After the coffee. Before seeing how 'Smash' did in the ratings.
The Skinny: I tried to get back into "Smash" last night but they lost me for good with the "Would I Lie to You" number. "Smash" makes me appreciate "Nashville" all the more. Wednesday's headlines include Fox looking to get an early jump on next year's Super Bowl, CBS talks on the record about Joe Flacco's swearing and why they don't want to put a delay on live sports and Liberty Media buys British pay-TV operator Virgin Media.
Daily Dose: Does Walt Disney Co. have a case of regional sports envy? With license fees for local sports channels on the rise, Disney CEO Bob Iger felt the need to pump up ESPN on the company's earnings call Wednesday. Iger noted that regional sports networks have limited programming and that "ESPN delivers almost twice the audience of all RSNs combined."
Oscar sells out. With the Oscars about three weeks away, ABC said Tuesday it had sold all the advertising inventory for the awards show, which this year will be hosted by "Family Guy" creator and "Ted" director Seth MacFarlane. ABC is getting as much as $1.85 million for a 30-second spot for the Feb. 24 broadcast. Cosmetics companies are often big spenders on the show, which typically attracts a large female audience. More on the Oscars from the Los Angeles Times.
Early start. The football season just ended, but these days we don't get a break. Fox is already out there starting to pitch next year's Super Bowl to advertisers. CBS' broadcast drew 108.4 million viewers, not bad considering the game started as a rout and included a 35-minute power outage. Next year's game is outdoors and in New Jersey. If that's not a selling point I don't know what is. Ad Age on Fox's efforts to get an early jump on selling the game.
Liberty Global gets Virgin. John Malone's Liberty Global finalized a deal to acquire Virgin Media, the second-largest pay-TV operator in Britain, which is valued at more than $20 billion. The agreement will put Liberty in direct competition with News Corp.'s British Sky Broadcasting there. Virgin has about 5 million subscribers. The deal will probably be good news to programmers as Liberty will now compete with BSkyB for content and drive up prices. Details on the deal from the Wall Street Journal.
Same old story. Time Warner, parent of Warner Bros., HBO, Turner Broadcasting and Time Inc., released its fourth-quarter results early Wednesday morning (too early for me) and reported a 51% increase in profit from a year earlier to $1.17 billion. Boosting the numbers was an increase in subscription revenue from its cable networks. Its Time Inc. unit, which is going through cutbacks, took a $60-million charge. A peek at the results from Bloomberg.
But Mr. Peabody. DreamWorks Animation is delaying the release of its 3-D movie "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" to next year and there will probably be some cuts at the company. Another DreamWorks movie "Me and My Shadow," which had been set for a 2014 release, will now be sent back to development camp. Coverage from Deadline Hollywood and the Los Angeles Times.
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