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According to manager Larry Rudolph, BRITNEY SPEARS will not perform at the MTV Video Music Awards. However, the former pop sensation will most likely be in attendance. Britney’s last performance on the famed award show was heralded as one of the worst televised performances of all time.
ELECTRONIC ARTS (NASD: ERTS) and TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE (NASD: TTWO) have signed NDA’s and are in the midst of confidential negotiations. It is believed that the two gaming giants are getting closer to a deal.
HEWLETT-PACKARD (NYSE: HPQ) is expected to finalize its acquisition of ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEMS (NYSE: EDS) today. THE $13.25 billion deal, H-P’s largest since acquiring COMPAQ for $19 billion in 2002, will help H-P integrate more software and IT services into the company’s workflow. H-P hopes that EDS will help diversify its interests, as the margins on PC’s and printers decline.
MICROSOFT (NASD: MSFT) has made an undisclosed investment in MOVE NETWORKS. Microsoft and Move signed a strategic partnership earlier in the year and are currently partnering to deliver the Democratic National Convention. As part of the deal Microsoft will begin supporting Move Networks streaming technology through Silverlight and Move will integrate Windows Server-based encoding, Microsoft video codecs and Silverlight’s DRM schema into its platform.
ESPN (NYSE: DIS) will pay $2.25 billion for the rights to SEC sporting events through 2024. The deal gives ESPN multi-platform rights to all SEC sporting events, including streaming games online. The deal only includes SEC content not already licensed to CBS (NYSE: VIA.B), who paid $825 million for 15 years of exclusive coverage.
NBC’s (NYSE: GE) coverage of the closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics drew a 20 rating/7.8 share in the coveted 18-49 demographic. The Peacock took in 26.3 million viewers for its highest ratings during the closing ceremony’s since 1976. NBC’s ratings were up 27% from the 2004 Athens games and 38% over the 2000 Sydney games.
CITIGROUP (NYSE: C) cut CABLEVISION’s (NYSE: CVC) stock from a buy to a sell. Citigroup cited that the majority of directors are now alligned with Class B shareholders. Despite boosting its stock last week, Citigroup believes that HARBINGER’s increased stake in Cablevision could cause drastically hurt shares of Cablevision, just like it did the NEW YORK TIMES (NYSE: NYT), whose shares are down 40% in the last year.