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March 5, 2014 | By Meg James and Joe Flint
Walt Disney Co. and satellite TV provider Dish Network's sweeping new agreement could lead to changes in the way consumers watch television. The comprehensive distribution deal, announced late Monday, is expected to become a blueprint on how the television industry treats the increasingly important digital rights for valuable programming. Dish secured Internet streaming rights for content from Disney's ESPN, ESPN2, ABC Family and Disney Channel as well as the eight ABC television stations that Disney owns.
March 4, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Satellite broadcaster Dish Network isn't interested in playing ball with the Dodgers. In an interview, Dish executive vice president David Shull said the majority of Dish's Los Angeles area customers don't care about getting SportsNet LA, the new Dodger-owned pay-TV channel that launched last month. Dish also doesn't carry SportsNet, the Time Warner Cable-owned channel that is the home for most Lakers games. So far, that hasn't been a problem, Shull said. PHOTOS: Upcoming Disney spring films and beyond "I have a lot of customers in Los Angeles who are happy with the current lineup," Shull said.
March 4, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A New York parolee accused of fatally strangling a retired teacher in Hollywood may have come west after developing a network of pen pals, some that apparently grew from a shared fondness for the long-running soap opera "General Hospital. " Three months after he was released from prison after serving 20 years for murder, Scott Kratlian showed up in Hollywood and allegedly strangled one of his pen pals, 82-year-old Harry Major. The relationship between the convicted killer and the retired Hollywood High School teacher was probably one of many the inmate fostered over the years while imprisoned at Marcy Correctional Facility outside Syracuse, said another of Kratlian's pen pals.
February 26, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans would rather pay more for a health insurance plan that allows them to get treatment from a wide range of doctors and hospitals, a new survey finds. But in a finding that could prove important for President Obama's health law, working-age consumers who don't get health benefits through an employer favor health plans with narrower provider networks that cost less. These are the consumers that the Obama administration is hoping will sign up for coverage this year on the new online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. Many health plans offered by insurers on these marketplaces feature what are called narrow networks that limit which hospitals and physicians patients can see. These plans also typically charge lower premiums.
February 25, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James
The landmark deal between Comcast Corp. and Netflix Inc. resolves a simmering dispute over who will support America's growing Internet video habit. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the cable operator's broadband networks to ensure that Netflix customers receive an uninterrupted viewing experience when streaming movies and TV shows. The agreement, which was confirmed this weekend, comes after Netflix customers complained about deteriorating service, as videos they tried to watch stuttered and stalled in midstream.
February 25, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - Less than two years ago, disillusioned investors were fleeing Facebook Inc. stock, worried the company would never figure out how to make the leap to mobile devices from personal computers, let alone make money on them. Now, more than half of the giant social network's advertising revenue is coming from ads for its 1.2 billion users on smartphones and tablets. And it's buying WhatsApp after outbidding rival Google Inc. for the most popular mobile app for sending messages on smartphones.
February 25, 2014 | By Steve Dilbeck
So it's the debut of the Dodgers' very own, seven-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day TV channel! Is your heart all aflutter? Now you can try to satisfy your unquenchable Dodgers fix at 3 a.m., just as you've always demanded. Anyway, you can if you're a Time Warner Cable subscriber. As it stands, SportsNet LA will debut Tuesday night at 7 to those Southern California homes that subscribe to Time Warner. Would love to offer you an early review Wednesday morning, but alas I'm a DirecTV guy. The majority of us will be shut out of all TV broadcasts -- and all spring games will be telecast by SportsNet LA -- until Time Warner reaches agreements with all the other pay-TV distributors.
February 24, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Some small cable networks are worried that a combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable will make getting distribution more difficult. In a memo to his staff, Eric Sherman, chief executive of health and wellness channel Veria Living, said he is "not optimistic that this new development will be good for us or other independent networks. " Owned by Indian media giant Zee Group, Veria Living is a specialty channel that focuses on Eastern wellness practices. Its programs include "Got Zen?"
February 24, 2014 | By Meg James
For Maria Bartiromo, it was time to take stock. "Sometimes in life you have to have a little courage," the longtime star of business channel CNBC said over the phone. "I wanted to try something new, something in which I could learn and grow. " After 20 years, Bartiromo gave up her comfortable perch at CNBC and moved to rival Fox Business Network, where on Monday she debuts a live, two-hour morning show, "Opening Bell With Maria Bartiromo. " PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV CNBC may have nearly three times the audience of Fox Business, but her defection is a big loss.
February 23, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Updated to correct the name of Netflix's Open Connect initiative. Netflix Inc. has agreed to pay Comcast Corp. to ensure the online service's subscribers get seamless access to movies and TV shows delivered over the Internet, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal, which has been nearly a year in the making, would give Netflix direct access to Comcast's high-speed network, the two companies confirmed Sunday.  Terms were not disclosed. FACES TO WATCH 2014: Digital media The agreement could set a precedent in Netflix's dealings with other Internet access providers, such as AT&T and Verizon Communications.  For Netflix users who are Comcast subscribers, the pact should mean better quality.
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