The 11th Hour Dispatch – Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

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Premium channel STARZ has acquired several new series that were previously originals on NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming service Seeso. Some of the acquired series include stand-up comedians Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito’s Take My Wife, Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, the Sklar Brother’s stand-up special Hipster Ghosts, and The UCB Show, a variety show filmed at Upright Citizen Brigade Theater locations in NYC and LA. Most series will be available on STARZ starting May 1, but a few will trickle out throughout the year, with the latest proposed release of October 1 for Andy Richter’s Home for the Holidays. The biggest win for STARZ here is the critically acclaimed Take My Wife sitcom, which was nominated for a GLAAD Award and just recently found a new home on iTunes after Seeso’s death. Many of these projects are quite different from what you would expect on other networks, and STARZ’s Head of Program Acquisitions, C. Brett Marottoli, said that they “align strategically with many STARZ Original series and will appeal to [their] audiences as [they] continue featuring diverse casts and storylines across the STARZ platforms.” 


Amazon has put a hold on its plans to sell drugs to hospitals through its Amazon Business arm after facing troubles it had not anticipated. Bezos’ Baby had trouble convincing hospitals to switch to the massive corporation’s bulk sales service over the often loyal one-to-one relationships hospitals typically get pharmaceutical products from, and some medical facilities were reluctant to switch to Amazon since it cannot yet carry Class III devices, which include devices that need to be implanted in the body such as pacemakers or breast implants. Amazon also does not have an adequate logistics network built out for the temperature-sensitive products it would be shipping. Stocks of large pharmacy chains and distributors jumped when the news broke, including CVS, which closed up 4.61%, Walgreens, which was up 3.76%, and McKesson, up 3.52% at the bell. Despite this, Amazon still closed in the green.


Activision Blizzard — the gaming company behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga — has partnered with Nielsen to measure and valuate its eSports titles and leagues. As part of this deal, Nielsen will measure brand exposure for the company’s eSports programs including Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League, Overwatch World Cup, and Overwatch Contenders, and Activision’s Call of Duty World League. If you’re in media and you’re not paying attention to the gaming sector right now, you’re wrong. It’s projected to become a $1.5 billion market by 2020, and plans for a $10 million eSports stadium were just revealed in Arlington, Texas (also home to the stadiums of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys). Your antisocial cousin knows what he’s doing even though he’s living in a locked bedroom of empty pizza boxes and teenage angst.


Nice try millennials! Memes were actually invented in the 1920s.

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