NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 3000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

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M5C 1M3
Tel: 416-536-4827
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May 25, 2018

May 25th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Hollywood has been abuzz since last December when it was announced that Disney was negotiating to buy major film and TV assets from 21st Century Fox: the industry reeled again this week when it was confirmed that Comcast is in the final stages of preparing an all-cash offer intended to trump Disney's $52.4-billion stock bid. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, the power play could determine which media company - Disney or Comcast - will wind up being the dominant entertainment company in Hollywood and beyond.

Deadline this week posited that Comcast's planned all-cash offer for Fox would be less of a risk than Disney’s pending offer in terms of potential regulatory interference. As detailed below, some say that Comcast’s deal would be a “vertical” merger, combining distribution and content assets, while Disney’s would be a horizontal one, blending content together.

While growth may be in Disney's future, this week Netflix quietly surpassed it to claim the title as the world's most valuable media company. As detailed in Variety below, Netflix's stock price reached a record high yesterday, pushing its market capitalization past media giant Disney for the first time.

The return of local production is credited with producing significant job growth in Los Angeles's creative economy. As reported in the LA Times below, a report his week shows that in 2016, the creative industries in L.A. County alone generated 399,500 jobs, an increase of 13%, or 48,700 jobs, compared with 2011. The entertainment industry — which includes those who work in film, TV and post-production — accounted for more than 40% of those jobs, or 162,600 jobs in 2016.

The Ontario media last week took a look at how the recently-announced cancellation of locally-shot television shows might impact the industry. The Wrap reported this week that several of these shows - including The Expanse, Taken and Designated Survivor - may end up being resurrected by other distributors.

This weekend is Memorial Day in the US and with it comes the official kick off of the summer box office season. The Times this week takes a look at how Hollywood plans to recover from last year's worst summer box-office season in recent memory.

Ontario-produced Fahrenheit 451 debuted this week and the Canadian branch of the Motion Picture Association praised the economic benefit the show provided for the local economy. As detailed below, over the course of filming, the HBO production hired 1,700 Canadian cast, crew, and extras, spending more than $9.6M on local wages.

Finally this week, a story from Digiday touting Ontario ingenuity. As reported below, Ontario's Wattpad, an app which allows users to publish their own text-based stories, created Wattpad Studios two years ago and has since signed deals with NBC UCP, Entertainment One, the CW Network, Sony Pictures Television and AwesomenessTV, which last month became a division of Hulu.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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