☀️SHO scraps & shops a $90 Mil TV series; APPLE sets SONY deal for Ridley pic
Indian Cricket crushes NFL numbers on 1st match / TUBI sets VICE deal / Austin Butler sets big SONY Pics project
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY April 4, 2023.
Where congrats to UCONN for winning the Men’s College Basketball Championship last night, a pretty resounding win as expected… so we’ll see how the Nielsens come in.
The audience will (very likely) still be larger than the Women’s hoops Championship, but they drew a record-setting 9.9 Million people on Sunday afternoon on ABC (a relatively last minute bump-up from ESPN) in fast Nielsens for the IOWA-LSU game (including ESPN+ streams), which will definitely push over 10 Million when final numbers come in.
That’s up over 100% from last year. Wow. ABC - may be time to go 4 days of primetime a weekend with games next March (in addition to the ESPN games), a la CBS?
The current TV deal goes through next year at a pricetag of just $34 Million a year… (the Men’s tournament? Thought to be about $900 Million), and with Caitlin Clark returning for the 2024 tournament… a good time to be settting a new deal starting in 2025 (how about an Streaming-all-games pay App option too?). WME are you repping this?
ALTHOUGH: No Matt or Ben doing free AIR promo at either of the Championship games (which were held in close-proximity cities of Houston & Dallas), although AMAZON did buy some time in the game last night (as did Super Mario and Guardians 3).
BUT: Ben is back at DUNKIN’ ☕️ - ok I’m down with this one vs. the SUPER BOWL Ad. Matt is mentioned… although doing a cross-promo AIR Ad with the two of them could have been fun (with DUNKIN’ picking up the bill 🤷♂️).
AND: The WGA has called for a strike authorization vote from its members, voting starts Apr 11 thru Apr 17.
THEN: YOUTUBE will live-stream all 6 stages at COACHELLA this month, so you can just relax on your own favorite pool floatie (that’s what people do in LA right?) with your drink of choice, and enjoy without the thousands of dollars of AIRBNB fees.
ALSO: Times are getting real at GOOGLE… CNBC reports that the company is “cutting back on fitness classes, staplers, tape and the frequency of laptop replacements for employees.” I mean when they come for the staplers… , well I’ll let you make your own Office Space joke here.
HUH: THR cites sources in the know in a new piece looking at the state of the AMAZON STUDIOS business that put the US AMAZON LOTR series viewer completion rate for LOTR: TROP at 37%. Globally it was 45%.
ADDITIONS to the ENDEAVOR / WWE deal details from yesterday:
ENDEAVOR Prez Mark Shapiro will be both Prez and COO for the new WWE-UFC.
Mark will also have a third principal direct report at WWE-UFC in addition to Nick (WWE) and Dana (UFC):
ENDEAVOR deputy CFO Andrew Schleimer will become CFO of WWE-UFC (in addition to still doing his ENDEAVOR job).
Vince McMahon will only be Exec Chairman of WWE-UFC, where Ari will be CEO - Vince has no role at, or stake in ENDEAVOR, where Ari is also CEO. My apologies for the error yesterday.
THR gathered up the reactions to the deal from the analyst community on the Street here, which generally seem positive… or about as positive as this group gets.
With an end of year closing date, there’s certainly a window for another bidder to emerge with a bigger 💰#, but it’s hard to see a company where there are greater synergies, and one that would emerge with a bigger offer for WWE shareholders that would still make sense for an acquiring company.
Vince also apparently got 49% of a mustache in the deal, doing a chat alongside Ari on CNBC yesterday. ENDEAVOR finished the day -6%, WWE ended up only down slightly at -2%.
Wakeup Box Office Poll:
Heck if HOLLYWOOD is making Wednesday the new Friday this week… let’s do 2 polls!
UNI’s Super Mario Bros. is tracking $125+ Million for a 5-day opening in 4,000 theaters… so let’s make it a cool $130 Million (Minions: Rise of Gru did $107 Mil 3-day last July 4).
AMAZON’s AIR is looking at $16 Mil to $18 Mil in the 5-day in 3,500 theaters. Let’s take a more nuanced approach for a “film for adults.”
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
Austin Butler sets big SONY PICS project.
Indian Cricket kicks NFL SUPER BOWL viewership to the curb in the IPL’s opening match last weekend.
APPLE sets pic with SONY for the Fall.
SHO puts kibosh on $90 Mil series with 12 days left of shooting to go.
SPOTIFY exits the Live business.
TUBI sets VICE docs deal as FOX orders Fall series.
Shrek, Harry Potter and Moana are all being brought back to life.
Iger sets library series sale guideposts, and more.