Kevin Spacey, Eva Longoria find starring roles online

RELATED QUOTES

SymbolPriceChange
AMZN759.22+1.97
DIS95.55-0.27
NFLX97.32+2.14
MSFT58.17+0.2200
GOOG769.41-0.23

By Lisa Richwine and Ronald Grover

(Reuters) - "Desperate Housewives" alum Eva Longoria's new project won't bring her back to ABC, or any traditional U.S. television network. The actress will produce and lend her voice to "Mother Up!," a 13-episode adult animated comedy available in the U.S. this fall only on the online video site Hulu.

Longoria, Kevin Spacey, John Goodman and other top Hollywood actors are being wooed by the growing number of Silicon Valley companies rushing to get a foothold in consumers' living rooms with exclusive shows that feature big names and hefty budgets.

As video streaming technology makes watching videos on laptops and mobile devices as easy as flicking on a TV set, Amazon.com Inc (NSQ:AMZN), Google Inc's (NSQ:GOOG) YouTube, Yahoo and Microsoft Corp (NSQ:MSFT) are setting up shop in Hollywood to produce or license their own series.

Their models are pay TV channels like HBO and Showtime that built their subscriber rolls by creating shows like HBO's "Sopranos" or Showtime's "Homeland" that a TV viewer couldn't get anywhere else.

"Content creators think they've hit the lottery," said Bernard Gershon, head of digital consultancy Gershon Media and a former Walt Disney Co (NYS:DIS) executive. "Those companies are throwing a lot of dollars for content they can use to create a following."

With 33 million global subscribers to its streaming service, Netflix (NSQ:NFLX) can afford to plunk down what analysts estimate was up to $100 million for the rights to "House of Cards," a slickly produced political drama starring two-time Oscar winner Spacey and produced by "The Social Network" film director David Fincher.

Upcoming only-on-Netflix series include the revival of one-time Fox comedy "Arrested Development" starring Will Arnett, and murder mystery "Hemlock Grove," directed by horror movie producer Eli Roth.

On Tuesday, the Los Gatos, California-based company announced the December release of its first original children's series, a show based on DreamWorks Animation's (NSQ:DWA) coming summer movie "Turbo" about a fast-moving snail.

The companies have different business models -- Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft have subscription services, YouTube sells advertising, while Intel Corp (NSQ:INTC) and Apple Inc (NSQ:AAPL) may introduce cable-like services that offer channels online.

But they all sense an opening as consumers increasingly chafe at their mounting cable and satellite TV bills. A small, but increasing, number are starting to "cut the cord," or drop their service, say analysts.

"We may be sowing the seeds of our own destruction," Charlie Ergen, chairman of satellite operator Dish Network Corp (NSQ:DISH), said at the AllThingsD "Dive into Media" conference on February 12. "A lot of people can live with Netflix and be perfectly happy."

Netflix has won fans in Hollywood by giving writers and directors a "high level of autonomy as well as an increasingly global distribution platform," Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt said in a note to clients.

"There is plenty of room for multiple producers and licensors of original content," Devitt added.

Amazon.com's Prime subscription, which combines a video streaming service with free shipping for products it sells online, stepped up its Hollywood dealmaking in the last month with pacts to be the exclusive online home for popular PBS drama "Downton Abbey" and upcoming CBS show "Under the Dome," a series based on a Stephen King novel.

The Seattle-based company, seen by some analysts as Netflix's biggest threat, said last month it plans to air 11 original pilot episodes before deciding which to produce as ongoing series.

One of the pilots, "Alpha House," follows four senators who live together in a rented house. "Roseanne" and "Argo" actor John Goodman will star, according to a person close to the situation.

Overall, Amazon Studios has 48 movie and TV shows in development, an Amazon spokeswoman said.

Hulu, owned by media giants Disney, News Corp (NSQ:NWSA) and Comcast Corp's (NSQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal, is beefing up its own original and exclusive content for its free, ad-supported service and its monthly subscription plan. Hulu already has distributed than two dozen exclusive or original shows, including Morgan Spurlock documentary series "A Day in the Life."

Upcoming Hulu programs include Longoria's "Mother Up!" about a former music executive navigating life as a suburban mom.

Microsoft, which offers services such as Netflix on its XBox video game console, intends to produce its own content later this year for its 40 million subscribers, said Nancy Tellem, a former CBS entertainment president who joined Microsoft last year to run its fledging Hollywood production studio.

"We're not as constrained as other content creators," Tellem said at the AllThingsD conference. "We can produce something that's 10 minutes or an hour."

The XBox's benefit, Tellem said, is its interactivity. To generate added revenue, the service can sell tickets to concerts by stars of its comedies, or copies of the clothes worn by stars on red carpet events.

Deep-pocketed Apple Inc (NSQ:AAPL) could also step into the entertainment production game. Industry insiders continue to believe that Apple intends to unveil a TV-based device that has the potential to shake up the television content and distribution industry the way the iPod and iPhone disrupted music and mobile content.

Sources say Apple, which already sells a $99 set top box called Apple TV that streams Netflix and other content, has opened discussions with providers, though its progress with the cozy club of Hollywood producers and distributors is unknown.

Chip maker Intel (NSQ:INTC) plans to launch an Internet television service this year with live and on-demand content, said Erik Huggers, vice president and general manager of Intel Media, who said he is negotiating with content providers.

The Silicon Valley newcomers may be taking aim at siphoning off cable subscribers, but executives at Time Warner's (NYS:TWX) HBO premium service, don't seem particularly worried.

"Hulu and Amazon will be just another 200 hours on top of the 145,000 hours that are already available to the consumer," said HBO president Eric Kessler. "What matters is that our content is exclusive. If you want 'Game of Thrones,' there is only one place you can get it."

(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Alistair Barr in San Francisco; Editing by M.D. Golan)

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • VTTI says suspends operations at Malaysia terminal after oil spill Reuters - 13 minutes ago

    VTTI, the storage division of the world's largest oil trader Vitol, said on Friday it has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia after receiving a notice from the authorities following an oil spill. The spill occurred on … More »

  • Iran wants pre-sanctions oil market share: minister
    Iran wants pre-sanctions oil market share: minister AFP News - 25 minutes ago

    Iran wants its pre-sanctions share of the crude oil market, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Friday, dampening the prospects of agreement on an output freeze at an OPEC meeting next month. "Iran had no role in disrupting the stability of the oil … More »

  • Investor group rebukes Sports Direct, wants review of management Reuters - 31 minutes ago

    An investor group whose members manage 850 billion pounds ($1.1 trillion) of UK equities has taken the unusual step of publicly rebuking the management of Sports Direct and calling for an independent review. The Investor Forum, which speaks for … More »

  • Tokyo stocks end lower, dealers await Yellen speech AFP - 34 minutes ago

    Tokyo stocks ended the week in the red Friday as dealers awaited a speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and after data showed Japan is still struggling in its battle to kickstart inflation. Many ... … More »

  • China Tightening Risk Seen Looming as Bonds, Property Surge (2) Bloomberg - 36 minutes ago

    While economists aren’t predicting the central bank will raise benchmark lending rates anytime soon, there are signs that policy makers are looking to curb leverage in the debt and property markets. "The market’s liquidity right now is too big,” … More »

  • Offshore Yuan Set for Second Weekly Drop as Fed Rate Odds Climb Bloomberg - 36 minutes ago

    A gauge of the dollar’s strength is set for a weekly gain amid speculation Fed Chair Janet Yellen may shed light on the U.S. interest-rate outlook in a speech Friday. Wagers on higher Fed rates have been boosted this week as officials including … More »

  • Bolivian deputy minister killed by miners
    Bolivian deputy minister killed by miners AFP News - 49 minutes ago

    Bolivian miners kidnapped, tortured and beat to death a deputy minister who tried to negotiate with protesting workers on Thursday, in what the government condemned as a brutal murder. "All signs indicate that our deputy minister, Rodolfo Illanes, … More »

  • Singapore’s Air Quality Remains Unhealthy as Haze Worsens (1) Bloomberg - 51 minutes ago

    Fire hotspots have appeared over Indonesia’s Sumatra island and West Kalimantan, where the Indonesian government said last week it deployed fire fighters. The number of hotspots is lower than 2015, when dry conditions from the El Nino weather … More »

  • Asia markets, dollar turn lower ahead of Yellen speech
    Asia markets, dollar turn lower ahead of Yellen speech AFP News - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    Most Asian markets began the day on a negative note on Friday while the dollar dipped as investors cautiously await a much-anticipated speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen. With few catalysts to drive business this week, Yellen's talk at … More »

  • World’s Biggest Pension Fund Loses $52 Billion in Stock Rout (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    (Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest pension fund posted a $52 billion loss last quarter as stocks tumbled and the yen surged, wiping out all investment gains since it overhauled its strategy by boosting shares and cutting bonds. … More »

  • Asian stock markets mixed as investors wait for Fed cue
    Asian stock markets mixed as investors wait for Fed cue Associated Press - 1 hour 12 minutes ago

    Asian stock markets were mixed Friday, with investors preferring to sit on the sidelines ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech for cues on the timing of the next policy rate hike. ... … More »

  • Oil prices fall as Saudi Arabia dampens prospects of output freeze
    Oil prices fall as Saudi Arabia dampens prospects of output freeze Reuters - 1 hour 22 minutes ago

    Oil prices fell on Friday after the Saudi energy minister tempered expectations of strong market intervention by producers during talks next month, and as analysts pointed to an ongoing supply overhang that was weighing on markets. International … More »

  • British economy escapes Brexit 'bomb', for now
    British economy escapes Brexit 'bomb', for now Reuters - 1 hour 26 minutes ago

    Britain's high streets are heaving with shoppers despite June's shock vote to leave the European Union, big companies have reported few signs of distress and some tabloid newspapers are even talking about a post-Brexit economic boom. The … More »

  • Eight police killed in southeast Turkey PKK bomb attack
    Eight police killed in southeast Turkey PKK bomb attack AFP News - 1 hour 28 minutes ago

    Eight Turkish police officers were killed and 45 more people injured on Friday when a car bomb blamed on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants exploded outside a police building in the southeast of the country. … More »

  • Restaurant Group to sell or shut 33 sites Reuters - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Britain's Restaurant Group (RTN.L), the struggling owner of the Joe's Kitchen chain, said it identified 33 underperforming sites for sale or closure as a part of its ongoing strategy review ... … More »

  • Asia stocks wary, dollar slips before Fed Chair Yellen's speech
    Asia stocks wary, dollar slips before Fed Chair Yellen's speech Reuters - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    SINGAPORE/TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks were largely steady on Friday, with modest losses in some markets and gains in others reflecting nervousness before a keenly anticipated speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. European markets … More »

  • Oil prices dip, Saudis dampen hopes on output talks AFP - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Oil prices dipped in Asia on Friday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister cast doubt on the need to cut output, denting hopes for a deal at talks next month aimed at addressing a global supply glut. The commodity ... … More »

  • Air New Zealand flies to record profit
    Air New Zealand flies to record profit AFP News - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Air New Zealand announced an operating windfall Friday, posting a record NZ$463 million (US338.01 million) after-tax profit, up 42 percent, as the country benefits from a tourist boom. It was "the best result ever" in the 76-year history of the New … More »

  • Fanuc President Says There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Profit (2) Bloomberg - 2 hours 10 minutes ago

    The same day in late April that Yamaguchi was named as the right-hand man to Fanuc’s chief executive officer, Yoshiharu Inaba, the company forecast profit would fall by almost half. “Yamaguchi-san had a little bit of a baptism by fire,” said Graeme … More »

  • Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest
    Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest Associated Press - 2 hours 12 minutes ago

    A Pacific Northwest tribe is traveling nearly 5,000 miles across Canada and the United States with a 22-foot-tall totem pole on a flatbed truck in a symbolic journey meant to galvanize opposition to fossil ... … More »

  • Gold steady above 4-week lows as dollar slips ahead of Yellen speech
    Gold steady above 4-week lows as dollar slips ahead of Yellen speech Reuters - 2 hours 25 minutes ago

    Yellen is scheduled to address a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at 1400 GMT, after top Fed officials pushed the case for a rate hike in the past week, citing improvement in employment and inflation. "Gold prices are in the … More »

  • China’s Top Search Engine Freezes Bitcoin Ads Without Warning Bloomberg - 2 hours 26 minutes ago

    The country’s most popular search engine froze cryptocurrency ads from Thursday, according to local exchanges OKCoin and Huobi. Huobi Chief Executive Officer Leon Li and OKCoin’s Jiang Anming, a member of its search engine marketing team, separately … More »

  • China’s Biggest Oil Company Aims for 50% Natural Gas by 2020 (2) Bloomberg - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    PetroChina Co. aims to raise natural gas as a share of its production from 37 percent currently, President Wang Dongjin told reporters Thursday in Hong Kong. The company supports the government’s efforts to liberalize gas prices and implement … More »

  • Kurd advance angers Turkey, Washington's impossible ally
    Kurd advance angers Turkey, Washington's impossible ally AFP News - 2 hours 47 minutes ago

    As Turkish troops ostensibly hunting Islamic State (IS) group fighters shelled a US-backed Kurdish militia inside Syria, analysts warned that Ankara's alliance with the West is at stake. US Vice President Joe Biden tried to patch up ties with … More »

  • SE Asia Stocks-Wary ahead of Yellen speech; Vietnam up 1 pct Reuters - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    By Krishna V Kurup Aug 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded cautiously on Friday, as investors waited for clues on the timing of a possible U.S. rate increase in a speech by Federal ... … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.127-0.001-0.78%
    N21.SI
    1.855-0.040-2.11%
    MC0.SI
    2.85+0.03+1.06%
    C52.SI
    0.585-0.005-0.85%
    5TP.SI
    0.245+0.005+2.08%
    5ME.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.29+0.08+38.10%
    5VI.SI
    0.27+0.04+17.39%
    BLU.SI
    0.36+0.07+22.03%
    BPF.SI
    0.192+0.030+18.52%
    AYD.SI
    0.39+0.04+11.43%
    43A.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.205-0.055-21.15%
    BTJ.SI
    0.39-0.06-13.33%
    AYB.SI
    0.31-0.04-11.43%
    5VP.SI
    0.235-0.030-11.32%
    40D.SI
    0.33-0.04-10.81%
    AYV.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3523-0.0008-0.06%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5266-0.0001-0.01%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7865+0.0022+0.12%
    GBPSGD=X
    74.2590+0.014+0.02%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.7335+0.0053+0.09%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.9707+0.0067+0.23%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,781.5947-36.9902-0.38%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9296+0.0093+0.19%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0322+0.0016+0.16%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,327.50+2.90+0.22%
    GCZ16.CMX
    18.58+0.10+0.52%
    SIU16.CMX
    96.51+1.17+1.23%
    ^XAU
    2.09+0.01+0.46%
    HGU16.CMX
    47.20-0.13-0.27%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.16+0.01
    ^FVX
    1.58+0.02
    ^TNX
    2.26+0.02
    ^TYX