Google’s Top Trending Terms of 2018: You Might Be Able to Guess the Top Pick

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Google’s released its top trending searches of 2018 on Wednesday — and you’ve probably already guessed where the world’s most viewed sporting event landed in the rankings.

That means, of course, the World Cup grabbed the number one spot. Searches for the ultimate soccer tournament peaked in the final week of June — about a week after it started and a few weeks before France beat Cinderella-story Croatia in the title match.

Several recently-deceased celebrities were heavily featured in the top trending searches of the year, with Swedish DJ Avicii coming in second behind the World Cup. Rapper Mac Miller, who died in September at the age of 26, and comic book legend Stan Lee landed directly behind Avicii.

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Anthony Bourdain, Stephen Hawking, rapper XXXTentacion and designer Kate Spade were also featured in the top 10 trending searches.

A look at the top 10 trending searches for 2018 (via Google)

Box office sensation “Black Panther” was the only movie to make the list, coming in at number 5.

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It’s worth pointing out here Google isn’t releasing it’s most searched keywords. Instead, it’s top trending keywords are calculated by the terms that received the biggest spike in searches from 2017 to 2018.

Google released several other top trending lists, including the top trending celebrities and news items of the year. The Royal Wedding edged out the U.S. midterm elections when it came to news searches, but still came in behind Hurricane Florence and the results for the Mega Millions lottery.

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Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry earlier in the year, was the top trending person of the year.

You can take a look at more of Google’s results here.

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Fox Nets Highest MLS Cup Viewership in Over 20 Years

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Fox netted a strong showing for its coverage of the 2018 MLS Cup, which saw Atlanta United defeat the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

The match, which was played in front of a record Major League Soccer crowd of 73,019 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, drew 1.56 million viewers, the most to watch any prior MLS Cup since 1997, according to Nielsen media research.

That’s viewership increase of 91 percent over last year’s match, which didn’t even crack 1 million viewers (819,000). On Fox Sports streaming sources, the match pulled in an average minute audience of 23,212, ranking as Fox Sports’ most streamed MLS event ever.

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Fox has made a big bet on soccer in recent years, having aired its first Men’s World Cup this past summer from Russia, which struggled in the ratings without the United States’ failure to qualify for the tournament.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of the championship, which saw France defeat Croatia 4-2. But that was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership. Leading up to the title match, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

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‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,’ Telemundo’s World Cup Carry Comcast to Q3 Earnings Beat

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Comcast beat Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter of 2018, crediting NBCUniversal’s FIFA World Cup on Telemundo and the box office performances of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” for much of its success.

On Thursday, Comcast reported 65 cents of Q3 earnings per share on $22.1 billion in revenue. Media analysts had forecast 61 cents of earnings on $21.8 billion in revenue, according to a Yahoo Finance poll.

NBCU revenue grew more than 8 percent versus the comparable quarter last year. Comcast’s cable-TV, voice and internet-providing arm, which is still its largest business, saw its own sales figures increase almost 3 and-a-half percent. Theme parks declined due to bad weather and natural disasters — especially in Japan.

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Comcast added 288,000 customers in the 90 days ended Sept. 30. Internet additions increased 363,000, video losses were 106,000, and the company shed 35,000 phone customers.

All-told, Comcast’s revenue rose 5 percent versus Q3 2017 as NBC broadcast won another summer in TV ratings.

“This is an exciting and important time in Comcast’s history. To highlight a few of the achievements in our businesses this quarter, Comcast Cable’s EBITDA growth was the fastest in six years, and customer relationship growth accelerated, driven by the best broadband net additions for a third quarter in ten years,” Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said in a statement accompanying the financials. “At NBCUniversal, our TV businesses continued their strong performance. NBC finished the 52-week season ranked No. 1 in total viewers for the first time in 16 years and No. 1 in adults 18-49 for the fifth consecutive season, and is off to a great start in the new season. Our recently completed acquisition of Sky is transformative for our company, helping create a unique global leader in media, technology, television and broadband.”

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Last month, Comcast beat out Fox-Disney in a bidding war for U.K. media giant Sky, paying $39 billion for a majority stake in the company. Days later, Fox elected to sell the remainder of its Sky holdings — worth north of $15 billion — to Comcast.

Shares of Comcast stock (CMCSA) closed Wednesday afternoon at $34.12, down $1.53 on the day.

Comcast executives will host a conference call at 8 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.

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Comcast Beats on Q2 Earnings as NBCU TV Revenue Helps Offset 36 Percent Box Office Decline

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Comcast opened the books and unveiled its second-quarter 2018 earnings early Thursday morning, when the company missed media analysts’ forecasts for revenue but beat on earnings per share (EPS) by a nickel, no thanks to the Universal Pictures movie slate.

Wall Street had forecast Q2 EPS of 60 cents on $21.86 billion in revenue, per a Yahoo Finance compilation. Comcast actually reported 65 cents of earnings on $21.286 billion in revenue.

The good news (and the less-bad news) can be credited to the company’s cable-providing arm, NBCUniversal television, and (a little bit) to its theme parks division. Filmed entertainment? Not so much.

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All told, Comcast’s cable communications division, the one that provides cable TV and high-speed Internet, grew its revenue from Q2 2017 by 3.4 percent. That’s not a huge percentage, but considering it is still Comcast’s largest business, it’s a nice win.

While NBCU’s overall revenue was basically flat, the results were a tale of two different sized screens. Cable TV saw an 8.2 percent revenue growth and broadcast rose 6.7 percent. Some of that over-the-air success can be attributed to Telemundo airing its first ever FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, Filmed entertainment dropped 20.2 percent versus the comparable quarter last year, with a 35.5 percent fall at the box office. Revenue at the theme parks increased 3.4 percent.

The movie-theater falloff was explained away in Comcast’s financials due to an unfavorable comparison with last year’s second quarter, which included the “Fate of the Furious” release. Home entertainment releases didn’t compare so hot either, as that revenue stream slipped 32.8 percent from 2017, when NBCU made available “Fifty Shades Darker,” “Sing,” “Split” and “Get Out.”

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Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts seemed pleased with the results — though he kind of has to be.

“We delivered fantastic results in the second quarter, including robust free cash flow of $4.3 billion. At Cable Communications, we added 182,000 customer relationships, largely driven by our addition of 260,000 broadband customers, which was the highest second quarter result in 10 years,” he said in prepared remarks accompanying the financial release. “These strong customer metrics were balanced with robust EBITDA growth, fueled by high-speed Internet and business services.”

“NBCUniversal’s performance was highlighted by continued momentum in affiliate revenue at our cable networks business, and Telemundo presented its first ever FIFA World Cup which set multiple records for the network,” Roberts continued. “Additionally, we are excited about the new attractions that we opened at each of our theme parks during the quarter, and pleased with the theatrical performance of ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.’ Overall, our successful results in the first half of 2018 underscore the strength we see across Comcast NBCUniversal.”

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Comcast recently bowed out of the sweepstakes for much of 21st Century Fox’s portfolio, ceding that bidding war to Disney. The NBCUniversal parent company is instead focused on its pursuit of U.K. media giant Sky, which also has another suitor — Fox. You’ve heard of a love triangle, this whole thing has been kind of a love square. In Q2, Comcast incurred $31 million in costs associated with its bids for both Fox and Sky.

Shares of CMCSA stock closed at $33.42 on Wednesday afternoon, up three pennies apiece. The regular U.S. stock markets reopen their trading day at 9:30 a.m. ET. Pre-market, things are going well, as shares of CMCSA are trading up nearly 2.5 percent as a result of Comcast’s Q2 EPS exceeding expectations.

Comcast executives will host an investor call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.

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Trevor Noah Responds To French Ambassador’s Letter Protesting ‘Daily Show’ World Cup Joke

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France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final was as sweet as a dessert crepe, though the match didn’t exactly net Fox’s TV ratings goal in the states.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of Sunday’s final, which was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership.

On Sunday, Fox Sports brought in another 500,000 viewers via streaming, on average.

Four years ago, ABC pulled in 17.3 million during just the match time frame. Fox did not provide comparable figures.

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An additional 9.2 million watched on Univision in 2014, bringing the total to 26.5 million viewers in America. Telemundo, who took over Spanish-language rights from Univision, did not have ratings for Sunday’s final at press time.

Though 11.3 million viewers is still a nice broadcast television audience haul in general — especially on a Sunday morning — none of this tournament went as well as the network would have hoped when Fox shelled out $425 million for the World Cup rights, outbidding incumbent ESPN.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

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Fox was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

All of this could have been worse, of course: Fox executives could be getting treated like members of Pussy Riot right now.

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