ViacomCBS, Roku shares jump on report that Comcast is considering a deal
NBCUniversal kicks off it's new Peacock streaming service. Comcast chief Brian Roberts is exploring new options for the company's push into streaming, raising the idea of a possible tie-up with ViacomCBS or acquisition of Roku, according to a Wednesday report from The Wall Street Journal. The profile sent shares of Comcast down more than 3%. Roku stock jumped nearly 5%, while ViacomCBS shares were up 3.8%. Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.cnbc.com
Universal Studios Hollywood will reopen April 16 with new 'Secret Life of Pets' ride
Universal Studios Hollywood will reopen its gates to the public on April 16, more than a year after shuttering due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We are incredibly thrilled to finally be able to open Universal Studios Hollywood, return team members to work and welcome guests back to enjoy our amazing rides," said Karen Irwin, president and chief operating officer at Universal Studios Hollywood. Most rides will be operational when the park opens on April 16, however some will remain closed due to government restrictions. Due to California guidelines, only residents of the state are permitted to visit the theme park for the time being. When Universal Studios Hollywood reopens, it will debut a new ride, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash.cnbc.com
NFL finalizes new 11-year media rights deal, Amazon gets exclusive Thursday Night rights
The league announced Thursday it's renewing TV rights with all of its existing broadcast partners and adding Amazon Prime Video as an exclusive partner for its Thursday Night Football package. Using these numbers, the NFL's new agreement projects to be more than $100 billion -- the richest U.S. sports league media deal. In this pact, the ESPN network keeps the Monday Night Football package and also has rights to air two Super Bowls on its ABC network. Disney can stream all NFL games that air on ABC and ESPN on ESPN+, the league said. NBCUniversal will keep the Sunday Night Football package and use its Peacock service to stream games.cnbc.com
Houston offers free Wi-Fi at some multi-service centers, parks
Free Wi-Fi now available at City of Houston multi-service centers and some parksHOUSTON – The city of Houston is offering free Wi-Fi at several multi-service centers and parks with the help of Comcast. The 14 Lift Zone Wi-Fi hotspots are made to help residents connect to the internet, with the goal of helping them participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. The partnership will provide free internet connectivity in Houston Health Department Multi-Service Centers and Houston Park Community Centers for the next three years. The hotspots will be active and accessible both indoors and outdoors at the following sites:City of Houston Health Department Multi-Service Centers:Acres Homes Multi-Service Center – 6719 W. Montgomery Rd, 77091 – 832-393-4145 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center – 6402 Market Street, 77020 – 832395-0895 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center – 4014 Market Street, 77020 – 832-393-3800 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Hiram Clark Multi-Service Center – 3810 W. Fuqua Street, 77045 – 832-393-4240 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Kashmere Multi-Service Center - 4802 Lockwood Drive, 77026 – 832-393-5503 (7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Magnolia Multi-Service Center – 7037 Capitol Street, 77011 – 832-395-3380 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Northeast Multi-Service Center – 9720 Spaulding Street, 77016 – 832-395-0472 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Southwest Multi-Service Center – 6400 High Star Drive, 77074 – 832-395-9900 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)Third Ward Multi-Service Center – 3611 Ennis Street, 77004 – 832-393-4051 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)West End Multi-Service Center – 170 Heights Boulevard, 77007 – 832-393-5950 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday)City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Centers:Side note: Currently, parks Community Centers buildings remain closed, except for After-School Enrichment Programming. Emancipation Park Community Center – 3018 Emancipation Avenue, 77004Hartman Park Community Center – 9311 East Avenue P., 77012DeZavala Park Community Center - 907 76th Street, 77012Melrose Park Community Center – 1001 Canino, 77076How to sign into the Comcast Experience Lift Zone Hotspots follow the following steps:
Universal set to resume construction of Epic Universe park in Florida
Work is finally resuming on Universal Orlando Resort's fourth theme park, Epic Universe. "The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of NBCUniversal parent Comcast. It typically takes three to four years to build a full-scale theme park. The land was cleared in 2018, and it will be the first park Universal has built since 1999, when Islands of Adventure opened. Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, called it "the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created."cnbc.com
Altice USA CEO says cable TV will die and broadband and wireless companies should merge
And so all of that makes sense if you really don't need the money and don't know what to do with the money. One of the limitations on doing a wireless deal for Altice USA is you only have five million customer relationships. Whatever it is, the cable network is just not as good. And so, one of the big cost elements in the cable network is the amount of servicing that's required every time you call. Obviously, broadband continues to be the story and continues to make cable companies and fiber companies very attractive investment propositions because of broadband.cnbc.com
How to watch the 2021 Golden Globes without cable
Golden Globe trophies are set by the stage ahead of the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills on December 9, 2019. The 78th Golden Globes are set to kick off Sunday at 8 p.m. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, veteran hosts of the Globes, are set to emcee the event. However, some broadcasters are using the hours before the ceremony kicks off to countdown top red carpet outfits, memorable Golden Globe moments and interview nominees. Check out the full list of nominees for this year's Golden Globes here.cnbc.com
Democrats ask cable and streaming providers about their role in spreading misinformation ahead of Capitol riot
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., speaks during a rally in the Capitol Building to call on the Senate to vote on House Democrats' prescription drugs and health care package on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Lawmakers are looking beyond the social media companies when it comes to cracking down on misinformation. Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., sent letters to top executives at AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Google parent Alphabet, and Disney-owned Hulu on Monday, urging them to address misinformation on their services. Eshoo and McNerney identified Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network as channels that aired misinformation in the lead-up to the riot and that have spread false information about Covid-19. Representatives for the companies named in this article did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the letters.cnbc.com
Can you get a credit or refund for cable and internet service you couldn’t use when power was out?
HOUSTON – Now that we’ve got electricity, many of you are asking If you can get a credit or refund for cable and internet service you couldn’t use this week because of the power outages. Can you get a credit or refund for cable and internet service you couldn’t use when power was out? In some cases, customers may have power but not their Xfinity services because electricity has not been restored in the area of our network that serves their neighborhood. If you had electricity but no cable or internet, you can request a credit. Comcast said though, in some instances, it was the commercial power from Centerpoint that was down that caused the loss of services into customers’ homes even if the customers’ electricity was on.
$1 million in grants to be allocated to Houston minority small businesses
Mayor Turner and Comcast have announced a new initiative benefiting Houston area small minority businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Comcast is providing 100 grants to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses in Houston through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Courtesy: ComcastEligible BIPOC-owned, small businesses can apply from March 1 to 14 for the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant. Five million dollars in grants will go to BIPOC-owned, small businesses in five cities nationwide including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. “Small businesses have always played an integral role in Houston’s growth and future,” Martinez said.chron.com
Houston BIPOC businesses getting a million-dollar boost
HOUSTON – BIPOC businesses in Houston will be getting a nice shot in the arm, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Comcast announced Tuesday. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will provide $5 million in grants to hundreds of small businesses across the country owned by Black people, indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC). “Many of our businesses - small businesses and businesses of color - have been hard hit due to this pandemic, and the fact that (Comcast is) stepping up through this initiative to help out these businesses will not only benefit the businesses but also will for the employees,” Turner said. In total, Houston BIPOC businesses will receive $1 million in aid from the program. Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia are the other cities benefitting from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
New $1 Million Grant Will Go To 100 Minority-Owned Houston Businesses – Houston Public Media
Minority-owned small businesses in Houston will soon be able to apply for up to $10,000 as part of a larger $1 million grant program from Comcast, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Tuesday. "Many of our businesses, small businesses and businesses of color, have been hard hit due to this pandemic," the mayor said. RISE launched in October, and was originally aimed at supporting just black-owned small businesses impacted by the pandemic. In Houston, the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, Cámara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston, the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Houston East End Chamber, and the Asian Chamber of Commerce have already been tapped to participate in the program. "Our small businesses here in Houston have always played an integral part in our city's growth and future," said Michael Bybee, Comcast's director of external communications in Houston.houstonpublicmedia.org
Celebrating Houston history makers: Meet this year’s 8 award-winners
Eight community volunteers are being honored by Comcast this year, in celebration of Black History Month. It has been four years now since the Mayor’s History Makers Awards presented by Comcast kicked off. Comcast partners with the Mayor of Houston annually to recognize eight African-American citizens who are making a difference in the local community. They deserve to be celebrated every day -- and especially during Black History Month,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. Publisher, Houston Style Magazine; Edward Pollard, Houston City Council Member, District J; and Dr. Ruth Simmons, President, Prairie View A&M University.
Stocks making the biggest moves midday: GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Tesla and more
GameStop — Shares of the brick-and-mortar video game retailer swung wildly and last traded about 32% lower after multiple trading halts. American Airlines beat top and bottom line estimates in its fourth-quarter earnings report, but posted a record quarterly loss. AMC Entertainment – Shares of the movie theater chain dropped 60% and were halted multiple times during morning trading due to volatility. Earnings came in at $3.88 per share, 66 cents above estimates, according to Refintiv. Whirlpool earned an adjusted $6.64 per share, topping estimates of $6.07 per share, according to Refinitiv.cnbc.com
Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: American Airlines, GameStop, Apple & more
The airline lost $3.86 per share, less than the anticipated loss of $4.11, and revenue came in above analyst forecasts. McDonald's (MCD) – The restaurant chain missed estimates by 8 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.70 per share. Its loss came in at $1.53 compared to a consensus estimate of a $1.69 per share loss, and revenue was also ahead of estimates. The company's revenue came in ahead of Wall Street forecasts as well. The company's quarterly revenue was down 67% from a year earlier due to the impact of Covid-19.cnbc.com
Comcast reports record internet customers, 33 million Peacock sign-ups for NBCUniversal
Comcast also reported record net customer additions for high-speed internet service in Q4, and an additional 11 million subscribers to its new streaming service, Peacock. The company reported its best fourth-quarter result on record for total customer relationships, adding 455,000 customers to reach 33.1 million. Comcast said its Europe-based Sky division has continued to add customers, up 244,000 to 23.9 million in Q4. Here's how Comcast's divisions did for the quarter compared with a year earlier:Cable communications accounted for $15.7 billion in revenue, up 6.3%. Theme parks brought in $579 million in revenue, down 63%.cnbc.com
Widespread internet outages hit northeast U.S.
Users across the northeast U.S. reported widespread internet outages Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)Internet users across the northeast U.S. experienced widespread outages for several hours Tuesday, interrupting work and school because of an unspecified Verizon network issue. “An internet issue impacting the quality of our Fios service throughout the Northeast has been resolved," said spokesman Rich Young in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon. People posting on Twitter reported having issues connecting with various online services in the region stretching from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Comcast, another major internet service provider, said it had not observed problems with its network Tuesday.
Net neutrality foe and Trump's former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stands by repeal as Democrats take over
It's fair to say that net neutrality advocates' worst fears have not yet materialized. Conservatives like Pai and the ISPs themselves argued against net neutrality because they saw it as a heavy-handed regulation unnecessary to address the purported issues. Though net neutrality did not directly seek to regulate prices, opponents feared what they saw as a potential opportunity for overreach. Even though the most dire warnings of net neutrality advocates have not yet been realized, some recent moves by ISPs have raised flags. The announcement sparked cries from members of the Massachusetts state legislature, among others, who likened it to a "perversion of the principles of net neutrality."cnbc.com
WarnerMedia reportedly planning Harry Potter TV series for HBO Max
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Attention witches and wizards, a new live-action Harry Potter series could be coming to HBO Max. "There are no Harry Potter series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform," representatives from Warner Bros. and HBO Max told CNBC in a statement. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has spawned spinoff books, 10 box-office features and theme park lands at Universal Studios in Florida and California. The author has come under scrutiny for comments made about the trans community and has faced backlash from even the most loyal of Harry Potter fans.cnbc.com
NBCUniversal is bringing its live events to Twitter users globally
Exclusive looks into the Golden Globes, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and other live NBC events are headed to Twitter. Comcast's NBCUniversal and Twitter on Monday announced a multi-year global content partnership, in an effort to expand both the media company's and social media giant's advertising and audience reach. As part of the partnership, NBCUniversal will bring live, trending content, like scenes from red carpet events and sports highlights, to Twitter. Global audiences will then be able to watch certain coverage from the events on Twitter and discuss in real time. NBCUniversal said that since kicking off its partnership with Twitter in 2013, both companies have seen significant growth and engagement.cnbc.com
NBCUniversal launches NBCU Academy, a journalism training program across the U.S.
Comcast's NBCUniversal News Group on Thursday announced NBCU Academy, a journalism training and development program that's set to partner with 17 academic institutions across the U.S. The NBCU Academy launch comes about half a year after Comcast committed to spending $100 million over three years to help combat racism and injustice, following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. "NBCU Academy is part of that pledge and focuses on providing tools, resources, and platforms for young, underrepresented voices," the company said in a statement. The company said NBCU Academy will invest $6.5 million toward the initiative, which includes $3.5 million in scholarships over the next two years. The program will provide on-campus training and online programming, including guest lectures with NBCU News Group journalists, executives and management.cnbc.com
LIST: This is where you can get free Wi-Fi around the Houston-area at Boys and Girls Clubs
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and Comcast have joined forces to equip 10 of the nonprofit’s Clubs in the Houston area, and its headquarters, with WiFI-connected “Lift Zones” to enable children and teens fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. HOUSTON – Kindergarten through 12th grade students who are still in need of internet access for schoolwork can visit some Houston-area Boys & Girls Clubs to obtain free access to Wi-Fi, thanks to a partnership with Comcast. Kevin Hattery, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, said in a statement he hopes the initiative will make significant progress in students’ ability to stay current with their schoolwork and not fall further behind. Installation of these hotspots began last week, according to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston. The Houston-area locations -- called “Lift Zones” -- are shown in the map below.
Disney unloads a slew of impressive Disney+ announcements, announces price hike
Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company and former head of Walt Disney Parks and Experiences, speaks during a media preview of the D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, Aug. 22, 2019. On Thursday, the company revealed a slew of impressive Disney+ announcements, with over 100 movies and shows connected to franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, FX and National Geographic. New shows in the Star Wars universe, including one featuring fan favorite characters Ahsoka Tano, were applauded by fans on social media during the announcement. Notably, Lucasfilm has brought on Patty Jenkins to direct "Rogue Squadron," a new Star Wars film due out in 2023. From Pixar, there will be series based on "Up" and "Cars" and new original series called "Win or Lose."cnbc.com
Houston says it’s giving students safe places to attend virtual classes: Here’s how they’ll work
In partnership with Comcast, the City of Houston announced the launch of “Lift Zones” in an effort to reduce the digital divide and allow more students to successfully participate in distance learning. Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, several school districts have reported losing contact with children since the initial closures of schools in March. How it will work:In an effort to reconnect low-income families to the internet, Comcast announced plans Monday to equip nine City of Houston Community Centers with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” before the end of 2020. The spaces will allow students to work on laptops simultaneously so they can participate in distance learning. This initiative provides free connectivity inside partner community centers for the next three years, according to the city’s website.
Comcast teams up with city of Houston to provide free year of Internet to qualifying residents
Comcast is partnering with the City of Houston to provide Internet access to qualifying residents. Task Force, the telecom giant will provide over 5,000 low-income families with Internet connection for work, school, and personal health reasons, according to Houston Comcast. Qualifying residents chosen for the program will receive Internet for a calendar year starting at the date of installation, according to Comcast. In addition, Comcast and the City of Houston are also launching "Lift Zones" before the year is up. Lift Zones will provide free WiFi from Comcast in safe spaces, allowing students to have access to the Internet for the purpose of distanced learning.chron.com
Turner calls curfew ‘nuclear option’ as Houston’s coronavirus cases increase
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday that he is prepared to use a curfew to curb the increase of coronavirus cases in the city, but he called the measure a “nuclear option.”Turner said that an additional 403 COVID-19 cases were reported in the city Monday, bringing the total number of cases in Houston to 101,300. Two more coronavirus-related deaths were also reported Monday which puts the total number of deaths in the city at 1,467. Houston fire Chief Sam Peña said inspectors responded to 105 occupancy complaints between Friday and Saturday, noting most of those were resolved on-site. He said there is no single metric that will trigger a curfew, but he is following the numbers very closely. Turner said he plans on taking the vaccine publicly once it is available to him.
Houston partners with Comcast to provide nearly 5,000 internet vouchers
HOUSTON – Houston City Council has approved a nearly $625,000 program to provide internet vouchers to low-income Houstonians. Task Force has partnered with Comcast to provide around 5,000 vouchers to qualifying applicants from now until Dec. 20, 2020. This agreement will ensure qualifying applicants can continue to stay connected to the internet, a news release said. “This pandemic has highlighted the importance of quality internet service particularly for those vulnerable populations who must stay at home to stay safe,” Mayor Turner said. “During this unprecedented time, it is vital for Houstonians to stay connected to the Internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Comcast’s Melinda Little, Director of Government Affairs, Houston Region.
'The Croods: A New Age' tallies highest box office opening since the pandemic began
"The Croods: A New Age" stunned at the box office this weekend, hauling in the biggest opening of any film released during the pandemic. There was some skepticism about how well "The Croods: A New Age" could perform over the Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, the film drew the biggest box office opening since Disney's "Onward" was released in March prior to nationwide lockdowns. As it stands, despite a strong showing from "The Croods" sequel, it is very likely that the 2020 Thanksgiving box office will be the worst in decades. The furthest recorded Thanksgiving box office in Comscore's database is in 1984 when the five-day weekend garnered $46.8 million.cnbc.com
Universal signs deal with Canada's largest cinema chain to shorten theatrical window
Universal has struck yet another deal with a major theater chain to shorten the theatrical window from three months to as little as 17 days. The company announced Friday that it has come to a multiyear agreement with Canada's largest movie theater chain, Cineplex, to permit three full weekends of theatrical exclusivity before being permitted to launch on premium video on-demand platforms. Universal has made similar deals with AMC and Cinemark, top exhibitors in the U.S., and is the only major studio to reach this kind of agreement with exhibitors. Canada has nearly 600 movie theaters, including Cineplex's 165. Universal has five theatrical releases planned for the rest of 2020.cnbc.com
Houston home builder skips big step, leaves smart homes dumb
Moving in is exciting; but several new homeowners in one Houston community say their brand new homes are missing a crucial utility, especially during the pandemic. They have no internet service. It’s what happened to nine homeowners in north Houston who just moved into a brand new smart home community. Each home is equipped with a smart home system, but people who live there said that the lack of internet service has left their homes dumb. He said Disama Builders told him then it would take about two or three weeks to get internet service established.
NBC's video service Peacock stresses 'free,' looks to 2021
So now Peacock, which launches Wednesday, is hoping that blaring free in an ad campaign for the service will entice viewers wary of adding yet another video subscription to their stack, even in todays stay-at-home world. It has a free tier and a $5-a-month paid tier with more video. Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and short-video service Quibi have all launched over the past year. As a Comcast internet customer, she could get Peacock for free, so she did. HBO Max did not reply to a question about its subscriber count since launch.
Lone Star College teams up with Comcast Houston to give students free internet
But Lone Star College wants to help ease the burden. The Houston North Campus has teamed up with Comcast Houston to offer some students free internet service. Like, Lone Star College student Montoya Thomas. And now thanks to a partnership between Lone Star College a Comcast Houston she doesn’t have to worry about her studies anymore. President of Lone Star College Houston North, Dr. Quentin Wright, said a lot of their students also get mentoring, tutoring and help with food.
Comcast, Byron Allen end racial discrimination dispute
Comcast settled a long-running a long-running racial discrimination dispute with black media mogul Byron Allen, agreeing to add three of Allen's channels to its cable packages. Allen sued Comcast for $20 billion in 2015 for refusing to carry seven of his networks, saying it was because of his race. The case made it to the Supreme Court, which in Marc h reversed a lower court ruling in favor of Allen. The Supreme Court said Allen had to show race was the decisive factor in Comcast's decision not to offer him a contract, not one of several factors. Comcast said it would put the full weight of our companys media resources behind highlighting Black voices and Black stories.
Comcast offers free wifi hotspots during coronavirus shutdown
HOUSTON – Comcast is offering wifi hotspots available nationwide due to the coronavirus. The hotspots will be available with no data caps, disconnects or late fees and speeds will increase to 3 Mbps. This allows parents and students to have access to news and educational content. Once at a hotspot, select “xfinitywifi” network name from the wifi menu, then launch the preferred browser. To find an Xfinity WiFi Hotspot, check the hotspot location map at wifi.xfinity.com or download the Xfinity WiFi Hotspots app from the App Store or Google Play.
Don’t pay that! These are the fees and bills you can negotiate
HOUSTON – When was the last time you called your cable company to get your bill lowered? You have to do a little comparison shopping before you call up your cable company. When negotiating your cable bill, “cutting the cord” and “streaming” are things you should mention that you are considering to trim your expenses. Your cable company doesn’t want to lose you as a customer. Kyle has created this article that tells you exactly how to negotiate with Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.
Ask Amy: Here are 3 ways you can save some money right now
Last chance to lower your Comcast cable billIf you're like me, you find yourself calling the cable company every few months to get your monthly bill lowered. Otherwise, it creeps up and before you know, you're cable bill looks more like a car note! A spokesperson sent me this statement:"At Comcast, we look for ways to innovate and enhance the customer experience. Maximize Your Social Security BenefitsWhen was the last time you checked your social security statement that shows what your monthly benefit will be when you retire? Here we look at some of the biggest social security myths that can cost you big time; and a little known benefit that many older Americans are overlooking.