Showbiz Sandbox 41: Live Nation Becomes The Master Of Tickets

February 8, 2010


We swear we’re trying not to talk so much about Avatar, and although this seemed like a good week to skip the Ava-chat (congrats “Dear John!”), alas, the news cycle had other ideas.

But wait! There was also some important television news! Namely, the Super Bowl, which drew an average of 106.5 million people, just edging out “MASH’s” 106 million people in 1983. And football fans didn’t just watch the Saints win; they also watched the ads (which are sometimes the best part of the Super Bowl). This year’s favorite seems to be the Leno-Oprah-Letterman ad, but you be the judge. Where was Conan? Probably negotiating with Fox? It certainly seems like Rupert Murdoch plans on playing hardball with Team Coco (whenever he’s not unofficially greenlighting “Avatar 2”).

A company that doesn’t appear to be negotiating is Hulu, or is it NBC? During a Congressional hearing last week to investigate Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBC, a representative asked NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, “What about Boxee?” Yeah Jeff, what about Boxee? Zucker claims the blocking of Hulu content on Boxee was a Hulu management decision. According to Zucker the Boxee social media software (which allowers viewers to watch streaming video on their TVs) was illegally taking Hulu’s content.

However Boxee CEO Avner Ronan points out that Boxee is not taking it illegally. And Hulu CEO Jason Kilar wrote in a year-old blog post, “Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. “ He doesn’t specifically say NBC, but… we think he means NBC. So, Jeff, what about Boxee?!

Finally, Joe Reinartz, the news editor at concert industry trade publication Pollstar, joins us to discuss the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation and what will mean for the future of the music business, concerts, and consumers.

Rupert Murdoch Unofficially Greenlights “Avatar 2”….

Avatar In The Amazon

How is Avatar not an animated film?….

Apolitics And The War Film

Relativity/Rogue grabs ‘Catfish’….

Weinsteins Finally Conclude Deal For Sundance Hit “The Tillman Story”….

More New Helmers Get Their Hollywood Shot….

Super Bowl Viewership Sets Record

Letterman/Leno Win Super Bowl Ad Wars….….

Rupert Murdoch Needs To Be Convinced Conan O’Brien Can Make Money For Fox….

David Letterman Hires A Female Writer….

Congress Asks NBC Why Did Hulu Block Boxee?

Johnny Depp Confirms He’s Making Keith Richards Documentary….

Taylor Lautner and 3D Amp Up Universal’s “Stretch Armstrong”

Doctor Is Charged In Death Of Jackson

“Daredevil” Latest Marvel Hero To Reboot

‘American Idol’ Producers Want Howard Stern To Replace Cowell….

Ticketmaster Live Nation Merger Update