Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Disney/Fox merger clears another hurdle
US regulators have cleared Walt Disney Co’s plans to buy the majority of 21st Century Fox, provided it sells the Fox regional sports network in the US because of competition concerns. According to the BBC, the deal still needs sign off from other countries to proceed however the sale of the sports sector will make the transaction likely to proceed.
Ofcom gives the green light on BBC Scotland channel
Final approval has been granted to the BBC to launch a new TV channel in Scotland. The approval confirms a £4 million new facility built in Glasgow and 140 new jobs created over the next three years. According to TVBEurope, the new job roles will focus on ways the BBC can develop new voice interactive devices, help deliver the education mission and build on the success of BBC bitesize, whilst also developing a central platform for its apps, website and online experiences.
IBM to edit Wimbledon 2018 using AI
IBM’s Watson computer will be used to automatically edit and cut highlights of the tennis tournament. The emotional reactions, crowd noise, player actions and match data will be picked up using artificial intelligence (AI) and packaged within five to 10 minutes, according to Reuters.
Apple and Samsung settle patent row
On Wednesday, Apple and Samsung settled a seven year patent dispute over allegations from Apple that Samsung violated its patent by “slavishly” copying the design of the iPhone. According to Reuters, in May a jury awarded Apple $539 million after Samsung had previously paid Apple $399 million.
Hulu and Viacom pen content agreement
Subscription-streaming service Hulu has signed a deal with Viacom for access to exclusive library content of hundreds of TV episodes and films, reported Variety. Hulu is now home to programmes including Daria, My Super Sweet 16 and Viacom-owned films including Big Time Rush and School of Rock.
Facebook ditches flying drone plan
Project Aquila was announced in 2014 by Facebook with plans to fly drones that would beam internet connectivity, however, after a series of failures including a broken wing and short flying times, Facebook has abandoned the project. According to the BBC, it will change direction partnering with firms to continue its efforts to connect more people to the internet. The facility in Bridgwater, UK, that had been home to build the technology will be closed down.
Oculus launches dedicated VR channel
Oculus has launched an exclusive VR channel on its TV hub dedicated to watching flatscreen video in virtual reality (VR) wearing the standalone Oculus Go headset. The Verge reported the free app features a virtual home theatre with access to streaming video services, subscription-based platforms, free channels and Facebook video with the goal to raise the profile of VR television.
First commercial 5G launch in Finland
Finnish operator Elisa has claimed it has become the first operator to begin the commercial use of a 5G network and has begun selling 5G subscriptions. According to Telecoms.com, Finland plans to lead the 5G mobile service and is ready to allocate the first 5G licences to the 3,400–3,800 megahertz frequency band, securing the title as one of the first countries in the world to begin building a 5G network.