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Court to DirecTV, Dish: Pay up in taxing case

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An appellate court on Wednesday ordered satellite-television companies to pay legal and other costs in a long-standing tax case they lost earlier this year. After DirecTV and Dish Network sued, the Florida Supreme Court in April decided satellite TV can be taxed at a higher rate than cable TV.

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Disney’s wonderful world may be too good to last

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Disney has been on a tear the past few years, thanks to popular channels like ESPN, its “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero franchises, and improving results at its global parks. Now comes the hard part. CEO Robert Iger’s contract runs out next year, creating management uncertainty just as Disney needs to keep its lucrative television offerings relevant in a world increasingly dominated by streaming services. The company faces “a time of transition” as consumers abandon expensive cable subscriptions, said Morgan…

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ACC, ESPN to launch ACC Network in 2019

in Sports/Top Headlines by

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s television network will launch in August 2019, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person also said ESPN and the ACC also will start a digital channel next month that will be available online. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the network has not been formally announced by ESPN or the ACC. The launch of the network will be discussed this week when the ACC holds its preseason…

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AT&T announces ‘GigaPower’ service expansion, $2.7B in Florida upgrades since 2013

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Telecom giant AT&T announced Monday nearly $2.7 billion in upgrades to Florida’s cell and landline networks since 2013, including adding data capacity at more than 1,400 cell sites last year. “We’re committed to providing our customers fast, reliable, highly secure connectivity. We want them to be able to access the Internet at any moment, from almost any device and anywhere,” AT&T Florida President Joe York said. “Our continued investment in Florida brings a host of new, innovative opportunities for residents and…

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Florida Supreme Court hears debate on TV tax

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Should satellite-television service be taxed at a higher rate than cable? The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides Wednesday. Satellite TV companies, including DirecTV, want the court to uphold the 1st District Court of Appeal’s 2-1 decision last year, which said that taxing the two services differently is unconstitutional. The state’s Revenue Department and Florida’s cable TV industry want it overturned. At issue is the state’s communications services tax (CST), which charges “direct-to-home satellite service” at a total rate of 11.44 percent. Cable…

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Charter nabs Bright House in latest pay-TV deal

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Charter buying Bright House for $10.4 billion is the latest big deal in the pay-TV industry. Companies want to merge as costs for channels like ESPN have shot up, while their video subscribers have dipped and online video providers like Netflix become more popular. Combining gives them more negotiating power against programmers such as The Walt Disney Co. Last year, Comcast said it was buying Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, and AT&T is purchasing DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Both…

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