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The new WGA contract will change how Hollywood works

Historic raises and guarantees on AI use will have major ramifications in Hollywood, but the new transparency in streaming data means Netflix and Disney Plus will have to change how they work.

Comcast has... EV charging stations?

Comcast Smart Solutions, the company’s commercial connected infrastructure division, will offer connected EV chargers made by NovaCharge, at commercial and residential complexes where it has its large-scale Comcast Business and Xfinity Communities set up.

So if a landlord / building owner with Comcast service wants EV chargers on the property, they could have one less vendor to deal with. And if Comcast does well with support, perhaps it won’t need to offer charger decommissioning options.

guy plugging in Tesla at a charging station, is happy
A Level 2 charger offering by NovaCharge.
Image: NovaCharge
A real-time reaction to the actors’ strike.

Two out of the big three Hollywood labor unions are on strike, citing streaming and AI as major issues, and actors are starting to picket offices for companies like Warner Bros., Netflix, and Amazon. This screengrab from CNBC captures the initial reaction of Wall Street.

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NBCUniversal puts a new exec, Donna Langley, in charge of film and TV.

She will now head up NBCU’s entertainment divisions, Deadline reports. Susan Rovner, who previously led TV and streaming content, leading projects including Poker Face, is leaving.

Mark Lazarus is getting promoted to Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, overseeing the ad sales, the TV networks, Peacock, and NBC Sports.

The restructuring comes just a couple of months after Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh stepped in for former CEO Jeff Shell, who was accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” at the company.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

Comcast is quarreling with Disney over its decision not to expand Hulu internationally.

After Comcast found out that Disney quietly blocked Comcast’s ability to make major decisions about Hulu, the WSJ reports they made a deal saying Disney would continue to “aggressively” expand the streaming service.

However, Disney never brought Hulu to international markets and only released the service under its Star branding in foreign countries. This reportedly set off an arbitration dispute, as the two also wrangle over a buyout to end their shared ownership and for how much.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

Linda Yaccarino has resigned from NBCUniversal, clearing the way to take over Twitter soon.

On Thursday night Elon Musk said he’s hiring a new CEO for Twitter who will start in about six weeks, but didn’t name them. That’s apparently because the reported selection, Linda Yaccarino, was preparing a presentation for advertisers at her existing job with NBCUniversal.

Now NBCUniversal announced Yaccarino has resigned, so we may not have to wait six weeks to get the news officially confirmed.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

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Peacock added two million paid subscribers last quarter.

The streaming service now has a total of 22 million paying subscribers, according to Comcast’s earnings report today — a major increase from the 13 million paid subscribers it had at the same time last year.

This increase could be related to the company’s decision to take away Peacock’s free tier in February, but it’ll be even more to see how many Xfinity customers stick around for Poker Face once Comcast starts making them pay for Peacock this June.

NBCUniversal’s CEO has been ousted after “inappropriate relationship.”

Comcast abruptly announced the departure of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell on Sunday afternoon. A longtime veteran of the company, Shell admitted “I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret.” His exit is effective immediately.

Shell had been CEO since January 2020 and oversaw the launch of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service. But after an investigation conducted by outside counsel, Comcast said his stepping down was a “mutual” decision. The company is due to report earnings on Thursday.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

Peacock’s latest streaming addition: morning cable news shows.

Instead of an Oscar-bait movie or more sports, Peacock is adding Morning Joe from MSNBC and Squawk Box from CNBC starting on March 28th.

While missing out on cable news is a feature for some cord-cutters, others may want their morning updates without paying the cable-like prices for packages like Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV, especially after CNN Plus went 90 in less than a month.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

Super Bowl LVII will be available in Dolby Vision on Comcast.

Fox is broadcasting this year’s Big Game on February 12th. And while most of us will have to settle for the standard upscaled “4K” presentation and regular HDR, Comcast is adding something extra: the game will be offered in Dolby Vision for Xfinity X1 cable customers.

“Comcast is taking the 4K HDR feed sent to them from Fox, which they analyze and send through Dolby’s live Dolby Vision production workflow and tools,” Dolby spokesperson Rachel Lowery told The Verge.

I have many questions. Stay tuned for more details.

Image: Comcast
The Verge
Green light.

Besides Elon Musk, other businesses also have quarterly reports. Today that list includes Intel later this afternoon, and Comcast, which said it shed 440,000 TV subscribers in three months but added 365,000 customers to Xfinity Mobile.

For now, we’re looking at keyboards and controllers, as Sony’s new $199.99 DualSense Edge gamepad is available, but only directly from Sony. Check out our review to see if it’s worth the high price.

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G4 is gone, again, and now we know why it collapsed.

Comcast abruptly shut down the gaming-focused channel less than a year after it launched, and The Washington Post has a big report about how things went south.

Executives apparently couldn’t decide on a strategy, and the network spent huge sums of money on hosts and guest appearances. Also, the son of Comcast’s CEO had an office based on Emperor Palpatine’s throne room. Seriously!

Why G4 failed

[Washington Post]