- 📺 'Charter'ing a Course Towards a Post-Cable Era?
📺 'Charter'ing a Course Towards a Post-Cable Era?
dot.LA Weekly Update
The ongoing dispute between Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications (parent of Spectrum cable/internet) regarding the distribution of Disney's channels, particularly ESPN, could potentially unravel the cable TV business as we know it. 🖥️🤺📺
Image Source: Los Angeles Times
The dispute between Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications resembles a high-stakes chess match. Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, has publicly revealed Disney's intention to bring ESPN channels directly to consumers, signaling a strategic move away from classic cable. Charter, whose distribution agreement for Disney channels was set to expire, responded with a bold move of its own by initiating a blackout of Disney's channels for its Spectrum customers.
This battle is seen as a proxy war for the future of pay-TV. While Charter has largely agreed to Disney's financial demands, it insists on gaining more flexibility in how it delivers Disney's channels and streaming apps. This strategic standoff mirrors the dynamics of a chess match, with both sides carefully weighing their moves and considering the long-term consequences.
The broader context reveals the challenges faced by pay-TV providers as the industry shifts towards streaming. Many subscribers have cut the cord in favor of streaming services, and cable companies are grappling with the increased programming fees. This dispute exemplifies the evolving landscape of entertainment distribution.
So what does this all mean…
The outcome of this game hinges on the decisions made by both sides. If Charter agrees to Disney's terms, it may secure access to Disney's content but could face higher fees and reduced flexibility down the road. Conversely, if Charter stands firm and rejects Disney's terms, it risks losing access to highly popular channels and streaming content, potentially alienating its customer base. Will Charter flip the board and begin an entirely new type of game without cable TV? ♟️
Do you still pay for cable?
🤝 Venture Deals
Santa Monica-based Simple Closure, a platform to help automate the shut-down process, raised a $1.5M Pre-Seed Round led by Vera Equity and Cambrian Ventures, with participation from a group of executives at various startups including Brex, Gusto and Nvidia. - learn more
✨Featured Event (9/14)✨
Plug In South LA is hosing its Accelerator Cohort 4 Founder Showcase on September 14th (This Thursday!).
Hosted by our friends at Plug In, this event will showcase Early Stage Black and Brown Founders rolling out new service and platform solutions in Digital Health/Healthcare Tech, FinTech, Digital Media, PropTech, and EdTech.
🚀 For Early Stage Investors looking to diversify their portfolios with high-potential companies led by Black and Brown Entrepreneurs, this showcase is a must-attend. We also extend a warm welcome to the LA Tech community, including LPs, Corporate Executives & Foundations, and Family Offices.
🎟️ Secure your spot now and immerse yourself in a night of innovation, inspiration, and boundless opportunities. Register for the Plug In Accelerator Cohort 4 Founder Showcase here.
Want your event featured? Shoot us an email!
📅 LA Tech Calendar
Sunday, September 10th
The Data Scientist Hangout 🗽 - Ex-Amazon data scientist and podcast host, Daliana Liu, and ex-Meta machine learning engineer, Damien Benveniste, will be hosting a hangout at Royce Hall in UCLA Sunday morning.
Tuesday, September 12th
Wednesday, September 13th
Startup Cafe 🗽 - Meet and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals while enjoying a nice cup of coffee Wednesday morning in Venice.
LA Tech Happy Hour 🗽 - Meet and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals after work while enjoying refreshing drinks in Culver City.
Thursday, September 14th
Plug In Accelerator Cohort 4 Founder Showcase 🗽 - Our featured event! See above to learn more.
Other events to add to the calendar
🗽 - Free
Have an awesome event coming up? Reach out to be featured on next week’s Newsletter!
🌍 Around The Internet
LA’s Top Tech Funding Rounds of the Summer
As summer temperatures soared in Los Angeles, the city's tech companies found themselves navigating a funding landscape that, while still dynamic, showed signs of cooling down. Nevertheless, noteworthy funding rounds took place, illustrating the resilience and adaptability of LA's tech ecosystem. Here are the top five funding rounds between Memorial Day and Labor Day that provided a glimpse into the shifting dynamics of the city's tech scene.
Q-CTRL: $54M in July
Q-CTRL, a startup that has built quantum-sensing software that helps reduce errors on quantum computers, closed out its $54M long-running Series B led by Morpheus Ventures. The funds will go toward fostering technical innovation, expanding Q-CTRL’s product portfolio and scaling the company’s operations. - Read More
Impulse Space: $45M in July
Impulse Space, the space logistics startup, raised a $45M Series A led by RTX Ventures joined by Founders Fund, Lux Capital, Airbus Ventures and Space Capital. The funds are intended to further develop Helios, it’s largest orbital maneuvering vehicle to date, into a high-energy kick stage that will be capable of bypassing geostationary transfer orbit and taking payloads directly to geostationary orbit. - Read More
Karat Financial: $40M in July
Karat, a startup building financial tools for content creators, raised a $70M Series B a combination of debt ($30 million, led by TriplePoint Capital) and equity ($40 million, led by SignalFire joined by Union Square Ventures, CRV, GGV, Commerce Ventures as well as actor Will Smith via Dreamers VC, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen). The funds are intended to help scale existing products and continue to build tools to help creators manage money. - Read More
Mythical Games: $37M in June
Mythical Games, a next-generation gaming studio, secured $37M as part of its C1 led by Scytale Digital joined by ARK Invest, Animoca Brands, PROOF, Stanford Athletics, MoonPay, Andreessen Horowitz, Gaingels, Signum Growth, Struck Capital, and WestCap. The funds will be used to achieve profitability within 12 months and follow through Mythical’s mission of providing innovation to video games through web3 infrastructure to mainstream gamers through new economy and game models. - Read More
Gardens: $31.3M in July
Gardens, a new independent game studio focused on fantasy adventure video games raised a $31.3M Series A led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Krafton and joined by Dreamhaven, TIRTA, Rendered VC, Transcend Fund, Funplus and others. Gardens, founded in the summer of 2021, will use the funds to create a fantasy action role-playing game. - Read More
📙 What We’re Reading
AI-Curious, a new podcast exploring applications of AI, interviews Hollywood producers who are pioneers of using AI, not to replace writers and actors, but to optimize production and build communities: the cofounders of Toonstar Studios, CEO John Attanasio and COO Luisa Huang. - listen here
An increase in Los Angeles' data center demand is largely driven by artificial intelligence requirements and the continued adoption of cloud services. - read more
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Last Week’s Poll
Have you ever watched Esports?
🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🎮 Of course!! (28%)
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 😅 Maybe once or twice... (17%)
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