14-18 Oct: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Netflix shows strong earnings but falters on subscribers
On Wednesday, Netflix announced its Q3 results. According to CNBC, the company’s stock shot up more than 10% after hours following its earnings report.
The mixed results revealed that Netflix beat expectations on earnings per share ($1.47 vs. $1.04 expected) but missed the target on expected domestic paid subscriber additions (517,000 vs. 802,000 expected).
International subscriber numbers remain strong, however, as the Netflix reported 6.26 million paid international subscribers compared to the 6.05 million that was expected.
The FCC formally approves T-Mobile/Sprint merger
The Federal Communications Commission has formally approved the merger between US telco giants T-Mobile and Sprint, Reuters has reported.
Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners voted to approve the deal while two Democratic commissioners voted against it. The formal approval comes after the companies adjusted their merger terms in May, in line with concerns raised by the FCC, which the body then endorsed.
T-Mobile and Sprint have pledged to build a next-generation 5G network within six years of completing the merger and have promised the network will include coverage to rural areas in the US.
The text of the approval order is expected to be released later this month.
Quibi adds to content portfolio
The mobile-first platform Quibi has announced a partnership with E! News and Rotten Tomatoes for premium entertainment programming on Quibi’s Daily Essentials.
Deadline reported that E! News will debut a daily celebrity news show and Rotten Tomatoes will debut “Fresh Daily.”
New episodes of both shows will be made available Monday through Friday, exclusively on Quibi, when the platform launches April 2020.
Read more: Can Quibi crack the short-form market?
O2 launches 5G network in UK
O2 is the latest UK telco to launch its 5G network, the BBC has reported.
It joins EE and Vodafone as the third network to successfully launch 5G. The network, however, is only available in 6 locations - Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds.
Customers on O2’s unlimited tariff can access the 5G network at no extra cost but will need a 5G-ready smartphone to access the network.
Netflix-style fee considered as TV licence replacement
UK Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has said she is ”open-minded” to scrapping the BBC TV license fee and replacing it with a Netflix-style fee, The Guardian reported.
Morgan’s comment came in response to a question from Julian Knight MP, who asked her to consider scrapping the licence fee and suggested a subscription service as a possible policy for the party’s election manifesto.
She also said would not overrule The BBC’s decision to abolish mandatory free TV licences for over 75s.