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Jul 31, 2008

Over-the-top Video and Broadcast Media

Ed: First, news has moved online, hurting legacy newspapers. Is online video starting to impact broadcast media? Or is it the economic slowdown? Note that user growth at Google and social networks have not slowed.

Akamai CEO: Media And Entertainment Business Growing Slower Online

paul-sagan.jpgIs the Web video boom already starting to show its age? Yes, says Akamai Technologies. The Web content distributor says that traffic growth at the media and entertainment sites it services is slowing.

That's one of the reasons Akamai cut its full-year sales and profit guidance today, and issued a third quarter outlook below Wall Street's estimates. Shares dropped 17% after hours to $25.96, near the company's 52-week low.

What does that mean? Not that fewer people are watching video on the Web, or that people are watching less video on the Web. It just means that the rate of growth is decelerating. Which isn't good news for Akamai (AKAM), one of the companies that gets paid to push Web pages and media to your computer...

Italian TV Company MediaSet Sues Google, YouTube for $800 Million

youtube150.jpgOnce again, a major media company is suing Google because of alleged copyright violations by users on YouTube, Google's popular video sharing site. Today, the Italian media company MediaSet filed a lawsuit against YouTube in Italian courts for about $800 million (500 million Euros) in damages. In a statement, the company announced that it found 4,643 videos and clips that it owned on YouTube on June 10. MediaSet claims that it lost the equivalent of of 315,672 broadcasting days because of this.

MediaSet owns a number of terrestrial and satellite channels in Italy, including Canale 5, Italia 1, and Rete 4. As of now, it seems the videos that MediaSet claims as copyright violations are still available on YouTube.

CBS: It's Not An Ad Slowdown Anymore - It's An Ad Recession

les-moonves.jpgCBS reported Q2 numbers that were basically in line with consensus this morning -- revenue of $3.9 billion, vs. $4.1 consenus; adjusted EPS of 53 cents, vs 51 cent estimate -- but that just means that CBS proved why Wall Street now hates the company. Revenue was up just 1%, while operating income, free cash flow and earnings are all dove down -- that's because ad sales, whch are down, are much higher margin than syndication sales, which are up.

This is the problem with running a company that's almost entirely dependent on ad revenues -- unlike Viacom, News Corp, Disney and NBC U, there's nothing else to buffer the downturn. The real culprit here, CBS says, are local ads, which are terrible; national ad sales doing better. Overall: TV ad sales down 6%, radio 9%.

REVENUE: $3.9 billion, up 1%

OPERATING INCOME: $637 million, down 15%

FREE CASH FLOW: $464 million, down 18.6%

EPS (adjusted) 53 cents, vs 57 cents last year...

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