee bit shorter than normal due to some meetings and interviews. More on that later this week.
I will mention that I will be doing a presentation Monday morning at the Twin Cities Start-Up Week. It's called "How To Turn Your Side Hustle Into A Start-up" and it begins at 10:00 am CT. It's only a half hour in length and since most of you don't live in the Twin Cities, I'll mention that it's not just free, but it will also be available virtually.
COMCAST FACES $2 BILLION BATTLE FOR PREMIERE LEAGUE RIGHTS
The Comcast-owned streamer Peacock has expended a lot of effort promoting the fact that the service is the place for U.S. soccer fans to go if they are looking for the best collection of Premiere League games. But the rights to those games are coming up for renegotiation, and Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reports that keeping the games might cost Comcast more than $2 billion:
Comcast’s current deal with soccer’s EPL expires at the end of the 2021-2022 season, and the bidding for the next contract is about to begin. The league’s clubs will meet next week, with media rights in the U.S. on the agenda, and are expected to seek bids instead of preemptively renewing with Comcast, according to a person familiar with their plans.
Comcast paid $150 million a year under the previous deal, and expects it will cost more than $300 million a year for a renewal, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing an internal matter. That would bring the total value of the deal to at least $2 billion.
NORM MACDONALD, DEAD AT 61
Comedian Norm Macdonald has died, following a long battle with cancer. I knew Norm pretty well back in the 1990s and he was a singular talent, a comedian unafraid of being an ass.
If he would want to be remembered for one thing, I suspect it would be for comedy like this piece, in which he mocks the description of cancer patients as "brave fighters." And given the way he died, his musings about how he would handle learning he was going to die hits very hard.
Audiences often weren't quite sure what to make of him. But Macdonald was one of the few comics that other comedians universally admired. He was fearless and funny. And if the rest of the world didn't always see that, it was their loss.
Rest in peace.
IMAX CEO ISN'T A BIG FAN OF DAY & DATE MOVIE RELEASES
Puck's Matthew Belloni has an interview with IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond, who not surprisingly is not a fan of studios releasing feature films to streaming on the same day as they hit movie screens:
You actually consulted with WarnerMedia before it decided to put its 2021 movies on HBO Max. What was your advice to C.E.O. Jason Kilar?
I didn’t speak to Jason, I spoke to senior executives at Warner Bros., and I suggested that for a short period of time they should put some of their movies on streaming. They asked me, What if we did it for a longer period of time? And I said that was starting a nuclear war with exhibition. And if they unilaterally tried to disrupt the business in that way, it was going to come back to bite them. And, as you know, it did.
But Kilar is now doing a victory lap because the Delta variant has made him seem prescient.
Well, I guess he’s a better infectious disease specialist than Anthony Fauci. Some of their movies, like Dune and Matrix Resurrections, would do much better with an exclusive theatrical run. There’s no question in my mind, they’re not going to achieve their potential.
WHY AREN'T THE VMAS ON PARAMOUNT+?
When I signed into my Hulu Live TV account last night, the top content promo was for Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards:
Since I am over 40, I didn't watch the VMAs live, so this was perfect timing. But it's odd that while I can watch a rerun of the awards on Hulu Live TV, I can't see it on rival streamer Paramount+, which has an entire vertical built around MTV programming.
I assume that this has something to do with a linear TV window, although I wasn't able to get anyone at Viacom/CBS or Paramount to answer any questions about the issue.
But even if Paramount+ doesn't have the ability to stream this year's VMAs right now, I suspect a lot of subscribers went looking for it. It amazes me that the service didn't have something there to distract them: footage from old shows, behind-the-scenes stuff that wasn't broadcast, exclusive interviews....anything.
A lot of attention is paid to the wide range of IP owned by Viacom/CBS. But what good does it do to have compelling IP if you don't make every conceivable effort to monetize it?
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ODDS AND SODS
* Netflix has given an eight-episode series order to Grendel, a series based on the masked vigilante from Matt Wagner’s popular, award-winning Dark Horse comic book series,
* Oxygen has announced a new true crime special, Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story, which will premiere on Sunday, September 26th.
* There are vaccine mandates for NBA referees and for most team staff this season, but there won't be one for players, league sources tell ESPN. The NBA Player's Association is describing a vaccine mandate as "non-starter."
SEE YOU WEDNESDAY