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8:15 AM ET, March 2, 2022


 Top News: 
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
DirecTV drops RT “effective immediately”, accelerating this year's contract expiration timeline; DirecTV and Dish are the only major US TV providers carrying RT  —  New York (CNN Business)DirecTV is cutting ties with RT, the Russia-backed television network infamous for promoting Vladimir Putin's agenda.
Mark Scott / Politico:
YouTube plans to block Russia-backed RT and Sputnik in the European Union and the UK, following similar bans by Meta and TikTok, citing the invasion of Ukraine
Vikas SN / Moneycontrol:
Netflix acquires Finnish game developer Next Games for around $72M; the studio specializes in games based on entertainment franchises, such as Stranger Things  —  Next Games had released ‘Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales’, a role-playing game based on the streaming giant's hit 80s horror drama series in October last year.
Andrew Hutchinson / Social Media Today:
Meta releases its Q4 Widely Viewed Content report, showing the most viewed Facebook Page comes from a banned account; Meta would not reveal the account  —  Safe to say that Meta's efforts to refute the idea that Facebook amplifies divisive political content are not going exactly as it would have hoped.
Jonathan Tannenwald / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Turner Sports wins English-language TV rights for US Soccer starting in 2023 and HBO Max will be the primary outlet; sources: the deal is worth ~$25M per year  —  The U.S. Soccer Federation's next English-language TV rights deal has been won by Turner Sports, the two entities announced Tuesday …
Amanda Yeo / Mashable:
Reddit quarantines r/Russia and r/RussiaPolitics over “a high volume of information not supported by credible sources” and bans a mod for acting in bad faith  —  A moderator has also been removed.  —  Reddit has quarantined subreddit r/Russia due to misinformation …
David Remnick / New Yorker:
Q&A with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Novaya Gazeta EIC Dmitry Muratov on pressure from the Russian government, planning for a “very difficult period”, and more  —  “We continue to call war war,” Dmitry Muratov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, said.  “We are waiting for the consequences.”
Washington Post:
Twitter's crowdsourced fact-checking program Birdwatch remains a small pilot project 13 months after launch, with only 359 contributors flagging tweets in 2022  —  With the Ukraine war unfolding on social media, parsing fact from fiction has never been trickier — or, for those involved, more urgent.
Alex Ritman / Hollywood Reporter:
US film and TV studio A24 poaches two BBC executives, Rose Garnett, director of BBC Film, and Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, for newly created roles  —  Rose Garnett and Piers Wenger will join A24 in newly-created London-based roles that will see them oversee its growing international film and TV slate.
Discussion: The Guardian, C21Media, Deadline and Variety
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 More News: 
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Apple pauses all product sales in Russia, removes RT News and Sputnik News from the App Store outside Russia, and disables Apple Maps' live traffic in Ukraine
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Meta demotes content linking to Russian state media outlets on Facebook globally, will do the same on Instagram, and plans to label the content on both apps
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Sony merges anime streaming services Funimation and Crunchyroll into a single subscription, starts phasing out the Funimation brand, and promises no price hike
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Disney+ launches parental controls as the streaming service adds more adult Marvel series that originally debuted on Netflix, like Daredevil and Jessica Jones
 Earlier Picks: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Disney announces a partnership with digital measurement company Samba TV, after years of testing other solutions with nearly 100 vendors like Moat and
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
New York-based startup Antenna, which tracks subscriptions in streaming and other sectors, raises a $10M Series A led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments
Discussion: Hollywood Reporter and Axios
Thom Geier / The Wrap:
Roughly 100 writers and content producers at six G/O Media sites went on strike after Gizmodo Media Group Union's contract expired at midnight
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: Justin Smith and Ben Smith seek to raise $20M-$30M to launch their news outlet by fall 2022; Ben expects 2024 election scoops will help build the brand
Taylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch:
Twitter starts labeling tweets that link to Russian state-backed media outlets and plans to label other countries' state media outlets “in the coming weeks”