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The latest news from Entertainment
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    eSports Advertising and Sponsorships

    What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments

    Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.

    These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.

    But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.

    eSports Market Growth Booming

    To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.

    What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.

    And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.

    Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.

    So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.

    eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market

    Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.

    And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.

    Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.

    So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?

    Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.

    Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet

    Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:

    • eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
    • There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
    • The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
    • The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
    • The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
    • Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
    • Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.  
    • Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
    • Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
    • Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
    • Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
    • Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.  

    In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:

    • The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
    • The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
    • eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
    • eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
    2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the first trailer for 'The Dark Tower' — the new film based on Stephen King's epic series

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    Craig Barry turner sportsFor the past few weeks, the media world has buzzed about the prospects of sports television, after brutal layoffs at ESPN coincided with record cable subscriber losses in the quarter.

    The big question was whether the old business model is tenable in the world of smartphones and social-media.

    But when considering the future of sports media, Craig Barry, the head of content for TV juggernaut Turner Sports (the company behind the “NBA on TNT”), takes inspiration from an unlikely source: esports.

    In the summer of 2016, Turner made its first big foray into the budding world of esports with ELEAGUE, which broadcasts professional players of popular video games like “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Overwatch.” And it’s been an eye-opening experience for the 25-plus year Turner Sports veteran.

    “ELEAGUE is teaching us so much about the digital space,” Barry said in a recent interview with Business Insider.

    For Barry, esports has been particularly useful in highlighting the difference between a “fan base” and a “community,” he said. A community is engaged, drives the conversation, and decides whether something is good or bad. A community can push Turner Sports to totally change its approach based on the community's acceptance, or lack thereof. On the other side, a fan base, historically, has been more passive in terms of what it demands of a broadcaster.

    That distinction is relevant for the future.

    In the digital age, communities rule, and those who want to dominate the next phase of sports media need to understand that. These communities are all about conversation, particularly what’s happening in the swirl of social media. And old-media giants like Turner Sports would do well to react to it.

    eleague turner sports

    TV is not the default

    “The same way that tech is evolving, content is evolving,” Barry said. Pregame shows, for instance, used to lean heavily on historical, “evergreen” content. Now the pregame show is starting the conversation around the game, and jumping into the conversation that’s already happening online.

    “That’s what specifically social [media] has brought to the sports media table,” Barry said: The ability to have conversations in realtime. “You [as a broadcaster] have to be reflective of those conversations.”

    Beyond reflecting the online discourse in its TV broadcasts, Turner Sports has created shows designed specifically for various online platforms, like Twitter or Facebook.

    “It’s part of our DNA now,” Barry said. Five years ago, TV was the default, and Turner Sports would search for a digital extension, he explained. Now they think about whether it would play better on Facebook or Twitter from the outset.

    An example is Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21.” Segments of “Area 21” appear on TNT’s NBA broadcasts, but it’s really meant for Twitter. The show recently stirred up controversy when Garnett got the old Celtics band back together — pointedly without Ray Allen — and they talked about the strained relationship with Allen (who rejected a Celtics contract extension to go to the Heat).

    That moment was meant to spark a discussion on social media.

    area 21 Kevin garnett

    The money question

    But as social media begins to play a bigger role in sports coverage, the main problem is that it’s hard to make money on platforms other than TV. You certainly aren’t getting the type of revenue you get from cable subscribers.

    “The code has not been cracked to some degree,” Barry said of monetization on social media platforms. But at the same time, the level of engagement Turner Sports is getting from these places, and in coveted demos, is compelling. “There has to be a value proposition” eventually, if five million millennials are following you on a certain platform, Barry said. One thing Barry thinks has held back the money is a lack of good audience measurement tools, which he said will improve over time.

    But here's something that’s certain: If you aren’t able to build a brand that rises above commodity items — the way highlights and scores have become a commodity — you won’t survive.

    “I will tell you, ‘engagement’ is most important metric in our industry,” Barry said (whether people are watching it, liking it, and sharing it on social media). The fact is that people, even the cord-cutters and cord-nevers, aren’t going to stop watching sports, Barry said. But you need to meet them where they are, and give them the type of content they want.

    So what do they want?

    “Access, access, access,” Barry said, when describing what fans are looking for moving forward.

    One reason Barry thinks the NBA has continued to rise in the pop culture imagination is how close people feel to the players. In the game, locker room, and on the social media accounts of NBA stars, the league has made an effort to grow that intimate relationship with its fans. (It’s good to note that the NBA is one of Turner Sports’ biggest contracts.)

    But as the NBA playoffs reach their peak, it's certainly true that its biggest stars, like Steph Curry and LeBron James, have actively showed the world their personality. Curry's wife and daughter have even become stars in their own right. 

    This has served the league well, according to Barry. Fans want to be as close to the game, and the players, as possible.

    SEE ALSO: The 7 highest-paid CEOs in the US last year were all in the media business — here they are

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This field of sea stars is actually a death trap that scientists never saw coming

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    Brian De Palma John Lamparski Getty final

    Brian De Palma has never been shy about giving his full, honest opinion. Especially to fellow filmmakers.

    The director of classics like “Scarface,” “Carrie,” and “The Untouchables” told Business Insider last year when he was doing press for the documentary on his career, "De Palma," that after seeing “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before it premiered in 1977, he turned to his good friend Steven Spielberg, who directed the movie, and said, “I don’t know, this doesn’t really work for me.”

    Laughing about it now, he said, “And this was considered a crowning success of his career.”

    But Spielberg wasn't the only person in the talented inner circle that De Palma ran in during the 1970s (they were known as the Movie Brats) who was on the receiving end of his harsh opinions.

    In an encounter that has become a Hollywood legend, De Palma didn’t think much of the original “Star Wars,” either.

    George Lucas’ Movie Brats mates were the first people to see “Star Wars,” including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, and De Palma.

    After watching an early cut of the movie — which included little to no effects and didn't yet have the John Williams score — the Brats got together to tell Lucas what they thought. Spielberg told Lucas it was going to be a hit, but De Palma thought differently.

    “The crawl at the beginning looks like it was written on a driveway,” De Palma told Lucas, according to the book “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.” “It goes on forever. It’s gibberish.”

    Looking back now at his alleged insults, De Palma has a different recollection. Kind of.

    “That is not correct,” De Palma told Business Insider. “I am sarcastic. I am considered the class clown, but a sarcastic clown. So I would make fun of certain things. Because everyone would take this stuff too seriously.”

    Brian De Plama George Lucas Brad Barket Getty finalHe did, however, admit he didn’t like the opening crawl.

    “The crawl didn't make any sense at all,” De Palma said. “And I kept kidding him about the Force. I was like, ‘What is the Force?’ But you have to understand, we used to look at each other's movies in order to be helpful. We might say some things that weren’t nice.”

    De Palma admits the harsh criticism didn’t always go down well for some. Though he said, as far as he knows, Lucas never took offense to his remarks about the movie.

    But one story has it that Lucas’ wife at the time, Marcia, confronted De Palma.

    “I don't remember this, but there was an account where Marcia told me, ‘You've hurt George's feelings and you should be gentle with him.’ I don't remember that. I really don't know what they're talking about,” De Palma said. “I was basically myself. The thing the guys could always count on with me is I would say what I thought. I wasn't holding back.”

    Success washes away all sour grapes in Hollywood, and if Lucas was ever mad at De Palma, that sure ended quickly, as the original “Star Wars” went on to make over $775 million worldwide in its theatrical run and gave birth to one of the most lucrative movie franchises of all time.

    SEE ALSO: Brian De Palma, legendary director of "Scarface" and "Carrie," explains why he 'left Hollywood completely'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's everything we know from the season 7 trailer for 'Game of Thrones'

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    Silicon Valley

    HBO has renewed its hit comedies "Veep" and "Silicon Valley" for additional seasons. Both will return in 2018, the pay network announced on Thursday.

    The new orders mean that "Veep," which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, will be back for a seventh season. The current sixth season has found Louis-Dreyfus' Selina debating whether she'll throw her hat into the next presidential election.

    HBO's renewal for "Silicon Valley" will bring the favorite tech comedy into its fifth season. Currently airing its fourth season, the show has found Pied Piper founder Richard (Thomas Middleditch) at a crossroads after the company pivots away from his data-compression algorithm to a video-messaging app.

    SEE ALSO: 'Silicon Valley' star T.J. Miller says it's 'funny' that people claim to have inspired his 'buffoon' of a character

    DON'T MISS: Here are all your favorite TV shows that are coming back for another season

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's everything we know from the season 7 trailer for 'Game of Thrones'

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    Stormtrooper head band Lucasfilm final

    With Thursday marking the 40th anniversary of the release of "Star Wars: A New Hope," there are a lot of stories circulating that look back on the iconic first movie of the lucrative saga.

    The Hollywood Reporter has published a deep dive on one of the movie's most infamous moments: the Stormtrooper who banged his head on a blast door. 

    The shot comes toward the end of the section of the movie when Luke, Han, and company save Princess Leia from the Death Star. Stormtroopers barge into a control room, and if you look closely, one of the them walks right into the door that rises from the floor. 

    THR tracked down the actor who played the head-banging Stormtrooper, Laurie Goode, and got to the bottom of what happened.  

    What happened that day when you hit your head? 
    On the second day of filming, I developed an upset stomach. By mid-morning I had paid three-to-four visits to the loo/bathroom. Having re-dressed myself and returned to the set, I felt the need to rush back to the gents' toilets, but I was placed in shot. On about the fourth take, as I shuffled along, I felt my stomach rumbling, and "bang", I hit my head! As I wasn't moving too fast it was more of a scuffed bash, so it didn't hurt, but as no-one shouted "cut" I thought the shot wasn't wide enough for me to be in frame. 

    Which take was that? How many takes did you do of that scene?
    I remember after the first two takes, we were told to hold our guns in our left hands as opposed to our right. So I believe the head-bang happening on the fourth take, whatever number of takes we did, the head-bang happened on the last take. When it first happened — that day — I told my fellow actor on the film, Mark Kirby, that I hit my head, but we didn't go for another take!

    Goode said when he saw the movie, he couldn't believe George Lucas used the shot. 

    As the decades have passed and the blooper has become part of "Star Wars" lore, there's been a little controversy about the identity of the actor who banged his head. Actor Michael Leader, who died last year, has also claimed to be the head-banger. But Goode proclaims he's the guy. And he's even written a song about it (so you know he's got to be telling the truth).


    SEE ALSO: HBO finally dropped the first full "Game of Thrones" season 7 trailer — and it's incredible

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the first trailer for 'The Dark Tower' — the new film based on Stephen King's epic series

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    wonder woman

    On Wednesday, Alamo Drafthouse Austin announced it would hold a women-only "Wonder Woman" screening when the movie debuts in June. 

    "Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying 'No Guys Allowed' for one special night at the Alamo Ritz," the movie theatre wrote. "And when we say 'Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,' we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female."

    Some people did not respond well to the announcement and perceived exclusion. 

    "Alamo Drafthouse, will there be a male only screening for Thor: Ragnarok or a special screening for IT that's only for those who identify as clowns?" one Facebook commenter wrote. 

    "We might actually have to steal that clown idea," the Alamo Drafthouse account responded. "Thanks Ryan!"

    In fact, it seems that whoever is running the Austin Alamo Drafthouse Facebook account has a snappy response for critics across the board. Here's a sampling of how the theater is responding:  

    alamo 1

    alamo 2

    alamo 3

    Alamo also provided some more earnest responses, noting that it often provides special viewings for groups such as veterans and active military members, and that its many other "Wonder Woman" screenings are open to all. 

    There was clearly demand for the tickets to the women-only showing. The first screening sold out, leading Alamo to add a second women-only "Wonder Woman" screening. 

    alamo 4

    As of Thursday, the second women-only screening had also sold out. 

    SEE ALSO: A fidget spinner was confiscated in the kitchen of one of New York's top restaurants

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 colors that might get you sued

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    tj miller silicon valley hbo

    T.J. Miller, who plays startup incubator Erlich Bachman on the HBO comedy "Silicon Valley," is leaving the show after the current fourth season.

    "The producers of 'Silicon Valley' and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season five," HBO told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Thursday. "In Erlich Bachman, T.J. has brought to life an unforgettable character, and while his presence on the show will be missed, we appreciate his contribution and look forward to future collaborations."

    Miller has played Erlich Bachman since the show's first season and earned a Critics' Choice Award for the role in 2015.

    Currently, the actor stars on Comedy Central's parody talk show "The Gorburger Show." He also has an HBO special, "Meticulously Ridiculous," airing June 17.

    Miller, who has starred in the movies "Cloverfield" and "Deadpool," also has a full slate of movies coming out in the next year, including "The Emoji Movie," "How to Train Your Dragon 3," and potentially "Deadpool 2."

    Earlier Thursday, HBO announced "Silicon Valley" had been renewed for a fifth season.

    SEE ALSO: HBO renews 'Silicon Valley' and 'Veep' for new seasons

    DON'T MISS: 'Silicon Valley' star T.J. Miller says it's 'funny' that people claim to have inspired his 'buffoon' of a character

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This is the worst part of Silicon Valley, according to the cast of ‘Silicon Valley’

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    Few things have the power to transport people like the cinema.

    Who can forget Robert Williams' "Good morning, Vietnam" or Marine Corps DI Hartman's memorable quotes?

    The following list is of our favorite military movies.

    Jeremy Bender contributed to an earlier version of this post.

    SEE ALSO: The US lost track of $1 billion in weapons, and they might end up in ISIS' hands

    "The Longest Day" (1962)

    "The Longest Day" tells the story of heroism and loss that marked the Allies' successful completion of the Normandy Landings on D-Day during World War II.

    The film stands out due to its attention to detail, as it employed many Axis and Allied D-Day participants as advisers for how to depict the D-Day landings in the movie.

    "Lawrence Of Arabia" (1962)

    Based on the exploits of British Army Lieutenant T. E. Lawrence during World War I, "Lawrence of Arabia" tells the story of Lawrence's incredible activities in the Middle East.

    The film captures Lawrence's daring, his struggles with the horrific violence of World War I, and the incredible British role in the foundation of the modern Middle East and Saudi Arabia.

    "The Great Escape" (1963)

    "The Great Escape" is based on a novel of the same name, which was a nonfiction account of a mass escape from a German prison camp in Poland during World War II. The film follows several British German prisoners of war as they try to escape from the Nazis and make their way back to Allied-controlled territory. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Far Cry 5

    The trailer for the hotly-anticipated "Far Cry 5" has finally dropped, and for the first time, it's taking the fight to the United States of America. 

    The gritty and violent franchise doesn't look like it's taking its foot off the gas as it approaches its fifth installment. The game is set in the fictional town of Hope County, Montana, where a radical cult, led by the prophet Joseph Seed, has taken control of the region. 

    According to Ubisoft, the game will task you with sparking "the fires of resistance to liberate a besieged community." 

    "Far Cry 5" will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 27, 2018. 

    Check out the action-packed trailer below: 


    SEE ALSO: The Netflix show that's promised to be 'the best f-----g video game adaptation ever made' just got its first trailer

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

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    Game of Thrones

    The night is dark and full of fewer episodes than you probably wanted: Entertainment Weekly reports that the official episode count for the eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" will be six episodes.

    That's one less episode than the shortened seventh season, which premieres its seven-episode run on July 16.

    Every other season of "Game of Thrones" has comprised ten episodes, with many episodes extended well beyond an hour. The wait for the newest season has also been longer than for ones past, leaving fans all the more hungry for their favorite fantasy drama.

    Creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss and the show's writers are currently writing the last season. While this news may be dissapointing to many "Game of Thrones" fans, the good news is that unlike "The Winds of Winter," the final season is actually being written and it's not taking them over half a decade. And with the news of the tight episode count, it seems like Benioff and Weiss know exactly where to end things.

    SEE ALSO: All the 'Game of Thrones' deaths, ranked from least tragic to most tragic

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: HBO just released a new 'Game of Thrones' trailer — the dragons are back

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    andrew lincoln red nose day love actually sequel nbc.JPG

    The many stars of the hit movie "Love Actually" reunited for a sequel in honor of Red Nose Day on Thursday.

    Packed into a sweet 15-minute video, the returning original cast members include Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Laura Linney, among many others.

    Fans will remember that the holiday-themed romantic comedy followed 10 different, but somehow linked, couples as their love stories played out. The new video is a real fun way to find out what happened to all the couples in the 13 years that have passed since the movie.

    Some of the best scenes from the sequel include Grant dancing to Drake's "Hotline Bling" and Lincoln reenacting the great handwritten-cards scene with Knightley.

    The original film's writer and director Richard Curtis created the sequel to help bring attention to Red Nose Day, an international event for which supporters wear red noses to bring awareness and raise money for charities aiding children living in poverty.

    Given the movie's intense popularity, this perfect "Love Actually" sequel should go a long way in bringing attention to Red Nose Day. Watch it here.

    SEE ALSO: The trailer for Jason Bateman's gripping new Netflix show is here

    DON'T MISS: Everything you need to know about the 'Twin Peaks' revival

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 90-year-old producer found the magic formula for making money in Hollywood

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    Game of Thrones

    On Tuesday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson raised eyebrows when he said that 20-minute episodes of “Game of Thrones” might work better on mobile than the standard hour-long ones.

    That’s not idle chatter coming from Stephenson, who will control HBO parent company Time Warner if its proposed $85 billion merger with AT&T passes regulatory approval.

    With AT&T’s core wireless business getting tougher and tougher, the telecom giant has looked to reinvent itself as the model of a next-generation media conglomerate, starting with the $49 billion deal to buy DirecTV in 2015.

    Stephenson’s comments show how AT&T is trying to imagine a future where your smartphone is the center of the entertainment universe, and taking active steps to get there. That future, however, is not a sure thing, and AT&T has seen the growth of one of its marquee efforts stall in early 2017.

    The bundle

    The long-term prospects of the traditional cable bundle are looking rocky, with subscriber losses piling up last quarter, and younger viewers turning to digital options like Netflix and YouTube in droves.

    That reality has made many in the pay-TV industry take a step back and consider the landscape, especially when it comes to what the ideal “bundle” will look like moving forward.

    Since the DirecTV acquisition, AT&T has been at the forefront of this, and discerning the future of the entertainment bundle has become one of the central preoccupations of the company.

    AT&T is “no longer a telecom and wireless company,” Brad Bentley, EVP of AT&T’s entertainment group, told Business Insider in a recent interview. “It’s a media company, and should look and feel that way.” AT&T wants to “elevate beyond selling gigs of data,” Bentley continued.

    But if AT&T wants to be a center of the “new bundle,” one that will appeal to new customers that have grown up in the digital world, what form will that take?

    Bentley has an answer: AT&T’s goal is to be the company that removes all barriers to you watching whatever video you want, wherever you want. To do this, AT&T wants to craft a “bundle” that includes wireless data, as well as access to TV shows and online video, all served up in a seamless interface. That will be even more important if AT&T reaches a real 5G future, in which watching TV all the time on AT&T data might be a viable option.

    Taking a cue from tech companies instead of cable providers, Bentley also wants you to be able to sign up and cancel easily. “I don't like contracts,” he said.

    directv now

    Growing pains and structural advantages

    It's clear that AT&T has big goals, but it has had big growing pains so far as well.

    In late November, AT&T launched its DirecTV Now service, an online TV service that starts at $35 per month and is meant to lure younger people into the pay-TV ecosystem.

    DirecTV Now was hit by a bunch of technical performance issues shortly after launch, some of which have persisted, which can be frustrating for customers that are used to regular TV. But beyond the unfavorable comparison to traditional TV, these glitches undercut AT&T’s goal of being the company that removes your problems, instead of adding to them.

    img5775That could have had an effect on subscriber growth. According to a new report by Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter, by the end of January, DirecTV Now had 328,000 subscribers. That's amazing growth. But then the service actually lost 3,000 customers in February, and was about flat in March. It's worth noting that AT&T has, in recent months, faced increased competition from new entrants like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV.

    Still, if AT&T can nail the technical performance aspect, Bentley argued that it has a few structural advantages over competitors in the streaming-TV space like Hulu and YouTube.

    When you look at Hulu with Live TV, and YouTube TV, they have the two revenue streams (advertising and subscriptions), but they don’t have additional services they can bundle together, Bentley said.

    The idea is that putting a wireless plan and TV package together can change AT&T’s relationship with the customer.

    When testing products like DirecTV Now, AT&T looks at how they affect things like the churn (potential to cancel)characteristics of customers. “Are they more sticky,” David Christopher, the CMO of AT&T Mobility, said in a recent interview with Business Insider. “Does satisfaction go up? Is it another reason to choose AT&T?”

    Like Amazon using video to sell shoes, TV can help AT&T with its core business.

    AT&T also thinks it can leverage its data to serve better targeted ads — though this is something competitors like YouTube and Hulu pitch as well.

    On Tuesday, Stephenson said AT&T, DirecTV, and Time Warner combined would serve about 1 trillion ad impressions per year. And he said that with data on customer behavior, it would monetize it 2-3 times more effectively than a traditional media company.

    A final aspect that is very important to the AT&T bundle is its practice of “zero-rating,” or not counting your TV watching toward your data cap. An example: If you have DirecTV Now, you can stream all the TV you want over a wireless connection without going over your cap.

    This practice is controversial, since many free internet advocates see it as a violation of “net neutrality,” or the principle that all data should be treated equally on the internet. But it’s likely to continue, especially under the loose regulation of Trump’s FCC, and is a central way that AT&T can use its status as a wireless provider to wring value out of the new bundle.

    Moving beyond the channel

    The combination of traditional TV and wireless, however, isn’t the precise endgame for AT&T. The other piece is the blurring of the line between online video that might live in places like YouTube, and video coming from TV networks.

    In our interview, Bentley emphasized AT&T’s DirecTV Now partnership with digital media heavyweight Fullscreen (which AT&T owns in a joint venture). Fullscreen started on YouTube, and its shows exist somewhere between YouTube and traditional TV in terms of production costs. Last year, Fullscreen launched its own Netflix-like subscription service, which costs $5.99 per month and is focused on 18 to 25 year olds. AT&T wants Fullscreen and its other digital bets to live in the bundle with TV.

    Reese WItherspoonBentley also mentioned the work AT&T has been doing with celebrities like Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon, who are creating content for DirecTV Now. Again, this is not typical TV fare, but is bundled into DirecTV Now.

    “It is evolving beyond a set of channels,” Bentley said, with particular reference to Witherspoon and her new company Hello Sunshine, which is “built around optimism.”

    Broadly, the new TV world will continue to push toward on-demand and time-shifted viewing, Bentley said. The process that started with Netflix and Hulu isn't going to reverse.

    Many of the lines that have defined TV will also evaporate: between premium TV and digital, and between what you watch on your phone, and on your wall.

    Someone will profit from the repackaging a bundle to sell you, one that takes into account the way digital natives like to be entertained. AT&T is making huge bets that it can be one of the companies at the center of that new universe. But what remains to be seen is whether it can emerge as a victor from a field that is becoming crowded with a converging mixture of tech, wireless, cable, and entertainment giants.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Oscar Isaac Stephen Colbert CBS

    In April, Oscar Isaac told Business Insider that one of the highlights of shooting "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" was doing an "intense" scene with Carrie Fisher. 

    “It was basically my first day [on set] and we did about 25 takes total. Half of them were on me and half of them were on her,” Isaac, who plays the pilot Poe Dameron in the new "Star Wars" trilogy films, said. “I can’t give anything away but there was a scene where there was some physicality there and it was shot just over and over and over. She relished the physicality of it, let me just say."

    On Thursday, the actor went on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and teased out some more details about that scene with Fisher. Turns out it involved Fisher slapping Isaac over and over, and over, and over.

    “Actually, a large amount of the stuff I got to do was with Carrie, which was amazing,” Isaac told Colbert. “I remember the first day of shooting was a scene with Carrie. Oftentimes that first day, the filmmakers, everybody’s trying to get the tone and figure it out and I remember it was a scene where I come up and talk to her and she’s very upset with me and slaps me, and [director] Rian [Johnson] kept doing it over and over. It ended up being like 27 takes of Carrie just leaning in and every time she’d hit like a different spot on my face.”

    Whether it was 25 or 27 takes, that's a lot of times to get smacked across the face. But this confirms what Isaac told us: that we are going to get a fiery General Leia in the upcoming "Star Wars" movie.

    princess leia lucasfilmLooking back on working with Fisher on “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” Isaac told us he feels “fortunate" that he "got to be in her gravitational field," and made it sound like a warm experience.

    “At every moment she would just wander over with her Coke — she was constantly drinking Coca-Cola — and find a way to undercut the situation or to cut through something to make me laugh,” Isaac said.

    He continued the high praise for Fisher on Colbert's show.

    “She was by far the quickest-witted, funniest, most down-to-earth, real human being as I ever had the opportunity of working with and she does amazing work in this,” he said.

    Fisher died in late December of last year after a heart attack. She had completed filming on "The Last Jedi."

    "The Last Jedi" opens in theaters December 15 and will be the final time Fisher appears in a "Star Wars" movie. It's been announced she will not be appearing in “Star Wars: Episode IX” and Disney CEO Bob Iger has made clear there are no plans to bring Fisher's Leia to the screen via CGI in future "Star Wars" films.

    Watch Isaac talk about Fisher on "The Late Show" below:


    SEE ALSO: Oscar winner Brie Larson talks about the roles she instantly rejects

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    khal drogo game of thrones season one

    With 1990s nostalgia at its peak, and with the new "Baywatch" movie starring possible future president Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron, it's time to take another hard look at the hit show that made red swimsuits and running on the beach in slow motion pop-culture staples.

    Many well-known actors and even A-list stars (Michelle Williams!) got small (or in some cases, big) roles on "Baywatch" before they became known for something else entirely. You seriously won't believe who some of them are.

    Here are all the famous people you didn't know were once on "Baywatch":

    SEE ALSO: 35 movies coming out this summer that you need to see

    Michelle Williams

    The four-time Oscar nominee appeared in two episodes in different roles. Her first appearance was in 1993 in "Race Against Time: Part 1" as Bridget, a girl who throws a party. Her second appearance was in 1994, in an episode in which she is credited as "Hobie's groupie."

    Catch a rare scene online of her as Bridget on "Baywatch." She thinks having sand in your shoes is "cool."

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    Williams has come so far.

    Mariska Hargitay

    The "Law & Order: SVU" star appeared in the third episode of season one in 1989. 

    Sofia Vergara

    Before she was "Modern Family" famous, Vergara was famous in the late '90s for being a Univision host. In 1999, she made a brief appearance as herself.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    frank underwood house of cards

    It's hard enough to keep up with real-world politics these days, and the same goes for Netflix's "House of Cards," which returns for season five on May 30. There are many new characters, a lot of intense fights between Frank and Claire Underwood, and a lot of Doug Stamper being really, really creepy. Oh, and a lot of Frank manipulating every single person who crosses his path (which is pretty standard).

    While there's a long weekend coming up, that's still not much time to catch up on all four seasons of the show before the fifth season unless you don't get off your couch at all.

    From murder to affairs, here's everything that's happened on "House of Cards" that you need to know about going into the new season:

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 11 best movies of 2017 so far

    Season one

    In season one, we're introduced to Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). In his first scene of the series, he breaks the fourth wall by talking to the camera. Also he kills a dog.

    Frank is a US congressman from South Carolina and the Democratic Majority Whip. But he hungers for even more power and will do anything (literally, like even murder) to get it.

    Throughout season one, Frank sleeps with journalist Zoe Barnes and feeds her intel. She doesn't reveal her secret source to her colleagues.

    Frank and Zoe’s strange affair resulted in a creepy sex scene in which Frank has Zoe call her father on Father’s Day as he performs oral sex on her.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Evan Spiegel Miranda Kerr

    There may be wedding bells in the air for LA's newest power couple. 

    After hints that supermodel Miranda Kerr would get married to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in May, the New York Post's Page Six reports that two will wed in a small ceremony of around 30 people at their LA home over Memorial Day weekend.

    The Australian supermodel started dating the 26-year-old CEO nearly two years ago and a whirlwind romance followed, which lead to their engagement last year.

    Here's how the two powerful stars fell so quickly for each other:

    SEE ALSO: 10 important things Evan Spiegel said on Snap's first ever earnings call

    The power couple first met at a dinner for Louis Vuitton in Los Angeles and became friends. 'We were really good friends for a long time before we started dating,' Kerr told The Sydney Morning Herald.


    In 2007, Kerr was the first Australian to become a Victoria's Secret Angel and was among the world's highest-paid models. Now she's working on creative projects like jewelry lines and just launched a handbag collection in Asia.

    The 33-year-old Kerr was once married to Orlando Bloom and had a son, Flynn. Spiegel had to wait at least six months to meet him, per Kerr and Bloom's rules, but 'things are going well,' Kerr said. 'We're just a modern family now.'

    Source: The Edit

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    will arnett

    "Arrested Development" star Will Arnett tells Business Insider that when the beloved comedy returns to Netflix for its fifth season, the star-studded cast will spend "much more" time together on the screen.

    The new season will be structured "much like the original broadcast series," he added.

    Arnett was speaking to Business Insider about Timyo, a time-saving e-mail app in which he's an investor and advisor.

    His comments were in response to a question about the biggest criticism of the fourth season of "Arrested Development," which aired on Netflix in 2013. Due to scheduling conflicts, the show's large ensemble cast rarely appeared together in most episodes. Instead, the season was an interconnected series of vignettes focusing on only a few characters at a time.

    The series' ensemble cast includes Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Will Arnett, David Cross, Jessica Walter, and Alia Shawkat.

    This time around, not only is the whole cast returning ("sadly, Jason Bateman has agreed to do it," jokes Arnett), but Arnett tells us that the show will be structured in a way that's similar to the original seasons. That means the cast will be appearing together and sharing more scenes, he hints, as opposed to season 4, which focused on one or two characters per episode.

    arrested development season 4

    While Arnett notes that he's worked with "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz on projects like the Netflix series "Flaked" over the years, he's excited to spend more time with the rest of the show's cast once the new season starts filming this summer.

    "It's an opportunity to see everyone else," says Arnett. "It will be very rewarding."

    "Arrested Development" had previously aired on Fox, for three seasons, from 2003 to 2005. The fourth season of the comedy debuted on Netflix in 2013. While the show never attained huge commercial success, it was a critical darling that has retained a sizable and devoted fan base over the years.

    The fifth season of "Arrested Development" will debut on Netflix in 2018.

    SEE ALSO: 'Arrested Development' is officially returning to Netflix for season 5

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    May marks the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars: A New Hope," but it also has another, less joyful milestone: the 15th anniversary of "Attack of the Clones," which was (to our disappointment) released to a theater near you on May 16, 2002. 

    But maybe it's not as bad as everyone says it is or as bad as I remember it. Maybe it's secretly the best prequel. I hadn't seen it in a long time, so who am I to judge? Turns out, I was right.

    I took a stab at re-watching "Attack of the Clones" with the intention of giving it the benefit of the doubt, but it just made me feel like I was getting stabbed in the eyes (and the heart). "Attack of the Clones" is a soulless, disjointed parade of clichés that took everything anyone loved about the "Star Wars" franchise and hid it behind wooden dialogue, junky visual effects, galaxy politics no one cares about, and forgettable characters who don't matter. At least "Phantom Menace" had a cool villain in Darth Maul and sweet Sebulba. 

    The movie is so unwatchable — save for Ewan McGregor's welcome presence, for which he should win some kind of peace prize — that it literally took me weeks to watch it. I could only bear it in 20-30 minute intervals. At a painful and unnecessary 2 hours and 22 minutes, "Attack of the Clones" makes watching the depressing ending of "Rogue One" on repeat sound appealing. 

    Here's why "Attack of the Clones" is the worst movie in the "Star Wars" franchise: 

    SEE ALSO: Here's the only right way to watch the 'Star Wars' movies

    While the script is dumbed down, ridden with cheesy one-liners and sentences that are not authentic for any living creature the has a mouth, it's still hard to follow.

    There is so much plot that it’s actually completely plotless. In having too many storylines and new characters, the point of the movie — to showcase Anakin's eventual turn to the dark side — gets completely lost.

    One of those plot lines? Anakin and Padmé's love story, which is just as forced as it is uninteresting. It's also terribly portrayed by future Oscar winner Natalie Portman.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    On May 18, I got to attend Bungie's big "Destiny 2" event with my older brother Michael. It was a precious memory I'll never forget.

    dave michael smithThis is Michael. He's three years older than me, but we're both very similar: We have similar senses of humor, we both have beards — his is black, mine is red — and our voices sound almost identical. We also share many of the same interests, particularly in movies, games, and pop culture. He's always been there for me over the years, in both good times and bad. He's my best friend, and I love him dearly.

    But since we live on opposite ends of the country — me in New York, and him in Los Angeles — it hasn't always been easy for us to keep in touch. Thankfully, "Destiny" is a big reason we've stayed connected over the years. And at the "Destiny 2" reveal event, we got to spend a full day geeking out to our favorite video game together. It was just like the old days.

    SEE ALSO: Bungie director Luke Smith on 'Destiny 2': Our goal is to 'unhide the fun'

    Michael and I both grew up playing a lot of video games together, usually in the basement of our old house in Connecticut. As kids, games were an easy and fun way for us to connect, talk, and work together.

    One of my fondest memories was playing the classic Zelda game "Ocarina of Time" with him: He'd be the one actually playing the game, while I'd serve as a form of navigator, keeping track of his goals and looking at physical game guides in case he got stuck. As a young kid, I didn't always feel brave enough to play some games myself, so I was happy to watch him play. (To this day, I still enjoy watching other people play video games, usually on YouTube.)

    In our teenage years, Michael and I played lots of "Halo" together. We'd play cooperative missions, but we spent most of our time playing multiplayer matches against each other. We spent countless nights playing on the "Hang 'Em High" arena, with rocket launchers only.

    Michael regularly got the drop on me: He was so much better at "Halo" than I was, since he was quick to memorize the layouts of the arenas. He'd usually sneak up on me, jump in the air and shout "Death from above!" right before nuking me with a rocket and cackling with delight. He won almost every match we played, but I still had fun.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Allison Williams Froot Loop Get Out Universal final

    Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out” became a surprise critical and box-office sensation earlier this year thanks to its chilling look at racism through the guise of a horror movie.

    There are countless fascinating things about the movie, about a black man who joins his white girlfriend for a visit to her parents' house, but one standout comes toward the end. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.) Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) has been brought down to the basement and is about to have the brain of a white man put in his skull when we are given a glimpse of the real Rose (Allison Williams), his heretofore "girlfriend."

    What’s quickly become known as “the Froot Loops scene” shows Rose wearing all white with her hair pulled back tight in a ponytail listening to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” while eating Froot Loops in a bowl and sipping milk from a straw out of a glass. Sitting on her bed, with framed photos of her past conquests hanging on the wall, she’s doing a Bing search on her laptop for “Top NCAA Prospects.”

    The brief scene is a sublime mix of comedy and horror that has stayed with people long after they’ve watched the movie.

    It’s also launched some great memes, like Peele tweeting a picture of Donald Trump Jr. eating cereal with the hashtag #getoutchallenge.

    Then there’s this creative meme that went viral featuring a photo of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway sitting awkwardly in the Oval Office while looking at her phone during a visit from leaders of historically black colleges with a picture alongside it of a search box and the entry “Top NCAA Prospects.” 

    But it turns out the already infamous Froot Loops scene wasn’t even in the original script.

    “It was added while we were already on set in Alabama shooting,” Williams told Business Insider.

    And many of the genius details in the scene were thought up right at the moment of shooting it.

    “The decision to use Froot Loops was one that went right down to the wire,” Williams said. “And I can’t remember who came up with the idea to split them up, but Jordan and I brainstormed about what would be interesting, and it was decided to make the milk separate from the Froot Loops. I know my contribution were the tiny sips and tiny little bits.”

    Williams said that Peele wrote the scene to drive home just how disturbed and terrifying Rose really is.

    “This is our chance to see what it's like to be Rose every day,” Williams said. "It drives home the point that she has stalled developmentally at the age that she started doing the job. She still dresses somewhat androgynous, she’s totally meticulous, total control freak. She has her teddy bear and Froot Loops and milk. And the idea of her going upstairs and immediately putting all her photos back in frames and putting them up on the wall is also really chilling.”

    Get Out Allison WilliamsThe scene was one of the last shot for the movie, and Williams said she was grateful for that, as it was unpleasant to play evil Rose.

    “I really only did one or two takes for those scenes and if he could Jordan would just keep the camera rolling because it helped keep me focused. That was a really strange experience shooting that scene.”

    However, Williams admits that she can't help but laugh every time she sees the scene, with its bizarre reveal and the cheesy '80s pop playing over it. The scene also reminds her how much fun Peele had shooting it.

    “When Jordan was watching the monitor and I was the real Rose character, he would grin and rub his hands together, like, ‘Yes, this girl is so evil,’” Williams said. “That was all the validation I needed when I was trying to stay in that evil version of Rose.”

    With the movie becoming a huge hit, Williams believes the Froot Loops scene has the “potential of being iconic,” and she gives all the credit to her writer and director.

    “This is a guy who from the beginning knew what he wanted the movie to look like, sound like, feel like,” Williams said of Peele. “It’s just perfect.”

    “Get Out” is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything leaving Netflix in June that you need to watch right now

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