Cynopsis Media Presents the Best of the Week: July 27-31, 2015

Skip a newsletter last week? “In Case You Missed It” rounds up the top stories in our daily editions, so you can be up on the latest news, Cynopsis-style, in the worlds of linear, digital, and sports television. Enjoy!

 Showtime is pulling the plug on Happyish after one season. Picked up to series in January 2014 with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn in the lead roles, the dark comedy was eventually revived after Hoffman’s untimely death with Steve Coogan starring. The one-and-only season finale drew a soft 348,000 viewers in Live+3 ratings.

Walt Disney Company CEOBog Iger has acknowledged that ESPN will eventually go a la carte as pay-TV’s bundling infrastructure gives way. However, he noted that move is more than five years away. “If we end up seeing more erosion in the so-called multichannel bundle, quality will win out,” Iger told CNBC‘s Squawk Box. “While the business model may face challenges over the next few years, long term for ESPN … they’ll be fine.” The national sports network has lost 7.2 percent of its pay-TV base since 2011, while costs for its programming are rising faster than anywhere in the pay-TV ecosystem.

Diane Keaton will star opposite Jude Law in The Young Pope, a joint production of HBO, Sky and Canal+ about the fictional Pontificate of Pius XIII (aka Lenny Belardo). Keaton plays a nun in the eight-episode series directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

Facebook reported $4.04 billion in revenue during its Q2 revenue call, beating Wall Street expectations of $3.99 billion. The social network counted 968 million daily active users, a 17 percent year-over-year increase but slightly off from the 970.5 million estimated. Mobile DAUs were 844 million, with 76 percent of advertising revenue from mobile, up from 62 percent from last year. On the call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said people spend an average 46 minutes per day across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

Instagram will top $600 million in ad sales this year, headed for $2.81 billion in earnings by 2017, according to a report from eMarketer. “We expect to see rapid growth in Instagram’s ad revenues this year and throughout the forecast period…[to] expand beyond branding and include direct response, the ability to buy ads via an [applications programming interface], and enhanced measurement and targeting features,” said eMarketer. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, will announce its 2Q15 earnings results on Wednesday; the app’s revenue will not be included in the call.

NBC Sports Group is serving up its most NHL regular season games ever with the upcoming season, announcing plans to carry 105 contests starting this fall. Coverage will include 12 games on NBC and 93 games on NBCSN and debut with Opening Night doubleheaders on Oct. 7 between the Blackhawks/Rangers at 8p, followed by Sharks/Kings on NBCSN. Season highlights include NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series pitting the Blackhawks/Wild on Feb. 21 and the Red Wings/Avalanche on Feb. 27. NBC also offers the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on Black Friday starting at 1p with Bruins/Rangers followed by Blackhawks/Ducks on NBCSN at 5p. Overall, NBCSN showcases 24 Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts, plus six Wednesday Nightcaps that will showcase Western Conference teams, including the Kings, Sharks and Avalanche, as well as 12 Sunday Night Hockey contests.

The PGA TOUR is lining up the sport’s return to the Olympics with 47 FedExCup tournaments during the 2015-16 season, announcing a lineup of events yesterday that includes two new title sponsors as well as several date and golf course changes. New sponsors for the new season will include Dell as the new title sponsor of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play and CareerBuilder as the title sponsor of the CareerBuilder Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Changes due to golf’s return to the 2016 Olympic Games include The PGA Championship (July 25-31), Travelers Championship (August 1-7) and John Deere Classic (August 8-14), are making a one-time shift before returning to their traditional dates for the 2016-17 season. In addition, the Quicken Loans National (June 20-26), World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and Barracuda Championship (both June 27-July 3) are moving earlier on the schedule. For the full schedule, along with network coverage info, click here.


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