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Are we really so spoiled that we must have artificial crowds or crowd noise for live sporting events in empty arenas? We can't just enjoy sports themselves for what they are?

Personally, I really enjoy being able to hear the raw sounds of the game. Especially when you can hear the banter of the players.
 

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I wouldn't say "spoiled" so much as "conditioned."
 

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I wouldn't say "spoiled" so much as "conditioned."
Perhaps with modern technology, actual footage of a packed house from a prior season telecast could be manipulated for a seamless insertion. Do the same for audio taking the audio stems from past games and punching them in according to the action.
 

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Perhaps with modern technology, actual footage of a packed house from a prior season telecast could be manipulated for a seamless insertion. Do the same for audio taking the audio stems from past games and punching them in according to the action.
See post #36432 of 36443 in this thread.
 

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Right; i think using actual video and audio prior year games is different that what is mentioned in the post. Am i'm misinterpreting?
Perhaps not. That just sounds like much more work.

I have watched a few games without fan audio and with. Much prefer having fan audio. And if some form of AI can inject proper fan reactions based on the on-field action I find you rarely notice that the seats are empty.
 

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Perhaps not. That just sounds like much more work.

I have watched a few games without fan audio and with. Much prefer having fan audio. And if some form of AI can inject proper fan reactions based on the on-field action I find you rarely notice that the seats are empty.
If nothing else, no more fan interference on balls down the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #36,448 (Edited)
And the other shoe falls. :(

Media/Health Notes

Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984 delayed by Warner Bros.
By Julia Alexander, TheVerge.com - Jun. 12, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet are being delayed as studios grapple with when they can start releasing their biggest movies in theaters around the world. Tenet will now open on July 31st, instead of July 17th. It’s the second delay for Wonder Woman, which was originally slated to premiere June 5th, then August 14th, and will now arrive on October 2nd.

“We’re especially thrilled, in this complex and rapidly changing environment, to be bringing Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet,’ a global tentpole of jaw-dropping size, scope and scale, to theaters around the world on July 31,” Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement to Variety. “It’s been longer than any of us could’ve imagined since we’ve seen a movie on the big screen, and to acknowledge Chris’ fans as we count down to ‘Tenet’’s opening day, we are also excited to offer his masterpiece ‘Inception’ in theaters for its 10th anniversary on July 17.”

The Wonder Woman 1984 delay was announced nonchalantly in a tweet:

Wonder Woman

@wonderWomanFilm
Wonder Woman 1984 is coming to your favorite theater this fall. See it October 2, 2020. ✨ #WW84


Nolan’s Tenet wasn’t just one of Warner Bros.’ biggest movies of the year; it had become a sort of litmus test as to whether Hollywood studios could start releasing their films after facing a series of delays brought on by the pandemic. Disney CEO Bob Chapek cited Tenet (referring to it as a “competitor’s film”) as the movie they were planning to watch, as it opened a week before the company’s previously delayed, massive live-action remake of Mulan. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish added in his company’s earnings call that he was hopeful by the time SpongeBob SquarePants was set to open in early August, movie theaters would be back in full swing.

It’s uncertain what will happen to Mulan, SpongeBob SquarePants, and other movies pushed into the summer from earlier this year. Some studios, like Universal, have pushed their blockbuster films from this year into next. F9, the ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, will now open in April 2021.

Although theaters have started to reopen in states and countries that have lifted heavy public gathering restrictions, it’s consumer behavior that studios can’t plan for in advance. Even if theaters are open, will people want to go, regardless of whether proper social distancing tools (like six feet between people in theaters and limited capacities) are in place? That’s what companies like Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Universal are trying to predict.

Movies like Tenet, Mulan, and F9 could easily gross close to, if not surpass, $1 billion at the box office. Releasing them too early could result in a loss for the companies. Not releasing the films, however, will likely lead to further financial hits as 2020 continues without any form of profit from unreleased films.

Some films, like Scoob, Artemis Fowl, and Trolls World Tour have bypassed theatrical releases entirely, going straight to premium video on demand and streaming services, but those aren’t major tentpole features. Tenet was supposed to be the experiment that everyone else would learn from, but now, its delay just leads to more uncertainty.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/12/21250529/tenet-movie-delay-release-date-christopher-nolan-robert-pattinson-disney-universal-warner-bros
 

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TV Notes (Broadcast)
America's Dad John Legend to Host Star-Studded Father's Day Special on ABC
By Lindsay MacDonald, TVGuide.com - Jun. 11, 2020

Not able to celebrate Father's Day with your dad this year? That's OK, you can listen to John Legend croon out some soulful songs in a fun Father's Day special! ABC is hosting a one-hour Father's Day event hosted by father and EGOT winner John Legend. The special, John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love Father's Day, will celebrate fathers with musical performances and touching moments. Legend will even perform new material from his highly anticipated new album, Bigger Love, which drops June 19.

"Some of us may wonder if it's okay to laugh right now," Legend said in a statement. "But music and humor have always lifted our spirits during tough times. This special celebrates love and the connection to the ones you care about most. I hope it brings joy and laughter into everyone's homes this Father's Day."

Other celebrity dads slated to appear include Stevie Wonder, Anthony Anderson, Shaquille O'Neal, Common, Scottie Pippen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Patton Oswalt, Marlon Wayans, Ne-Yo and more! A few of them will entertain us with a "Fatherly Feud" game with John Legend. And of course, Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigan, will make an appearance to help you find the perfect gift for your dad in case you're leaving it down to the last minute.

John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love Father's Day airs Sunday, June 21 at 8/7c on ABC.

https://www.tvguide.com/news/john-legend-to-host-fathers-day-special-on-abc/
 

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TV/Business Notes
ViacomCBS Unit Drops 'Live PD' Producer Big Fish
By Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting & Cable - Jun. 12, 2020

Days after its hit show Live PD was canceled by A+E Networks, producer Big Fish Entertainment was dropped by ViacomCBS’ Entertainment and Youth unit.

Big Fish produced the Love & Hip Hop and Black Ink Crew franchises as well as Cartel Crew for VH1.

ViacomCBS said the shows will be produced in house.

The move comes as companies are looking at the way they handle racial issues in the wake of demonstrations against police brutality following the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“We have decided to end our relationship with Big Fish Entertainment and will be producing our shows in house at this time. We thank Big Fish for their past contributions and wish them the best,” the company said in a statement.

Viacom’s Paramount Network had canceled Cops earlier in the week.

https://www.nexttv.com/news/viacomcbs-unit-drops-live-pd-producer-big-fish
 

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TV/Business Notes (OTT)
HBO Go Is Going Away As WarnerMedia Thins Streaming Herd, Rebrands HBO Now
By Dade Hayes, Deadline.com - Jun. 12, 2020

WarnerMedia has followed through on plans to put HBO Go, its streaming app for pay-TV subscribers, out to pasture.

Looking to streamline its offerings after critics have said they are complicated and difficult to navigate, even for existing customers, the company has also rebranded stand-alone service HBO Now to just HBO. The shift is expected to happen over the next few months.

HBO Go, which launched in 2010, will be removed from primary distribution platforms on July 31 but some online access will continue for a few weeks after that. The unplugging of Go is only in the U.S. Internationally, it will continue to operate, at least for now.

The moves come two weeks after the debut of HBO Max, the company’s big bet on direct-to-consumer streaming, which has joined a field crowded with new entrants from Disney, Apple and NBCUniversal. HBO Max encompasses the full HBO offering as well as 10,000 hours of films and TV shows from Warner Bros., TCM, Cartoon Network and a host of other brands.

The former HBO Now, which hit the market in 2015 in a provocative early effort to explore alternatives to the pay-TV bundle, will still be offered to anyone interested in getting just the HBO part of HBO Max. The price point for both is the same, at $15 a month. That’s why AT&T CEO John Stankey last fall described it, not entirely sarcastically, as an “IQ test” for consumers trying to choose between the two.

“Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement. “Most customers who have traditionally used HBO Go to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max.”

A decade ago, HBO Go (which was engineered by BAMtech, now known as Disney Streaming Services) created a new approach for traditional cable networks trying to establish a presence in streaming. In 2007, Hulu was created and Netflix took its first steps in streaming library titles. But streaming was far from the norm. Cable networks were heavily invested in traditional distribution and pay-TV subscriber levels were still rising, so they devised an industry solution known as TV Everywhere. HBO Go was an early example of a TVE app.

As it streamlines its streaming offerings, WarnerMedia has still not reached distribution deals with two significant providers, Amazon Fire and Roku. Together, the two deliver streaming apps to about 80 million U.S. homes. WarnerMedia managed to reel off a series of deals with most other distributors, but has been at loggerheads with the two tech companies over control of viewer data. Amazon was not a launch partner of Disney for Disney+ but eventually the two struck a deal. Roku has increasingly driven tough bargains and had a carriage dispute with Fox earlier this year. While some streaming players have been content to let distribution partners like Amazon or Apple benefit from the data produced by their service, HBO Max is aiming to be controlled more fully by WarnerMedia.

No subscriber data has been supplied yet for HBO Max, but AT&T will release a progress report when it reports second-quarter earnings on July 23. Internal projections have been modest around the Max launch compared with Disney+, a leaner, cheaper offering that reached 54.5 million subscribers in just six months. COVID-19, while it has been a massive tailwind for streaming in general, also sidelined production, including the Friends reunion special that had been positioned as HBO Max’s marquee title.

WarnerMedia is targeting 50 million U.S. subscribers by 2025 and 75 million to 90 million globally. It begins with a head start given that most of HBO’s current pay-TV subscriber base of some 35 million has no-cost access to HBO Max. As with many streaming offerings, the most important information may end up being who actively watches it as opposed to how many households can technically access it.

https://deadline.com/2020/06/hbo-go-going-away-warnermedia-thins-streaming-herd-rebrands-hbo-now-1202958003/
 

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And for the third day in a row, WOW!!! :eek: But in a good way for a change. :)

TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)

ABC Casts Its First Black 'Bachelor'
By Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 12, 2020

Matt James is making history as ABC's first Black Bachelor.

The 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder has been tapped as the season 25 lead following days of renewed pressure about the franchise's lack of diversity. James was previously set to be a contestant on Clare Crawley's forthcoming season of The Bachelorette before production was shutdown in March and postponed indefinitely amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Bachelor Nation also knows James as the best friend, roommate and business partner to fan-favorite Tyler Cameron; the two have spent the majority of the pandemic quarantined together in Florida, along with former Bachelorette Hannah Brown.

“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor," ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said in a statement announcing the casting Friday. "We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in and we are proudly in service to our audience. This is just the beginning and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.”

James, a North Carolina native who played football at Wake Forest, had a short run in the NFL and now lives in New York City where he and Cameron run ABC Food Tours, an organization that offers kids from underserved communities the opportunity to explore the city through food, exercise and mental and physical wellness. He is the first Bachelor since 2008's Matt Grant to be cast as the lead without having appeared as a contestant on The Bachelorette.

The Bachelor's executive producers also put out a joint statement, saying, "We are excited to move forward with both Matt James as the new Bachelor and Clare Crawley as our next Bachelorette. We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward. We are taking positive steps to expand diversity in our cast, in our staff, and most importantly, in the relationships that we show on television. We can and will do better to reflect the world around us and show all of its beautiful love stories."

The announcement follows vocal criticism from Rachel Lindsay, who until now, had been the franchise's lone black lead since the dating competition series first debuted in 2002. Lindsay earlier this week penned an emotional blog post in which she called for the franchise's "systemic racism" to be addressed. In the wake of George Floyd's death and subsequent calls for police reform amid the Black Lives Matter movement, Lindsay — who previously criticized the show's lack of diversity — said she would "disassociate" herself from the beloved franchise unless the network and producers Warner Bros. took action.

"Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their 'journey' takes them during each season," Lindsay wrote. She is now married to Bryan Abasolo, whom she met during her 2017 run as star of The Bachelorette. "It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season."

In its 40 seasons and 18 years on the air, The Bachelor has never had a Black or person of color lead; Lindsay remains the only non-white Bachelorette. The franchise has had the opportunity to cast diverse leads before James, most recently with Mike Johnson from Hannah Brown's season, but has opted against it. As Lindsay noted in her post, creator Mike Fleiss previously said that her season saw a dip in ratings that suggested the franchise's audience did not want to watch a Black woman, or people of color in general, find love. As for the 30 or so contestants every cycle, there are a handful of Black and people of color in the mix, but they rarely crack the top four each season.

Lindsay, who hosts the franchise's official Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and frequently makes guest appearances on the series, said she would cut those ties if it did not undergo a "diversity makeover." Her improvement suggestions included casting "leads that are truly interested in dating outside of their race"; to "stop making excuses for the lack of diversity and take action to rectify the problem"; diversify the show's producers in order to make contestants of color feel more comfortable; and to stop creating "problematic story lines for people of color."

She also requested that the franchise speak up in solidarity with the Black community and "make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism," noting that "if the National Football League, an organization notoriously known for not standing behind their athletes of color, can come out to make a statement to condemn racism and their systemic oppression and admit they were wrong for not listening in the past, then the Bachelor franchise can most certainly follow suit."

Lindsay — along with other notable Bachelor and Bachelorette alums, including Nick Viall, Onyeka Ehie, Diggy Moreland, Seinne Fleming, Marquel Martin, Sydney Lotuaco and Desiree Siegfried, and thousands of fans — also signed a Change.org petition titled "A Campaign For Anti-Racism in the Bachelor Franchise," demanding that a Black man be cast as the next Bachelor lead for season 25.

ABC is currently airing clip show The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! as a filler for Crawley's forthcoming season of The Bachelorette. A return date for the series has not been determined as the franchise faces a number of logistical and safety questions when it comes to how production can resume amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Bachelor is scheduled to return in 2021.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/abc-names-matt-james-as-first-black-bachelor-1297996
 

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TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Oprah Winfrey Town Hall on Racism Draws Almost 11 Million Viewers
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Jun. 12, 2020

Oprah Winfrey’s two-night town hall on racism in America drew a substantial number of viewers.

Titled “OWN Spotlight: Where Do We Go From Here?,” the town hall was simulcast on OWN and all of its parent company Discovery’s 18 other networks. Just under 11 million total viewers tuned in across all the networks, with repeats taken into account.

7.3 million combined viewers watched the live simulcasts on both June 9 and June 10. Per OWN, the town hall has so far reached 17.6 million viewers since its premiere when also taking into account all social media platforms.

The special discussed systemic racism in America and the current state of a country which has seen mass protests since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota. It featured Winfrey in conversation with a range of Black thought leaders, activists and artists.

During part 1 of the town hall, director Ava DuVernay, a regular collaborator of Winfrey and OWN’s, called out the mainstream media for “conflating” protestors and looters in covering the protests. DuVernay said that she has witnessed people’s “concern with the murder of Black people by police” being “deterred because someone is taking a pair of jeans from a Target.”

“I watched our local news here in Los Angeles, it’s kind of all mixed together, when they’re all very separate things. Certainly you have folks that have said, ‘Gosh, they’re losing the message, they’re watering down the message because they protest in the day and they loot at night. This is, you know, taking the steam away from what the mission could be.’ I just really invite people to think about if your concern with the murder of Black people by police can be deterred or shifted because someone is taking a pair of jeans from a Target, then you’ve got to look at how much you cared about the murder of Black people by the police to begin with. It’s as if I was gonna care about Black people being murdered, but that guy took those shoes, so I don’t know now. That’s how ridiculous it sounds to me,” she said.

The lists of guest speakers for the town hall also included politician Stacey Abrams, journalist Charles M. Blow, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, professor and author Jennifer Eberhardt, journalist and founder of the “1619 Project” Nikole Hannah-Jones, historian and author Ibram Kendi, actor David Oyelowo, Color of Change founder Rashad Robinson, and NAACP national board member Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/oprah-winfrey-racism-town-hall-tv-ratings-1234633023/
 

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Technology/Gaming Notes (Analysis)
Sony’s surprise PS5 Digital Edition sets up a next-gen price war
By Tom Warren, TheVerge.com - Jun. 12, 2020

Sony finally revealed its PlayStation 5 console hardware this week, and while the console design will undoubtedly be labeled divisive, the real surprise was Sony’s plans for two PS5 models. There’s a PS5 Digital Edition that will ship with the same hardware specs as the main model, without the 4K Blu-ray drive. Sony didn’t mention pricing for either variant, but the PS5 Digital Edition will obviously be priced below the model with the optical drive. It sets Sony up for an interesting price war against Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Microsoft has long been rumored to be preparing to launch two next-gen Xbox models. The Xbox maker has already revealed the Xbox Series X, but a second, cheaper Xbox (codename Lockhart) has also been in the works. Like Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition, the Lockhart model is likely to ship without an optical drive, but it’s also expected to include changes to at least the memory configuration and GPU inside that make it less powerful than the Series X.

Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition doesn’t directly counter Microsoft’s rumored plans, but it does offer the company some leverage around pricing for the PlayStation 5. Even though a 4K Blu-ray drive doesn’t make up a huge amount of the cost of next-gen consoles, it should equate to roughly a $50 price cut, thanks to the drive costs and associated licensing charges. Price is a huge factor in this next-gen console phase, particularly as it’s clear we’re about to enter one of the worst recessions for decades. Any small price savings could be key, especially if Sony and Microsoft are willing to stretch their usual losses on hardware to aggressively chase after game sales and subscriptions.

The PS5 Digital Edition eliminates the optical disc. But it also means Sony takes its cut on every game someone buys through its digital store. Sony hasn’t addressed whether it plans to allow people to loan games to friends digitally or even resell digital games, both of which could drive digital sales of games if they’re not supported.

Microsoft has already been experimenting with digital Xbox editions and even the idea of sharing games digitally. The software giant introduced a disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for $249 last year, shaving $50 off the Xbox One S retail price. It’s been a popular choice, especially as so many games now require large updates and need to be installed to a drive. Microsoft even originally planned to let Xbox One users share any games digitally, but a backlash over the used games policies and online check forced the company to reverse most of its more promising plans.

Console pricing is just a part of the broader next-gen price war, though. As we move into this next generation of game consoles, it’s clear storage and digital games are going to be far more important than before. Sony is requiring that all games be installed to the internal SSD to make use of the improved read speeds, and the Xbox Series X internal SSD will be required for Series X Optimized games.

How Microsoft and Sony expand storage on their next-gen consoles couldn’t be more different. Sony has opted to allow PS5 owners to expand storage using SSD drives that meet its spec for performance. It’s not clear how many drives will even meet this baseline at launch, but it does mean PS5 owners will have greater storage options eventually.

Microsoft has gone the proprietary route, partnering with Seagate to produce 1TB expansion cards that slot into the rear of the Xbox Series X. We don’t know how much these cards will cost or whether other drive makers will be able to create Xbox Series X expansion cards in the future. These storage costs will factor into the total cost of ownership, whether you pick a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X later this year.

Just how much Sony’s disc-less PS5 will mean to pricing is a mystery right now. It’s not clear when Sony or Microsoft will crack and reveal the all-important price. Unless Microsoft also has a surprise Xbox Series X digital edition, it looks like the stage is set for another next-gen Xbox console that will be significantly cheaper than the Series X.

How Microsoft prices this rumored Lockhart console, or even how it comes to market, isn’t immediately clear. Microsoft has been experimenting with its Xbox All Access bundles that offer an Xbox One X console paired with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live for a monthly charge. A digital Xbox One S works out at $19.99 per month over 24 months with Microsoft’s subscription services bundled in, and that gives people a lot of games through Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft has made no secret about how its Xbox business is no longer about how many consoles it sells, but about reaching a broader market of billions of people playing games on other devices. Streaming Xbox games through its upcoming Project xCloud service is a big part of that, and Microsoft is combining this streaming with its enticing Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Sony has shown this week that it’s willing to compete on next-gen price, and Microsoft’s response will undoubtedly leverage its subscription services, cloud game streaming, and a rumored second next-gen Xbox. It’s going to be a long summer until we know the true price of next-gen gaming.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/12/21288955/sony-ps5-playstation-5-digital-edition-price-xbox-series-x-price-competition
 

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Technology/Washington Notes (Satellite)
Jailed DirecTV Execs Accused of Destabilizing the Economy in Venezuela
By Karl Bode, Vice.com - Jun. 10, 2020

Three DirecTV executives have been arrested in Venezuela and accused of fraud and destabilizing the economy after parent company AT&T abruptly severed television service in the country last month, leaving millions of Venezuelans disconnected from popular news and entertainment programming.

In a statement last month, AT&T announced that it had become impossible to balance U.S. sanctions against Venezuela with the Venezuelan government demands to carry state-backed TV networks and censor international channels critical of Nicolás Maduro's regime.

“Because it is impossible for AT&T’s DIRECTV unit to comply with the legal requirements of both countries, AT&T was forced to close its pay TV operations in Venezuela, a decision that was made by the company’s U.S. leadership team without any involvement or prior knowledge of the DIRECTV Venezuela team,” AT&T said in a statement.

With a 44 percent market share of the Venezuelan TV market, the decision sparked scattered protests in cities like Caracas among frustrated customers who’ve been homebound since March as part of the country’s efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Three days after AT&T’s announcement, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ordered that all of the company’s assets in the country be seized.

Things escalated further over the weekend, after the Venezuelan government arrested three local Venezuelan DirecTV executives last week. In an announcement posted to Facebook and its website on Tuesday, the Venezuala Supreme Tribunal of Justice accused the trio of fraud and efforts to destabilize the Venezuelan economy.

"I hope there is justice in this country," DirecTV Vice President of strategy Carlos Villamizar told reporters before surrendering to authorities.

Former DirecTV employees expressed solidarity with the jailed executives via the #DIRECTVSomosTodos (we are DirecTV) hashtag on Twitter.

AT&T did not respond to a request for comment on the arrests.

The telecom giant has found itself increasingly caught between the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the Maduro administration, and Venezuela’s demands to censor at least 10 channels since 2017 that aired content critical of the Venezuelan government.

Venezuelan regulators had accused the channels of violating Venezuela’s 2004 Law on Social Responsibility on Radio and Television, purportedly crafted to ensure the airing of socially responsible programming, but long criticized by human rights and press freedom groups as a tool for media and political censorship.

Last year, DirecTV was quick to censor both BBC and CNN at the Venezuelan government’s behest, after both networks aired the brutal murder of protesters in Caracas.

An Associated Press report from last January found that the Trump administration had been pressuring AT&T to not only restore censored channels in the country, but take on a more active role in undermining the Maduro administration and its use of state television to broadcast propaganda.

Despite sharing some similar authoritarian tendencies, the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine Maduro have included both criticism of Venezuela’s brutal oppression of its citizens, as well as unsubstantiated allegations that the Maduro administration had helped stoke recent protests in the United States.

AT&T is one of several companies—including Kellogg and GM—that have departed the country in the last few years. Currently facing massive debt due to a series of U.S. mergers, and limited profit due to Venezuelan regulations that limit the cost of television service, AT&T decided a full retreat was its best opinion.

Roughly 700 Venezuelans were employed by DirecTV in Venezuela, and 2 million Venezuelans have lost access to programming courtesy of the standoff.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/n7wzvx/jailed-directv-execs-accused-of-destabilizing-the-economy-in-venezuela
 

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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: ABC's Don't Dominates With Debut, Blindspot Hits Series Low
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Jun. 12, 2020

In the latest TV ratings, ABC’s Adam Scott-hosted Don’t debuted to 4.2 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating, easily leading Thursday in the demo. Bookending the freshman game show, Holey Moley (4.1 mil/0.7) was steady in its earlier time slot, while To Tell the Truth (3.6 mil/0.7) ticked up.

Elsewhere…

CBS | Man With a Plan (5 mil/0.6) was steady with its series finale, which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “B” (read recap). Broke (4 mil/0.5) dipped.

NBC | Council of Dads (2.8 mil/0.3) and Blindspot (1.82 mil/0.2, read post mortem) each dipped, respectively tying and hitting series lows in the demo.

FOX | Celebrity Watch Party (1.6 mil/0.4) was steady, while Labor of Love (976K/0.3, read recap) ticked up.

THE CW | Burden of Truth (536K/0.1) and In the Dark (438K/0.1) each added a literal handful of eyeballs while steady as always in the demo.

https://tvline.com/2020/06/12/tv-ratings-dont-game-show-premiere-abc/
 

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TV/Critic's Notes (Broadcast)
PBS is Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month with 'Prideland'
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Jun. 12, 2020

Mary Jane Kennedy could fit most stereotypes of white, Southern privilege.

“I just had this blessed life,” she says in Prideland, at 9 p.m. ET Friday on PBS (check local listings).

She’s been religious, Republican, and conservative. She taught church school for decades and lives in a huge house in Brandon, which calls itself “the second safest city in Mississippi.”

And she has become, in her 60s, a gay-rights spokeswoman. That story provides some extraordinary Prideland moments.

In the documentary, Dyllón Burnside (above, Pose) travels through his native South, viewing changed attitudes toward gays. Some early segments are fairly forgettable; then, he meets Kennedy.

“Girls raised in the South talk a lot,” she tells him. And she has a lot to talk about.

Her entire life, she says, has been in Mississippi. “You can’t get any closer to conservative family values.”

Then she learned that her two sons are gay. “There was nothing that prepared me for this…. I walked out onto the balcony of the hotel, and I said, ‘To jump or not to jump.’”

Her sons talked her down (literally and figuratively) by quoting biblical verses about love and acceptance. Her husband reacted calmly – “they’re my boys, and I love ‘em,” he said – but their pastor didn’t. He told her to keep it a secret, so she could continue teaching in church school.

She did for 14 years, she says, before she couldn’t hold back anymore. Six years ago, at 61, Kennedy was featured in commercials for a human-rights campaign.

Some people said “just ugly, ugly things,” Kennedy said. Overall, “it was the best and worst thing that’s happened to me…. I finally learned what it must be like to grow up gay in this beautiful South.”

That’s a feeling Burnside is familiar with.

He grew up on a ranch near Pensacola, Fla., he says in Prideland, with a life of music and religion. At 21, he became a music leader at a mega-church, a job he loved. Then he told the pastor he’s attracted to men and was promptly fired. “I was crushed.”

His response was to move to New York, where he starred briefly on Broadway in 2014, then landed a key role (Ricky, who is homeless, gay, and a gifted dancer) in Pose. This documentary takes him to Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi; he meets:

– The Rev. Rob Lowery, who spent the first nine years of his ministry keeping a secret. “Being out just wasn’t an option,” he says. But when he did come out, a decade ago, the reaction was “wonderfully welcoming.”

– Steven Reed, whose father was one of Martin Luther King’s top aides. As the first black mayor of Montgomery, Ala., Reed is expanding civil rights to include gays and more.

– Jessica Gonzalez, one of five out lesbians currently in the Texas legislature.

– And others, including a transgender activist, an adoptive lesbian couple, and a lesbian rodeo champion who says neighbors and rodeo people have accepted her. “The world’s evolved,” she says. “It’s so much better.”

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=20193
 

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TV/Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 11, 2020

NATIONAL THEATRE AT HOME: "THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III"
National Theatre at Home, 2:00 p.m. ET
LIMITED PREMIERE:
The latest one-week streaming premiere from National Theatre at Home is the first production recorded from a staging outside of London.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

I considered watching this, but then I remembered I hadn't seen parts I and II.....




;)
 

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TV/Critic's Notes (Broadcast)
PBS is Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month with 'Prideland'
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Jun. 12, 2020

Mary Jane Kennedy could fit most stereotypes of white, Southern privilege.

“I just had this blessed life,” she says in Prideland, at 9 p.m. ET Friday on PBS (check local listings).

]
Not in Boston

WGBH 2 (which generally shows the full regular PBS schedule): brain Secrets

WENH 11,1 : Les Miserables

WENH 11.2 more Brain Secrets

WSBE 36 World on Fire

WGBX 44 I miss Downtown Abbry

Ok prideland is at 1AM on 44 and 4 AM on 2 and 11
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
Hightown: Monica Raymund Crime Drama Renewed for Season 2 at Starz
By Michael Ausiello, TVLine.com - Jun. 11, 2020
Yippee!!
 
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