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'Iron Man' fight escalates. Amazon to launch set-top box.

April 25, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Not even Tony Stark may be able to make peace between Disney and theater owners.
Not even Tony Stark may be able to make peace between Disney and theater owners. (Marvel )

After the coffee. Before watching the NFL draft.

The Skinny: Actually, I'm not all that excited about this year's NFL draft since the Redskins don't have a first-round pick. Thursday's stories include Disney's growing feud with theater owners, Amazon planning its own set-top box and the Gibson Amphitheatre being squeezed out by Harry Potter. 

Daily Dose: NBC's search for a new president of its news division has gone beyond not only the company, but the country as well. Besides some of the usual suspects in the United States, the network has also zoomed in on a prominent British TV news executive, according to people close to the search. The position has been open since Steve Capus resigned last month. The latest on the search for a new NBC News president.

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Holding out on a hero. The spat between Walt Disney Co. and movie theater chains over the split of ticket sales for "Iron Man 3" and other movies is dragging on. This week, Regal Entertainment -- the nation's largest theater chain -- removed marketing materials for "Iron Man 3" from its outlets. Last week, Regal and AMC stopped selling advance tickets to "Iron Man 3," which opens in the U.S. on May 3. More on the feud from the Los Angeles Times.

It's more of a mission statement. Fresh off a strong first quarter, Netflix is now offering its shareholders its vision of the world. Not surprisingly, it's a vision that has the company in the catbird seat. Some of the predictions are fairly obvious. As more content becomes available on demand, linear TV will lose relevance except for sports and live events. My own vision is that one day you will turn on Fox or CBS and there will be just a menu of shows to choose from. I just haven't figured out the money part of this future yet. The Verge with its take on Netflix's Jerry Maguire memo.

Look out, Roku and Apple. Business Week reports that Amazon is looking to launch its own set-top box to stream video over the Internet. The move makes sense since Amazon is already assembling a library of entertainment content and creating its own shows. One issue will be whether consumers would be able to use it to access content from other places besides Amazon, such as Netflix. How many boxes am I expected to have on my TV? Shouldn't Amazon create a video-on-demand channel as well?

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New life for old soaps. When ABC canceled "One Life to Live" and "All My Children," soap opera fans were distraught. Now Prospect Park, a media company headed by Rich Frank, a former senior executive at Walt Disney Co., is relaunching the two soaps as online shows. Many cast members are back but it remains to be seen if the fan base is strong enough to support the shows. USA Today on Prospect Park's bet.

More cowbell. Yahoo has struck a deal with Broadway Video for rights to stream old episodes and clips of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." That means the material will no longer be available on NBC's own website or Hulu, the video site the network co-owns. NBC will still have access to current season "SNL" material. While it may seem odd that such classic material wouldn't be available on an NBC-owned outlet, the network doesn't actually own the rights to the show. Details from the New York Times.

Aren't his 15 minutes up yet? A.J. Clemente, the anchor who was booted after one newscast on a North Dakota station when he didn't realize he was on the air and cursed twice, is hot on the talk-show circuit. He's been on NBC's "Today" and the syndicated morning show “Live! With Kelly and Michael.” He's also expected on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman." I miss the old days before the Internet when Clemente's goof would have been a paragraph in an AP story and that'd be it. Variety on the media's obsession with a guy who didn't know his microphone was live. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Say goodbye to the Gibson Amphitheatre. Tribune Co. has hired a new head of distribution.

Follow me on Twitter and come to my emotional rescue. @JBFlint.


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