01/05/15: Yahoo considered buying Scripps Networks Interactive; Disney enlists Maker Studios to promote new Star Wars film; SnapChat raises $500 million


Good morning. It’s Monday, January 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Is Yahoo getting into the cable TV business? The Internet company considered scooping up Scripps Networks Interactive after entering into talks to acquire Food Network, a source tells Business Insider. (Scripps had no comment.) While Insider also speculates Yahoo could be eyeing CNN, no talks have been reported with the news net.
Disney will produce short-form shows about Star Wars via its multi-channel network Maker Studios to promote the next film installment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Bloomberg reports that Maker will employ web celebs popular among viewers who may be new to the Star Wars franchise. The new SW film will hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015.
Sony Pictures Entertainment continued to expand distribution of The Interview to U.S. cable, satellite TV providers via VOD and pay-per-view services. Providers to offer the film include: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House Networks, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS TV, Charter Communications, Cablevision, AT&T U-verse TV, and Dish Network. It was also made available on Walmart’s digital VOD service VuDu and Sony’s PlayStation. The Interview reaped $15 million in revenue within its first four days of digital release on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and through Sony’s SeetheInterview.com. Additionally, the comedy is available in 580 independent U.S. theaters.
Facebook rolled out a new design for the Video section on Facebook Pages in an effort to grow and eventually monetize video on the site. Brands and news outlets will soon be able to feature their top videos with a live comment feed and playlist of other vids. FB hits more than one billion video views on a daily basis, and recently closed a deal with the National Football League to distribute video with advertising from Verizon Wireless.
Aereo struck a bankruptcy deal with the Big 4 broadcasters that allows it to sell its TV streaming technology. A judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan signed off on the rules governing the auction, which calls for weekly updates on the status of the sale, and allows broadcasters to attend the proceedings. Bids are due February 20. Side note: A filing with the U.S. copyright office showed the service’s subscriber base jumped 40 percent, to 108,000, between December 2013 and when it closed in June 2014.
Want to find out what shows are online and when? Check out
Watcheroo, Cynopsis’ Digital Programming Guide. Organized by show name, date, and platform, here is everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.


’s native video service continues to take shape with an anticipated launch in the first half of the year. TechCrunch reports that the Twitter Video Player will host videos up to ten minutes in length, with the ability to edit videos or schedule them within the player. However, it will not support vids hosted originally on YouTube. Twitter originally announced the new service in November, expanding beyond its six-second vids on Vine and the Twitter cards embedded video feature.
What’s Trending
is partnering with Samsung for the third year as the official livestream partner and content producer at CES 2015. WT will shoot daily Trending Now news, live interactive shows from 2:30-4p PT with celebrities and YouTube stars such as Andre Meadows (BlackNerdComedy), Elliot Morgan (Sourcefed), Shaq, Nick Cannon and others. The show will take place at the Samsung SMART Lounge from Jan. 6-9, and available to view on WhatsTrending.com and on YouTube. Additionally, WT will produce exclusive demos and coverage of the Samsung show floor at YouTube.com/SamsungUSATube.
People Now
, the daily live online show presented by Toyota on People.com, announced that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt (Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars), Sharon Osbourne (The Talk), the cast of Downton Abbey including Laura Carmichael, Lesley Nicol and Phyllis Logan, comedian Gilbert Gottfried (Celebrity Apprentice), Bob Harper (The Biggest Loser) and others will make guest appearances this week. The 20-minute program offers exclusive interviews, celebrity and entertainment updates, and news and human-interest stories Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET online.
Scripps Networks Interactive lifestyle digital destination Ulive launched the new series Stop Drop & Yoga. Produced by Magnet Media, the show follows yoga instructor and author Kino MacGregor as she travels around the U.S. and practices yoga inspired by the local culture. MacGregor’s YouTube channel boasts more than 200,000 subscribers.
Program Call: Cynopsis Media will be producing our annual NATPE Shopping Guide, posted on Cynopsis.com Thursday, January 15, 2015, the week before NATPE Market and Conference 2015 opens at the Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach. If your company is an official exhibitor at NATPE 2015, please email Lynn Leahey at: [email protected] with up to five listings which must be in the following format: Company name, booth location and email address, followed by each program name, date available, how many episodes, length, genre and terms. Deadline is January 7.


Do you want you learn more about Rating Analysis, Social Media Revenue Opportunities and Advertising Measurement?

Please join us on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the Yale Club in Manhattan for our
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More information will be released soon, but feel free to contact us with any questions.
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The number of U.S. homes with a DVR, Netflix or VOD jumped from 70 percent to 76 percent over the last year, according to Leichtman Research Group’s “On-Demand TV 2014” study, which reports 26 percent of homes use two of the three services. The survey of over 1230 homes also found 55 percent of homes have a DVR on more than one TV, versus 28 percent five years ago.
Was (possible) presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee smart to give up his Fox job for another shot at the White House? Vote in our poll.


Snapchat raised $500 million thanks to partner Mitch Lasky (VC firm Benchmark) and Sony CEO Michael Lynton, according to an SEC filing released on New Year’s Eve. The image-disappearing app, known for turning down a Facebook acquisition last year, now includes 23 investors. Snapchat accounted for its highest growth in July, with total minutes spent on the app up 114 percent year-over-year (JPMorgan).


Hershey brand Reese’s created a series of 11 videos for its new Playoff Pandemonium social media campaign featuring comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The new promotion encourages college football fans to interact with the brand through in-store texting and watch vids of Foxworthy demonstrating “Reese’s Rules” for game-day parties. The candy brand distributed the videos on Facebook and Twitter throughout college football playoff season.


Media General, Inc. appointed John McCarus as the Chief Strategy Officer. He was previously Senior Vice President, Social Content at DigitasLBi and is an original co-founder of the Digital Content Newfronts.
hired Kate McGee as Vice President of Marketing. She was most recently Vice President of Marketing at mySupermarket and the Director of Marketing at Wag.com.


Check out Cynopsis Digital’s tune-in guide, categorized by platform and network. Programming includes digital premieres, ongoing shows, live-streamed events and linear TV digital integrated series.

 Click here to view our digital programming guide:


encourages viewers to “meet the first YouTube stars of 2015,” or the wee ones born on January 1 in this sweet short film. The Wishes For Babies video, which already hit more than a million views on its YouTube channel, tracked little ones making their entrances in Sao Paulo, Warsaw, Tokyo and Boston on the first day of 2015. Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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JOB OPENING: DIR, DEVELOPMENT/NYC:For Major Production Co. 7-10 yrs exp @ ntwks & prod co’s. Exp in multiple genres, prod skills, great writing skills, proven track record finding talent, dvlpng & pitching ideas all req’d. Resumes HERE [email protected] (1/7)

JOB OPENING: MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER & ANIMATOR/Hero4Hire Creative/Waltham MA: Design/animate projects & elements for on & off air campaigns. Expert in after effects & have the reel to prove it. Exp w/MAYA & C4D a +. 5+ yrs exp. Apply Send res/reel: HERE [email protected] (1/7)

JOB OPENING: TEMP SALES ASST/DISH/NY: Support sales. Maint of advrtsng deals, facilitating sales process. Daily maint of all accts from booking orders & pulling reports. Work w/traffic depts all areas scheduling/inv mngmnt. Dealmaker exp a +. Resume HERE [email protected] (1/7)

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