The Morning Fix

Time Warner Cable takes it to hoop. Meet Crystal, TV's new star.

September 26, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Time Warner Cable is moving into sports in a big way.
Time Warner Cable is moving into sports in a big way.

After the coffee. Before atoning for the coffee and lots of other things.

The Skinny: We're barely into Yom Kippur and I already have something new to atone for, but I guess that will wait until next year. Wednesday's headlines include a look behind-the-scenes at Time Warner Cable's new Los Angeles sports channels, an interview with Netflix chief Reed Hastings and a profile of Crystal, the furry star of NBC's new sitcom "Animal Practice."

Daily Dose: NFL broadcasters and analysts are not being shy about voicing their anger over the replacement referees the league is using while it tries to resolve a labor dispute with the regular officials. But the guys who write the checks to the NFL are keeping quiet. So far, no network will say anything about the officiating system. Given how much money they shell out for a good product, that's a little surprising, but then again the networks may not want to be seen questioning the quality of the product on their screen or risk getting on the bad side of their most powerful program supplier.

Taking it to the hoop. Next Monday, Time Warner Cable launches two regional sports networks in Los Angeles that will be the new home for the Lakers. But if you are not a Time Warner Cable subscriber, you may have to wait awhile to see the channel. The company still does not have deals with other pay-TV distributors in the area. A look at the channels, Time Warner Cable's complex relationship with the Lakers and what it all means to the Los Angeles TV market from the Los Angeles Times.

The world according to Reed. Despite a rough run that has seen a big stock drop, subscriber losses and increased competition, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings still sees the glass as half-full. "If an investor believes that Internet video—with its pure on-demand model — is the future of video, then Netflix becomes a very interesting part of their portfolio to ride that long-term thesis," he tells the Wall Street Journal.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. The BBC committed a big faux pas when reporter Frank Gardner reported what Queen Elizabeth II thought about Abu Hamza, an Egyptian cleric considered to be a radical who now resides in England. The queen apparently is not a fan of the cleric, but it is also considered unseemly to report her views. The BBC has apologized and Gardner has been accused of name-dropping. More on the scandal from the New York Times

I don't like Mondays. Officially, the new TV season started Monday (although some networks premiered a few shows earlier) and for some networks it looks like their audiences are still on summer vacation. ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" was off 26% in viewers while CBS also saw its ratings fall (to be fair, last year's debut of Ashton Kutcher on "Two and a Half Men" was a hard number to match). NBC can sort of smile that the second episode of "Revolution" held on to 80% of its debut audience. Details from USA Today.

What's it going to be, Jerry? Next Monday is the deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown to decide whether to extend California's film tax credit incentive program. The program provides tax breaks to TV and movie productions that stay in state. However, there is debate about whether the program is really all that beneficial to the state. Coverage from Variety

Rupert's guy. As Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. prepares to spin off its newspaper operations into a separate company, speculation continues on who will be tapped to run the print side. Reuters says it is looking more likely that Robert Thomson, currently head of the Wall Street Journal, has the inside track. Loyal Morning Fix readers (there must be one or two of you) may recall I predicted Thomson several months ago.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Meet Crystal, Hollywood's newest diva and star of NBC's "Animal Practice." ABC's "Modern Family" loves to shoot all over Los Angeles.

Follow me on Twitter. It will be one less thing to atone for. @JBFlint.

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