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How low will Disney+ cut subscription costs amid cable dispute?

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In response to an ongoing feud with cable giant Charter Communications, Disney has dramatically reduced the cost of its Disney+ streaming service to less than $2, down from the usual $7.99 per month for its ad-supported tier. 

This limited-time offer, valid until September 20, provides a three-month window of access at the discounted rate before reverting to the original price.

Disney’s battle with Charter has disrupted millions of households, leaving popular channels like ESPN inaccessible to nearly 15 million viewers due to a dispute over carriage fees.

This, coupled with a substantial loss of 11.7 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, raises concerns about the company’s subscriber growth.

Despite these challenges, Disney is strategically timing the price reduction to coincide with the release of highly anticipated content like Pixar’s “Elemental” and the live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.”

The goal is to attract new customers to its streaming platform, which currently boasts 146.1 million subscribers.

Looking Ahead

Under the leadership of CEO Bob Iger, Disney has been prioritising the growth and profitability of its streaming division, encompassing Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

This move is a direct response to the increasing trend of cord-cutting in the cable industry.

The dispute escalated further when Charter blocked Disney’s cable channels on its Spectrum network in major markets like New York and Los Angeles.

In an attempt to mitigate the inconvenience for consumers, Disney encouraged disgruntled customers to explore alternatives such as Hulu + Live TV or other streaming TV services.

This standoff occurs during a busy period in the sports calendar, including the start of the college football season, the US Open tennis tournament, and the imminent launch of the National Football League season.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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