CBS drops bid to renew SEC football deal | NBC urged to drop Beijing games over China's rights record | Audience numbers drop for latest Democratic debate
December 23, 2019
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STELAR changes a win for broadcasters
Congress will let portions of legislation that governs satellite television broadcasting expire, which delivers a win for broadcasters after a time-consuming battle with cable companies, who were seeking the continued renewal of the rules, which expire on Dec. 31. Throughout the process, broadcasters argued that STELAR "is obsolete and maintains an outdated subsidy that discourages satellite TV providers from negotiating to secure local broadcast channels for some of these rural customer," writes John Hendel.
Politico (12/20) 
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Business & Industry Report
CBS drops bid to renew SEC football deal
CBS has walked away from negotiations to renew its broadcast contract with the NCAA Southeastern Conference Football division, set to expire in 2023, after offering to increase what it pays to air SEC games from $55 million to $300 million per season. Insiders say the league is in talks with ESPN/ABC for a deal that will reportedly valued at $330 million per season.
Sports Business Journal (12/20) 
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NBC urged to drop Beijing games over China's rights record
NBC urged to drop Beijing games over China's rights record
(Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images)
A pair of lawmakers in the US Senate are reportedly pressing NBC to refuse coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games set to take place in Beijing in protest of the country's human rights violations. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., are warning NBC that airing coverage of the event would amount to "placing profits over principles."
Axios (12/19) 
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Audience numbers drop for latest Democratic debate
Last week's Democratic debate, hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico, attracted an audience of 6.17 million -- the lowest of any debate so far in this election cycle, Nielsen data shows. CNN's coverage of the event beat out its cable news competitors' offerings during the debate's time slot despite the decreased viewership.
Deadline Hollywood (12/20) 
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Technology
Apple said to show interest in MGM, college sports
Apple has reportedly held preliminary talks with MGM and the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference as a way of boosting its Apple TV app and its $4.99 streaming TV+ service which has focused largely on original content, The Wall Street Journal says. The company is said to have an interest in gaining rights to MGM's library, which includes the James Bond films, and college sports events.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/19) 
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Broadcast Programming
"SNL" gets ratings boost from Murphy's return as host
"SNL" gets ratings boost from Murphy's return as host
("Saturday Night Live"/YouTube)
Comedian Eddie Murphy hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live" this weekend for the first time in 35 years, attracting 9.9 million viewers and boosting the show's ratings to its highest in two-and-a-half years. Murphy, who joined "SNL" at 19 and is often credited with helping to save the ailing program, revived several of his characters during the show.
The Ringer (12/20),  Deadline Hollywood (12/22),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/22) 
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People & Personalities
"Wheel of Fortune" host speaks on recent health scare
"Wheel of Fortune" host speaks on recent health scare
Sajak (David Livingston/Getty Images)
Veteran "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak told viewers of ABC's "Good Morning America" last week that he was convinced he was dying prior to undergoing emergency surgery to treat a blocked intestine last month. Sajak has recovered and resumed his hosting duties on "Wheel of Fortune," which co-host Vanna White took over while he was in the hospital.
The Hollywood Reporter (12/20) 
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NAB News
Auto Ad Regulations: A Primer for Your Station's Sales Personnel
With competition from digital media on the rise, it is more important than ever to understand your local dealer's perspective when selling ads. With this five-part series, radio station sales teams can learn about advertising regulations to be better equipped to engage with auto dealers. Get started now.
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On-Demand Webcast: NEXTGEN TV as a Brand - The New Conformance and Logo Program Explained
Tune-in for a discussion of the recently unveiled consumer-facing logo for NEXTGEN TV, or ATSC 3.0, and learn how manufacturers will earn the right to display the logo on their new products and more. Watch Now.
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In observance of Christmas, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday and Wednesday. Publication will resume Thursday.
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H.G. Wells,
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