Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Sky to bundle Netflix
Sky has announced it will make Netflix available through its Sky Q set-top box with content from the streaming service to sit alongside Sky programmes. According to the BBC, customers will pay for Netflix through the Sky service, with the price yet to be announced. Sky said the move would make the entertainment experience “easier and simpler” for customers, with many seeing it as a strategic move by Sky to tackle the threat from the SVoD service.
WPP shares drop
Advertising giant WPP’s shares have dropped 10% at the start of trading on Thursday morning, according to the Financial Times. The company reported a decline in full-year sales and predicted it would struggle to lift revenues back up this year. Over the past 12 months, the decline is now at more than 30%. Sales are expected to be flat for 2018.
5G build in the US
Mobile phone operator T-Mobile has signed a deal with Nokia and Ericsson to begin building next-generation 5G networks across the US. Reuters reported that the financial terms were not disclosed but T-Mobile announced it plans to roll out 5G in 30 cities this year, with New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas among the first cities with the service.
BBC’s Winter Olympics streaming records
The BBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics attracted an overall audience of 33.2 million with a peak of 4.1 million on 17 February for British athletes Yarnold and Deas’s gold and bronze medal success in the Skeleton. Rapid TV reported that the BBC reached a record of 22.2 million streams of the action across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer.
Zuckerberg sells $500m Facebook stock
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg sold 685,000 shares worth $125.4 million in the last three days of February to fund his philanthropic investment, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). Regulatory filings showed his total sales in the last month were roughly 2.7 million shares worth $482.2 million. According to Reuters, the move is part of Zuckerberg’s plan to expedite stock sales to fund the initiative he set up with his wife in December 2015.
Qualcomm softens on Broadcom bid
The saga continues with Qualcomm shifting its stance towards Broadcom’s bid, announcing it is willing to agree on a deal if the takeover offer is raised to $160 billion including debt, according to people involved in the negotiations, reported the Financial Times.
EU calls for tighter piracy regulations
Guidelines issued by the European Commission have called for platforms to “redouble their efforts” to take down illegal content including pirated films to hate speech in a more efficient manner. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Commission said progress has been made with internet companies now removing on average 70% of illegal hate speech flagged on their platforms. In more than 80% of cases it is removed within 24 hours.
Toyota to spend $2.8bn on self-driving technology
Toyota has announced it will spend $2.8 billion developing automated-driving software. The company’s new mission aims to accelerate development in a more effective and disruptive way with 1,000 new employee hires and an additional $1 billion being invested in artificial intelligence and other technologies through its US research institute, Reuters reported.