MORNING ROUNDUP: Former Pixar Finance Chief Ann Mather Expected to Join MGM Board

6:23 AM PST 12/01/2010 by Georg Szalai, Lindsay Powers
Warner Brothers Pictures

Plus: An Inception video game is in the works, and Comcast has dismissed charges from Netflix partner about charging for steaming video.

- Ann Mather, the former CFO of Pixar, will likely join the new board of MGM, potentially even as chairman, according to the Los Angeles Times.  MGM's creditors are putting the finishing touches on a nine-member board after the names of seven directors emerged last week, including soon-to-be CEOs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum from Spyglass Entertainment, former CBS CFO Fred Reynolds, former MySpace president Jason Hirschhorn and three directors from hedge funds that own MGM debt. Mather currently sits on the boards of Netflix and Google. According to the LA Times, the Netflix position could cause potential conflicts of interest should she join MGM given that premium TV service Epix, in which MGM is a partner, is a content provider for Netflix.

- In a letter to the FCC, cable TV and broadband giant Comcast has dismissed charges from tech firm Level 3 that it has engaged in anti-competitive behavior, the LA Times reported. As reported, Level 3, a content delivery network partner in Netflix’s online streaming service,  accused Comcast of extorting a new fee soon after the company announced its deal with Netflix, essentially creating a “toll booth” for content from other providers. “Comcast is neither resisting carrying Internet video traffic nor imposing new 'tolls' on Internet video traffic,” Comcast said in its FCC letter, according to the Times. The cable giant also highlighted that other content delivery networks that send more traffic to a broadband provider, such as Comcast, are also typically "expected to either remedy the situation or to pay something.” Comcast, which is already in the FCC’s focus due to the regulatory agency’s review of its plan to acquire a controlling stake in NBC Universal, reiterated that the argument with Level 3 is a business dispute rather than one about net neutrality or an open Internet. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to outline his new net neutrality plans on Wednesday.

- Inception helmer Christopher Nolan has revealed a video game of the dream-within-a-dream movie is in the works. "I always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. "At the moment, the only direction we’re channeling that is by developing a video game set in the world." Nolan didn't offer any details on when it would be released, but did say it was "a longer-term proposition." He said video games are "something I've wanted to explore." As for a sequel to the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, he's less sure. "It’s not something I want to say no to, but it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought about."
 

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