After the coffee. Before checking Jimmy Fallon's ratings.
The Skinny: Watched episode four of "House of Cards" last night. No spoiler here but I think CNN's Ashleigh Banfield got a more high-profile assignment in a fictional TV show than she ever does in her day job with the news channel. Tuesday's roundup includes a look at the challenges facing SportsNet LA, the new TV home for the Dodgers. Also, Charter Communications eyes a consolation prize after falling short in its attempt to buy Time Warner Cable. Finally, apparently someone new made their debut on NBC's "Tonight Show" and we have some stories on that.
Daily Dose: The partnership between Dodgers owner Guggenheim Baseball Management and Time Warner Cable in SportsNet LA (see below), may not limit itself to baseball. Executives for the team and Time Warner Cable don't completely rule out pursuing TV rights for another sports franchise should something open up. Most eyes are on the Los Angeles Clippers. That may be one reason the channel is called SportsNet LA instead of something that has Dodgers in the title.
Fair or foul? The Dodgers' biggest challenge this season may not be the Giants or the Cardinals. It might be DirecTV and Cox Communications and other area pay-TV distributors. All are balking at the terms being offered by SportsNet LA, the new TV home of the Dodgers that is owned by the team and run by Time Warner Cable. The channel is set to debut next Tuesday, but so far Time Warner Cable is the only one committed to carry it. Such skirmishes have become routine as the cost of sports rights continues to skyrocket. For the fans, it's a no-win situation. Those that don't get the channel will miss a lot of baseball and those that do will have bigger pay-TV bills. The Los Angeles Times on SportsNet LA.
A really big show. Jimmy Fallon made his debut as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" last night. Besides U2 and Will Smith, there were lots of other cameos by big stars. Fallon probably will have big ratings in his opening weeks, then the numbers will settle down. If Fallon can hold on to the bulk of Leno's audience and add some younger viewers, NBC will be pleased. Everyone had something to say about Fallon's premiere. Stories and reviews from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
If at first you don't succeed. Having lost out to Comcast in its effort to acquire Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications may be on the market for a consolation prize. One potential target for Charter is Cox Communications. Of course, any time there is talk of industry consolidation, people start speculating that Cox will be acquired. Bloomberg on what Charter may want to eat now that its favorite item is off the menu.
Poking the bear. With more than 30 million subscribers in the U.S., a big stock price and some critically acclaimed shows including "House of Cards," no one can deny the success of Netflix. But it has a long way to go before it can topple Time Warner's HBO, which makes a lot more money and has greater worldwide reach. That doesn't stop Netflix from taking the occasional jab at their bigger rival. HBO, meanwhile, continues to think of Netflix as a pesky fly. The New York Times looks at the burgeoning rivalry.
Making a name for itself. Speaking of HBO (see above), its little sister channel Cinemax is starting to become a force of its own. Once best known for old theatricals and soft-core porn and nicknamed Skinamax, it has been spending more on originals and seen its subscriber base grow substantially over the last few years. Business Week on Cinemax's success.
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