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ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
The verdict is in, the jury has been dismissed, and Dr. Conrad Murray sits behind bars, but one question about the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor remains: Who paid for the defense? Speculation about how the cash-strapped physician funded an expansive legal team focused Wednesday on a British documentary made with Murray's cooperation and purchased recently by NBC for broadcast on its cable network MSNBC this weekend. Representatives of Jackson's estate demanded the network cancel the program, entitled "Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship," in part because of unanswered questions about whether Murray was compensated for giving filmmakers interviews and allowing camera crews to follow him and his lawyers.
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BUSINESS
August 3, 2011 | Bloomberg News
Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, posted a 16 percent increase in second-quarter profit after adding Internet users, boosting sales at its NBC Universal unit and reducing video-subscriber losses. Net income climbed to $1.02 billion, or 37 cents a share, from $884 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier, Philadelphia- based Comcast said today in a statement. Excluding some costs, profit was 42 cents a share, topping the 41-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2011 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
Business media conglomerate Bloomberg has accused Comcast Corp. of violating the conditions the federal government put on the cable giant in return for approving its merger with NBC Universal. In a complaint filed at the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, Bloomberg said Comcast is required to position its Bloomberg TV cable channel near other news channels on its cable systems, which reach almost 23 million subscribers. Bloomberg is worried that with Comcast as an owner, its chief competitor, CNBC, will now have an unfair advantage.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2011 | By Melissa Maerz, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to the 2012 election, Donald Trump is so fired. During NBC's presentation of its fall schedule here on Monday, the real estate mogul and reality TV star announced that he will not make a bid for the White House, bringing an end to what many have regarded as a transparent publicity stunt. For the rest of America, this means two things: "Celebrity Apprentice" will be back next season, and the difference between politics and entertainment has never been so hard to define.
NEWS
May 16, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. has made an offer to renew the contract of longtime Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer -- a potential vote of confidence that could quell speculation in Hollywood that his days in the job are numbered under the cable giant's new ownership. But the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. A key sticking point in the negotiations is how long Meyer's contract will be extended beyond its current expiration in 2012. Comcast was offering a shorter extension than the executive would like, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because of the confidentiality of the talks.
BUSINESS
May 5, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Now that it has become a Hollywood powerhouse, Comcast Corp. will spend an extra $300 million this year for television programming to revive its newly acquired NBC broadcast network and keep the company's cable channels humming. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke on Wednesday renewed Comcast's long-standing pledge to invest millions of dollars more for television programming than the media company's former majority owner, General Electric Co., had been spending. In late January, Comcast acquired a 51% stake in NBCUniversal and GE became a minority partner.
BUSINESS
May 4, 2011 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
Cable giant Comcast Corp. got a rude welcome into the world of broadcast television. In unveiling its first financial results since closing a deal in late January to take a majority stake in NBCUniversal, Comcast on Tuesday reported strong earnings from its newly acquired cable networks — including USA, MSNBC and Bravo — but the broadcast network NBC had a tough first quarter. Overall, Comcast posted net income of $943 million for the three months ended March 31. That's a 9% gain compared with the same quarter last year.
SPORTS
April 19, 2011 | By Diane Pucin
After negotiating seriously with ESPN and Turner Sports, the NHL signed a new 10-year television deal that will keep games on NBC and Versus, where they have been for six years. The deal is worth $2 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations who could not speak publicly. In the expiring contract, Versus paid the NHL about $75 million per year. NBC, however, split profits with the league and paid no rights fees. That will change, although Dick Ebersol, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, declined to be specific Tuesday.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Comcast Corp., which last month acquired majority ownership of NBC Universal, may not be feeling the love for the Olympics. Long one of NBC's most prestigious properties, the Olympic Games have given the broadcasting company huge ratings, leverage when negotiating new deals with cable operators and sweeteners to attract marquee advertisers willing to pay hefty premiums. NBC's previous parent company, General Electric Co., also used sponsorship of the Games as a calling card, helping to open doors of commerce in China and beyond.
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