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Netflix and Google Are Poised to Dominate L.A. After the Pandemic

Are the upfronts turning into TV execs’ personal “Black Mirror'' episode?

The annual feeding frenzy—in which C-suite television executives auction off highly-viewed (and costly) advertising time slots— is changing as new streaming behemoths shake up the market. The event often gives viewers and industry watchers insight on what shows are poised to become cultural phenomena, but that too seems to be disrupted at this year’s proceedings.

It’s been two years since major networks and television players convened in New York for a week, and it’s clear that technology is going to change a lot about how the process works.

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Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

Disney Plus just showed up Netflix.

After Netflix stunned Wall Street by losing subscribers for the first time in a decade, Disney said Wednesday that its flagship streaming service is still chugging along nicely. Disney Plus added 7.9 million paying customers during the second quarter of fiscal 2022, beating Wall Street’s expectations of about 5 million. That brings Disney Plus to 137.7 million total subscribers.

The Burbank-based media giant’s strong showing comes amid growing concerns with the streaming business. Netflix’s poor earnings and the rapid demise of CNN Plus have rattled investors, who previously rewarded entertainment and tech titans that spent billions to launch streaming platforms and added many subscribers during the pandemic.

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Photo courtesy of Hulu

Netflix and Hulu have won another court battle against a local government trying to force the streaming giants to pay taxes typically imposed on cable TV companies.

A Los Angeles County judge ruled Wednesday that the city of Lancaster doesn’t have the right to sue the streaming services to charge so-called franchise fees, which legacy TV providers have long paid municipalities for the right to dig up streets to lay their cable wires, according to the Hollywood Reporter. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos noted that even if Lancaster had the right to bring the case, Netflix and Hulu would be exempt from the fees as they don’t own or operate infrastructure on public property.

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