THE WGA and the AMPTP formed a tentative three-year agreement that gives writers 2% of the producer’s gross for Internet streaming. For download rentals the scribes will get 1.2% of distributor’s gross and for download purchases they will receive up to .7%. According to Variety, TV showrunners will return to work today and writers are expected to return on Wednesday after voting to officially end the strike. Details of the deal can be found here.
YAHOO is expected to officially reject MICROSOFT‘s takeover bid today, claiming that the $44 billion offer “massively undervalues” the company. Microsoft will have to decide if it should increase its offer or stick to it and rally the support of shareholders. Meanwhile, The Times of London claims that Yahoo has restarted merger talks with AOL.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is expected to announce that online content will be considered for existing Primetime Emmy categories. A sparse announcement is currently hosted on the ATAS site.
CENTRIS estimates that almost 6 million TV sets will be left without a signal after the transition to digital television next year. The market research firm conducted a study that took into account landscape and geographic barriers that may block digital signals. The company warns that a large number of households may need improved antennas to receive the digital signals.
CNN will fully embrace user-generated news this week, using iReport.com to display all user submissions. Until now iReport’s UGC content has been filtered by editors with 10% of the content selected for use on CNN.com or the cable channel. The new iReport site will take a YouTube approach, where any and all submitted content is published for the world to see.
CBS will broadcast all March Madness games through the Final Four online without local blackouts. The online broadcasts will feature an improved, widescreen resolution (while falling short of HD). Coca Cola, AT&T and Pontiac will sponsor the online games.
MOTOROLA and NORTEL may combine their wireless phone infrastructure businesses into one entity worth approximately $10 billion. Combined with Motorola’s planned divestiture of its handset business, the move would result in a greatly shrunken Motorola. Talks are one month old and reportedly heating up.