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Report: Al Jazeera Buys Top Turkish Pay-TV Operator Digiturk

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Turkish media are reporting that Sheikh Nasser Al-Khelaifi of Qatar has acquired a controlling stake in leading Turkish satellite pay TV operator Digiturk, which is to become part of the Al Jazeera Media Network, in what would mark the largest takeover deal in the Turkish media market The purchase would also make Al Jazeera a… Read more »

Brad Pitt’s Plan B Honored by Producers Guild with Visionary Award

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The Producers Guild of America has selected Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment to receive its 2015 Visionary Award. Plan B produced “12 Years a Slave,” which won the best picture Oscar this year, along with awards season contender “Selma.” Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will accept the award at… Read more »

Showtime Chief on ‘Homeland': Eerie Real-World Parallels Heightened Drama of Comeback Year

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“Homeland” wrapped a comeback year Sunday by returning its full focus to the United States’ maneuvers in the big scary world of geopolitical chess in the Middle East. SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you haven’t seen “Homeland’s” season finale, “Long Time Coming.” The show’s fourth season was eerily and tragically prescient about real-world events throughout… Read more »

DirecTV Launches First Over-the-Top Video Service, Yaveo, for U.S. Hispanic Audiences

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DirecTV, seeking a revenue stream beyond pay TV, has launched Yaveo — its first Internet-only subscription video service, aimed at U.S. Hispanic consumers — in conjunction with partners including broadcast giant Univision Communications and Viacom. The Yaveo Spanish-language service is $7.99 per month, with the first month free. The over-the-top service promises access to thousands… Read more »

‘Hannibal’ Season 3: First Image of Joe Anderson as Mason Verger, Replacing Michael Pitt

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Mason Verger will look a little different in season three of “Hannibal” — and not just because the sadistic entrepreneur mutilated his own face during his last encounter with Mads Mikkelsen’s titular cannibal. The character of Mason Verger — a pivotal figure in Thomas Harris’ 1999 novel, “Hannibal,” and the movie adaptation of the same… Read more »

Japan Box Office: ‘Big Hero 6’ Opens Strongly, In Second Place

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TOKYO – “Big Hero 6,” or “Baymax” as it is known locally, had the second-highest opening weekend ever in the Japanese market for a Disney animation, after this year’s number one smash “Frozen.” For the Dec. 20-21 frame the movie earned $5.35 million from 464,000 admissions at 540 screens, good enough for second place in… Read more »

Sony Hack Pushes Consumer Brand Perception to Worst Levels in At Least 6 Years

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The cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has tarnished the Sony brand — driving consumer perceptions of the conglomerate to its worst levels in at least six years, according to research service YouGov. At the beginning of 2014, Sony’s brand-perception score was 13 on YouGov’s BrandIndex, a weighted metric (ranging from minus-100 to 100) indicating relative positive… Read more »

Korean Box Office: Nostalgic ‘Father’ Beats ‘Hobbit’ 

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SEOUL – Local blockbuster “Ode to My Father,” which charts the tumultuous modern history of a Korean family, beat rival opener “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to claim the top spot at the Korean box office. CJ Entertainment’s “Ode” took $ 8.26 million (KRW 9.05 billion) during the strictly defined weekend (Fri-Sun) after being shown on 966 screens and… Read more »

Full Text of Statement From North Korea’s National Defence Commission

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North Korea on Monday lashed out at Barack Obama, the FBI and Sony Pictures Entertainment as it once again denied any involvement in the corporate hacking that led to the cancellation of “The Interview.” Its National Defence Commission issued a statement full of bluster and accusations. Full text of statement from North Korea’s National Defence… Read more »