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One season down, Turner’s eSports league off to a ‘very successful’ start

Digiday reports “Last fall, Turner Sports set out on a bold experiment: Intrigued by the growing interest in competitive video gaming, the company launched its own professional eSports league. This ‘ELeague’ would follow 24 teams competing for a prize pool of $1.2 million. These competitions would be broadcast live on Twitch as well as once a week on TBS.

This weekend, ELeague closes out its inaugural season, and by all measures, Turner Sports is already pleased with how the league has performed, according to Craig Barry, evp and chief content officer for Turner Sports. “In our business, engagement is going to be one of the most important metrics going forward,” he said. ‘And specifically around engagement, we’ve had a very successful first season.’”

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Live Nation Stock Rises on Strong Earnings Report

Billboard reports “Shares of Live Nation surged more than 8 percent after the closing bell on Thursday when the concert and ticketing company reported quarterly earnings that surpassed the expectations of analysts, courtesy of revenue growth at three of its four segments.

The company said revenue for concerts jumped 26 percent in the second quarter to $1.6 billion, while ticketing was up 23 percent to $443 million and sponsorship and advertising was up 17 percent to $95 million.”

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The threats and challenges for Netflix in Asia

TechCrunch reports “You might call it a Hollywood makeover of the tech industry; Netflix, a company that used to send you DVDs by mail and was almost sold to Blockbuster for a paltry $50 million, is now a juggernaut staring down big TV networks as it makes their programming and business models seem almost archaic for today’s world.

The streaming service effected a culture of entertainment being “anywhere, on anything and anytime you like” as the benchmark expectation for an entire generation, forcing other networks out of their comfort zones and making them up their games.

But to Asian internet users, Netflix seemed like another among many of the wonderful first-world luxuries that kept making waves on the news but never seemed within reach. Even today, being a native South Asian, it’s difficult getting used to the idea that one can get a Netflix subscription where high-speed internet access is still not available to everyone. The service was, until recently, available in only a select few regions with varying limitations on its library.”

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Broadband Giants File for Rehearing on FCC’s ‘Unlawful’ Net Neutrality Rules

Variety Reports “As expected, trade associations representing U.S. Internet service providers launched legal challenges Friday seeking to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

The groups — the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., CTIA, USTelecom and the American Cable Assn. — filed petitions for an en banc rehearing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the FCC’s 2015 order to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act.”

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No, Amazon Isn’t Going to Quit Being a Big Spender. But It’s Profitable

Wired reports “FOR YEARS, AMAZON emphasized growth over profits. But these days, it is enjoying both. The company just posted its fifth consecutive quarterly profit, and it was a doozy.

The retail titan saw second quarter sales climb 31 percent to $30.4 billion and recorded a profit of $857 million, or $1.78 a share. That makes the $92 million profit it recorded one year ago seem positively miniscule. Those figures easily beat Wall Street expectations and was on the higher side of Amazon’s own projections.”

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Twitter will stream its first eSports competition, starting today

TechCrunch reports “It’s no Twitch, but Twitter this weekend will live stream its first eSports competition on its service, thanks to a partnership with Eleague. Twitter will provide live coverage of the organization’s semifinals and championship held today and tomorrow in Atlanta, where teams will be playing Valve’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Game.”

The first semifinal takes place today at 5 PM ET, and will be followed by the second semifinal at 10 PM. The season one championship is then held on Saturday at 4 PM ET with the top two teams going head-to-head in a best out of three series, says Eleague.”

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Technicolor Opens Center to Develop Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Projects

Variety reports “As part of its re-invention, Technicolor is pushing further into the worlds VR and AR.

The company is opening the Technicolor Experience Center in Culver City, Calif., a facility tasked with developing content, platforms, and technology for virtual reality, augmented reality, and other immersive media applications.

The Technicolor Experience Center occupies a purpose-built space designed to enable communities of artists and technologists across teams at Technicolor, as well as partners, to discover and create immersive experiences in entertainment, advertising, and other commercial applications.”

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Sony posts $205M profit as downsized mobile business stops bleeding cash

TechCrunch reports “Sony posted a slim ¥21.2 billion ($205 million) profit for its Q1 2016. That’s down on the ¥82.4 billion profit it carded this time last year, but in general the quarter was a mixed bag of positives and negatives following the impact of cost-cutting initiatives.

We already knew the firm would take somewhat of a hit this quarter after it warned of the impact that the Kumamoto earthquake had on its manufacturing operations nearby. Revenue for the three-month period did reflect that, coming in at ¥1.613 trillion ($15.662 billion), down 11 percent annually.”

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Facebook Profit Nearly Triples on Mobile Ad Sales and New Users

The New York Times reports “Facebook’s growth appears to know few limits. And even when one source of growth is set to slow down, the social network is ready with another.

The Silicon Valley company on Wednesday reported blockbuster second-quarter earnings, with strong increases across almost every measure. Facebook said sales totaled $6.44 billion for the quarter, up 59 percent from a year ago, while profit almost tripled to $2.06 billion.”

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Jaunt’s new VR film series explores e-sports tournaments

The Verge reports “Jaunt, one of the bigger names in virtual reality filmmaking right now, has partnered with the e-sports league ESL to film a series of short 360-degree documentaries about its biggest tournaments. The first of those documentaries is called CLG: Win Everythin’(typo intentional) and follows the team Counter Logic Gaming during a League of Legends competition. The documentary is just over five minutes long and is available now through Jaunt’s apps and on the web.”

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CBS Corp. Increases Dividend, Stock Buyback Program

The Hollywood Reporter reports “CBS Corp. is increasing its quarterly dividend and stock buyback program. The company run by CEO Leslie Moonves announced the news Thursday before the stock market opened.

The company’s dividend will rise by 20 percent to 18 cents per share, compared with 15 cents so far. The new rate will take effect on the next scheduled quarterly dividend payment date of Oct. 1, 2016 and be in effect for shareholders of record as of Sept. 9.

CBS Corp. also said that it was increasing its stock buyback program to $6 billion from a remaining authorization of $1 billion, under its previous program, as of mid-year.”

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Global mobile gaming market re-energized by Pokémon Go

VentureBeat reports “The global gaming market was stuck in neutral with market saturation for apps and smartphones. But Pokémon Go has given it a new burst of energy, and opened up new opportunities in the augmented reality market, according to a new report by market researcher Frost & Sullivan.

The report showed plenty to worry about, with an impasse in mobile games due to saturation, heavy consolidation, and declining smartphone shipments. Strong game companies such as Supercell and Mixi came to dominate the industry, forcing smaller players out. And emerging markets were stalled by the lack of payment options on mobile.”