Turner President David Levy Enthusiastic About Prospects Of Legalized Sports Betting

Read on: Deadline.

Turner president David Levy picked perhaps the perfect venue, Las Vegas, to offer his bullish predictions about the future of sports betting.
A pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision last May opened the door to legalized sports betting in most states, so …

Turner’s Kevin Reilly to Lead Content for WarnerMedia’s Upcoming Streaming Service

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

WarnerMedia is expanding Kevin Reilly role, giving the TBS and TNT president creative oversight of the company’s forthcoming streaming service.

Reilly, already creative creative officer at Turner and president of TNT and TBS, has been named chief creative officer of direct-to-consumer for WarnerMedia. His new title is president of TBS, TNT and chief creative officer, Turner and Direct-to-Consumer. Because of his dual role, Reilly will report to both Turner president David Levy and WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.

“Since joining Turner in 2015, Kevin has revitalized TBS and TNT with branding and content strategies that have helped them maintain their leading position with viewers week upon week. He has a reputation as a forward thinker when it comes to programming formats and cross-platform opportunities,” Stankey said in a memo Friday morning. “In addition to Kevin’s current responsibilities, he and his organization will define the non-HBO original, library and licensed content that will characterize the brands that make up the overall product offer. HBO is an important differentiated and foundational element of our overall offering, and its brand and content will continue to be separate and supported entirely within HBO. A strong HBO is a key element as we work to establish our broader direct-to-consumer platform.”

Also Read: WarnerMedia’s Streaming Service to Launch With Three Levels of Service

Last month, longtime AT&T executive Brad Bentley was named general manager and executive VP of the service. Bentley will take care of the launch and the business side of the service, while Reilly will be tasked with building up the content.

WarnerMedia is expected to debut its streaming service in Q4 2019, offering three levels of subscriptions: An “entry-level movie-focused” package, a “premium service” with original programming and blockbuster movies and a third service that bundles content from the first two, plus a library of WarnerMedia and licensed content. Pricing for the tiers was not specified.

The company says that the upcoming SVOD service is intended to complement WarnerMedia’s existing businesses while providing data and analytics to help with their decision in creating future products. Along with WarnerMedia, Disney and Apple are also launching their own direct-to-consumer offerings in 2019 in what’s becoming the new gold rush for media companies.

Reilly first joined Turner from Fox in 2014 and is credited with turning around the two cable networks and building up their scripted originals slate with dramas like “The Alienist” and “Angie Tribeca.”

Also Read: WarnerMedia Picks Brad Bentley to Run Upcoming Streaming Service

You can read Stankey’s full memo below:

There are three legs of a stool to any successful direct-to-consumer effort.

A winning customer experience made possible by the technology platform that enables form and function; a compelling marketing strategy that highlights the product’s attributes, brand promise and value proposition; and, of course, a content-curation vision that is tightly coordinated with the other two.

Today, I’d like to share our plans for defining and directing the third and final leg of our direct-to-consumer efforts and its executive leadership.

Kevin Reilly, President of TBS and TNT and Turner’s Chief Creative Officer will assume the additional responsibility of architecting the overall creative identity of the WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer offering and has been appointed President TBS, TNT and Chief Creative Officer Turner and Direct-to-Consumer. Kevin will report to David Levy, as well as to me in support of our direct-to-consumer development.

Since joining Turner in 2015, Kevin has revitalized TBS and TNT with branding and content strategies that have helped them maintain their leading position with viewers week upon week. He has a reputation as a forward thinker when it comes to programming formats and cross-platform opportunities. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Alienist, which he brought to TNT, is up for two Golden Globes this year.

In addition to Kevin’s current responsibilities, he and his organization will define the non-HBO original, library and licensed content that will characterize the brands that make up the overall product offer. HBO is an important differentiated and foundational element of our overall offering, and its brand and content will continue to be separate and supported entirely within HBO. A strong HBO is a key element as we work to establish our broader direct-to-consumer platform.

As Kevin, Brad Bentley and Jeremy Legg begin to develop the framework for our service, many of you will have the opportunity to engage in the development of this product. Through their efforts and your collaboration, I am confident that we will bring to market a world class direct-to-consumer product that uses all of our assets in new and compelling ways.

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How to Watch Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson’s $9 Million Golf Matchup

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

So, you want to spend your post-Thanksgiving Friday sitting around watching two millionaire golfers playing against each other with $9 million — not a PGA title — on the line? Well, you’re in luck — but it’s going to cost you.

The long-awaited Tiger Woods versus Phil Mickelson match is set to tee off on Friday at noon PT/3 p.m. ET. The matchup — officially dubbed “Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil” — isn’t available for free on regular TV or cable, though, and will cost viewers $19.99 on pay-per-view.

There’s a few ways to watch it: you can buy the match on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse. DirecTV is also offering a 4K option for $29.99. Other providers, including Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon and Altice will carry the PPV event.

Also Read: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson’s $9 Million Golf Match Will Cost $19.99

For online streaming, viewers can hit Bleacher Report’s B/R Live and pay the $19.99 to check it out.

Outside the U.S., Rogers, Shaw and Bell will carry the matchup in Canada on In Demand and Vubiquity. Turner — who put up the $9 million alongside several sponsors — will also offer PPV in other international markets.

Woods and Mickelson have made more than $200 million combined in PGA touring earnings during their careers, and that’s not even counting the money they’ve raked in from sponsors throughout the years. The two golf icons will be mic’d up and plan to throw a few side bets down, including wagering on the  longest drive of the day.

Also Read: What Is TigerText, the App CBS Execs Are Accused of Using to Delete Communications?

Both Woods and Mickelson will be mic’d up for the entire event, and B/R Live is also promising that there will be side wagers happening throughout, such as long-drive challenges and closest-to-the pin contests, with the money going to the charity of the winner’s choice. Woods and Mickelson have already put down $200,000 on who will win the first hole.

The $9 million winner-takes-all event is taking place at the Shadow Creek golf course in Las Vegas. Not everyone is eagerly waiting to drop $20 on the game, however, with British golfer Eddie Pepperell blasting the event as “pathetic.”

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Twitch Taps Former Turner Exec Walter Jacobs as New Chief Revenue Officer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Walker Jacobs, a former Fandom and Turner exec, is joining Twitch as its new chief revenue officer starting Dec. 3. Jacobs joins the company as seven-year Twitch veteran Jonathan Simpson-Bint steps down from his role as CRO. Based in New York, Jacobs w…

Turner’s ‘Final Space’ to Stream Exclusively on VRV as Bond With WarnerMedia Strengthens

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

VRV (pronounced “verve”) is adding to its collection of content in a new deal with WarnerMedia.

Under the agreement, Ellation-owned VRV — which houses more than 10 different streaming services — will be the exclusive streaming home to Turner’s “Final Space” and “Mike Tyson’s Mysteries.” “Final Space,” which usually airs on TBS and Adult Swim, is available on the platform starting Wednesday with “Mike Tyson’s Mysteries” — one of Adult Swim’s most successful shows — following in early 2019.

The first three episodes of “Final Space” will be available for free on VRV, with additional episodes of  “Mike Tyson’s Mysteries” to stream on VRV Premium, which users can subscribe to for $9.99 per month. Included in that price is access to all other OTT channels housed on the platform including: Rooster Teeth, HDIVE, Crunchyroll, Geek & Sundry, Nerdist, Cartoon Hangover, Mondo, Nicksplat, Shudder, CuriousityStream, and Turner’s Boomerang, which will be coming to the platform on Nov.13.

Also Read: Nickelodeon Hires ‘Boss Baby’ Producer Ramsey Naito to Lead Animation

The addition of “Final Space” and ” Mike Tyson Mysteries” is the result of a growing bond between WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner) and Otter Media (which owns Ellation) since AT&T took over both companies earlier this year. Last month, Ellation-owned Crunchyroll began streaming its content on Turner’s broadcast network, Adult Swim. Ellation also inked a deal with WarnerMedia that will see Warner’s Boomerang SVOD service — along with its collection of 3000+ cartoons — become available on VRV.

Since last year, VRV has more than doubled the number of registered users on its platform from 1.5 million last November to currently serving 4 million registered users — 2.5 million of which use the platform on a monthly basis. The company plans to continue this growth through international expansion, which is expected to take place next year, according to Eric Berman, VRV’s head of content partnerships.

Also Read: Defy Media to Shut Down Beverly Hills Office After Another Round of Layoffs

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TBS Orders Shaquille O’Neal-Ken Jeong Unscripted Pilot ‘Unqualified’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

How’s this for an unlikely pairing: TBS has ordered a pilot for an unscripted series starring Shaquille O’Neal and Ken Jeong where the duo will take on odd jobs.

Summoned to their temporary employment by unsuspecting people via a digital portal, “Unqualified” (working title) will follow the antics of Shaq and Jeong as they try their hands at jobs that have always intrigued them, along with a few they’d rather avoid. Sometimes Shaq and Jeong will have no clue what they’re walking into. Utilizing their wide range of talent and hustle, the duo will perform tasks such as patrolling malls as rent-a-cops, substitute teaching kindergarten, train conducting and performing as party clowns.

Earlier this year, the two had a well-received performance on TBS’ “Drop the Mic.”

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“These guys made magic on ‘Drop The Mic’ together. Their chemistry is undeniable.” said Michael Bloom, senior VP of unscripted and specials for TBS and TNT. “And no doubt that magic will extend to the unwitting people who expect anything to get done when they show up.”

O’Neal and Jeong will executive produce “Unqualified” alongside Dave Kneebone, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Abso Lutely Productions as well as Jensen Karp, Perry Rogers, Colin Smeeton, Mike Perris, and Brett Carducci.

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Crunchyroll, Toonami Team Up to Launch Programming Block on Adult Swim (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Crunchyroll’s programming will be available for viewing on Adult Swim beginning on Saturday, as AT&T’s take over of Time Warner begins to take shape.
The anime-centric streaming company, which is owned by AT&T, has teamed with Toona…

AT&T Falls Shy on Earnings in First Quarter Since Time Warner Acquisition

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AT&T fell shy of Wall Street’s earnings expectations in Q3 2018 — the company’s first full quarter with Time Warner’s assets under its sizable umbrella.

On Wednesday, AT&T reported 90 cents of earnings per share on $45.7 billion in revenue. Media analysts had forecast 94 cents of earnings on $45.65 billion in revenue, according to a Yahoo Finance poll.

With Time Warner on its financial statements, AT&T grew year over year revenue by 15.3 percent and operating income by 25.2 percent. Of course, expenses also increased.

Also Read: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: Netflix Is ‘Walmart’ of SVOD, HBO Is ‘Tiffany’

AT&T’s wireless business is still its biggest segment, and that one saw 4.3 million total net adds this quarter. The publicly traded corporation’s satellite-TV wing DirecTV went the opposite way, posting 346,000 net loses in traditional video subs. DirecTV Now added 49,000 customers.

Turner and HBO experienced year over year subscription revenue growth, their new parent said. Warner Bros. TV licensing revenue grew in Q3 2018.

This summer, Warner Bros. released movies “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Meg” and “The Nun.”

Also Read: WarnerMedia Shuts Down DramaFever Streaming Service

All in all, Randall Stephenson is “pleased.”

“I’m pleased with the progress we made on a number of fronts in the third quarter,” the AT&T chairman and CEO said in a statement accompanying this morning’s financials. “Our U.S. wireless business is growing and it’s the single biggest contributor to our earnings and cash flow. WarnerMedia was immediately accretive in its first full quarter, contributing 5 cents to EPS, and our free cash flow grew by double digits.

“We’ve accomplished all this while staying focused on managing our debt portfolio,” he continued. “We’re on track to get to the 2.5x debt-to-EBITDA range by year-end 2019. And as we’re nearing completion of our fiber build and making pricing moves on video, we’re laying the foundation for stabilizing our Entertainment Group profitability in 2019. Across the business, I like our momentum and feel confident that we’re on track to deliver on our plans.”

Also Read: Turner Shuts Down Super Deluxe

Shares of AT&T stock (T) closed Tuesday afternoon at $33.02, up 35 cents on the day. The U.S. stock markets reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.

In June, AT&T closed its massive $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which brought CNN, HBO and Warner Bros. under the telecom company’s umbrella.

AT&T executives will host a conference call this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the financial results in greater detail.

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