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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Netflix loses content to Amazon's Streaming Service

Company Town

The business behind the show

Julia Child, newer PBS content come to Amazon's Netflix competitor

The classic 1960s cooking show will make its digital debut on Amazon Prime Instant Video, the online retail giant's subscription video streaming service.

"The French Chef" will become available in November as part of an expanded deal announced Wednesday that makes it and other PBS shows such as "Frontline," "Washington Week" and the recent Ken Burns documentary "Prohibition" available on Amazon within days of their original airing.

The agreement comes as Amazon prepares for the November launch of its Kindle Fire tablet, an iPad rival that the company is hoping will help persuade users to sign up for its Prime subscription service.
It also comes as Netflix, for which Amazon Prime is the most powerful competitor, is newly vulnerable in the wake of a price hike and aborted move to separate its DVD service from Web streaming that angered many of its 24.6 million U.S. customers and prompted the company to warn investors that it expects to lose about 600,000 customers in the last quarter.

Investors will be closely watching Monday when Netflix reports its first quarterly results, and subscriber numbers, since the events of the past few months.

Amazon, which already offers older seasons of a number of PBS programs including "Nova," "Antiques Roadshow" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' will now get recently aired episodes of the shows under the new pact.

Many commercial networks have avoided making shows available to Amazon or Netflix in the same season they air out of fear that doing so could harm television ratings. But that's apparently not a concern for PBS, particularly with its news programs that aren't rerun.

In total, Amazon said its Prime Video will soon have about 12,000 movies and television shows available, more than double the 5,000-plus titles it launched the service with in February. Netflix, by contrast, has more than 13,000 titles, according to the tracking website InstantWatcher. Netflix itself does not disclose the size of its streaming video library.

Some, but not all, of the PBS content that Amazon is adding is also available on Netflix.

The World Series just aint what it use to possible reason...

This year's World Series match-up puts the St. Louis Cardinals against the Texas Rangers. If history is any guide, there's only a small chance the series will go to seven games.

The addition of the playoff system, instead of a match up of two equal powers for the best record during a long 162 game regular season, could well be the reason, since math tells us there should be more series going to game 7. Still, there are others who say that over the history of the game, this may just be a leveling off. More from NPR News (click here).

Grade Inflation and Demand (thank you to Kali Gates)

Baseball Ratings Down, Writer and Broadcaster Normal Corwin RIP, Cashing in on Fame

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here for the latest news). 

Low ratings for fall classic? The World Series starts tonight with the Texas Rangers taking on the St. Louis Cardinals. Since only Texas is from a top-five television market, expectations for ratings are low. Of course, the World Series has lost a lot of luster over the past two decades. I listen to a lot of sports radio and on Tuesday -- the day before the first game  -- all I heard was talk about the Raiders deal for Carson Palmer. Still, I'll be watching. Fox says it's not worried. Coverage from Variety.

We don't know drama. The broadcast networks are having some luck with new comedies this season but are slipping when it comes to drama, which used to be their bread and butter. TV Guide looks at the lackluster season for network dramas.

Modern viewing. ABC's "Modern Family" leads the way among shows that people record and watch later. According to Nielsen's delayed ratings, 4.5 million viewers recorded and later watched an episode of the Emmy-award winning comedy instead of watching it live Wednesday night. I fall into that category, although I still watch it Wednesdays and sometimes even look at the commercials. More on what shows people record and watch later from the Associated Press.

Spread the word. A coalition of networks, studios and unions has launched a campaign to promote an anti-piracy bill called the Protect IP Act, which would go after websites that carry pirated films and TV shows. If successful, the group will turn its efforts to stopping Disney from making any more "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. I kid, I kid. More from the Los Angeles Times.

Last-minute substitution. On Wednesday, Viacom and Google battled again in court over whether the Internet giant's YouTube unit is guilty of copyright theft. However, Ted Olson, the prominent attorney who had been expected to lead Viacom's team, was benched at the last minute. The Hollywood Reporter on the behind-the-scenes drama.

I never sang for my father. Is James Murdoch's status as heir apparent to succeed his father as head of News Corp. in jeopardy? While there's been lots of griping from shareholders about the next generation of leadership at the media giant, a New York Times story suggests there are serious clashes between father and son. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time a Murdoch son has been anointed only to be pushed out of the way. With the company's annual meeting taking place at the end of the week, speculation of palace intrigue is growing. Reuters, which likes throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks, took the drama even further with its own story.

Radio, TV and Film Personality RIP. Norman Corwin, a creative giant of the Golden Age of Radio whose programs chronicling World War II were milestones in broadcasting, has died. His VE Day broadcast is considered one of the classics of the war. He spoke for the little guy, the GI, the worker. he earned one Academy Award for Screenwriting, an many other writing as well as broadcast awards. He appeared on TV, but also acted in film. He was 101.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: James Rainey on NPR's new chief Gary Knell. How reality stars keep cashing in even though their 15 minutes of fame are up.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here for the latest news).

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