Photo: Duke University basketball fans taunt Luke Loucks #3 of the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 21, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina. Credit: Grant Halverson / Getty Images
ESPN to stream conference basketball tournament games on Facebook As March Madness approaches, ESPN will allow college basketball fans to watch its coverage of more than 200 conference tournament games on Facebook, marking the first time the sports network has provided live games for the sprawling social network.The games will be made available on ESPN's Facebook pages beginning Thursday. Teams and conferences may also make their games available to be viewed online at ESPN3.
ESPN's move will allow the Walt Disney Co. cable network to take advantage of Facebook's platform to reach young viewers who aren't watching the games on TV.
“Our goal is to make our content available to fans where they want it," said Matt Murphy, senior vice president of digital video distribution for ESPN. "The timing made sense as well. Fans already spend time catching up with friends on Facebook -- and now they can watch games without leaving that environment. It’s a great way for us to reach our fans and increase awareness and usage of ESPN3.”
Millions of people who receive ESPN3 through their Internet providers can watch the games at no additional cost. The same is true for Time Warner Cable subscribers who already pay to receive the programming on TV.
Cost of doing business. When companies merge, the executives talk about all the synergies and cost savings that will come from teaming up. That usually translates into layoffs, and that's the case for Summit Entertainment, which is merging with Lions Gate. Variety on the first round of cuts.
Daily Dose: Normally, broadcast networks don't promote their shows on cable networks unless they own those channels. In other words, it's not unusual to see NBC promos on Bravo or USA because they're all owned by Comcast. But a lot of promos for NBC's new dark drama "Awake" have been popping up on AMC, home of the cable smash "The Walking Dead." It's a smart move because NBC's low ratings mean that it can't count on its own shows to build awareness for something new.
Setting son? It was announced early Wednesday that James Murdoch was giving up his title of executive chairman of News International. Although the move is not a surprise given that Murdoch has relocated from London to New York, his future trajectory at media giant News Corp. has been tarnished by the ethics scandal at the company's British newspapers, which he had overseen for the last few years. The company said he will now focus on News Corp.'s international television business. Early stories from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
I hope there is no bullying going on. The Weinstein Co., still mad that its documentary "Bully" was slapped with an R rating, is now sparring with movie theaters over the film. Harvey Weinstein has suggested that the movie might be distributed with no rating. But theater owners might then treat it as if it were an NC-17 film, which would certainly limit its reach. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The movie "Being Flynn," based on a dark book whose title I can't write because it has some naughty words in it, took a long time to get to the big screen.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. Every day's a Super Bowl day for me. Twitter.com/JBFlint