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Digiday DealBook: Twitter deal continues to advance, networks fight for Formula 1 rights, Getty Images creates a new interactive visual tool and more

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Digiday DealBook: Twitter deal continues to advance, networks fight for Formula 1 rights, Getty Images creates a new interactive visual tool and more

Welcome to Digiday’s DealBook. Our focus is to create a quick and easy rundown of the deals, acquisitions and hires that took place the previous week. The goal is to inform and update you on the latest happenings in the industry at the top of your inbox each Monday. — Carly Weihe

—Slowly but surely, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter seems to be advancing. The delay has several prongs: federal antitrust regulators failed to review the deal in the standard 30-day window and the deal cleared the antitrust review by default, meaning the company can now move forward with the agreement. However, Musk himself continues to delay the process too, claiming that Twitter has not been forthcoming about the number of fake accounts on the site and won’t move forward until the company is more transparent about its users. In turn, Twitter finally agreed to give Musk access to its data; however, it is unclear what this data is or how much direct access Musk will have. Currently, the agreement is estimated to be worth $54.20 a share, although this is subject to change, particularly given this unstable moment for the economy — a fact that might be motivating Musk’s decision as many experts believe Musk is postponing the deal as Tesla’s stocks plummet.

—Netflix, ESPN and NBCUniversal are competing for the upcoming renewal of Formula 1’s U.S. rights in 2023, as the auto sports league is rapidly growing in popularity across the globe. The surge in viewership was apparent following the races held in Miami in May when more than 2.6 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch on ABC. The deal is estimated to be worth $100 million, and ESPN has the rights through the end of the year. Elsewhere in sports media news, PGA Tour renewed its U.K. deal with Sky Sports. Warner Bros. Discovery, who has had the U.S. rights since 2018 following a $2 billion deal, has since sublicensed PGA Tour U.K. content to Sky Sports. Finally, Tom Brady’s ever-growing sports media company, Religion of Sports, has raised $50 million in Series B Funding with Shamrock Capital accounting for a significant part of the funding.

—Getty Images, a content creation and management company, created VisualGPS Insights, an interactive tool its customers can use for visual and data insights. VisualGPS users will have access to over 2.5 billion images available to Getty and iStock customers for download. In addition, VisualGPS will serve as a reference point for brands looking to see how 825,000 other companies engage with and impact consumers via images.

In other news…

  • Latino Media Network acquired Chicago’s Spanish language radio station WRTO, among 17 other radio stations, in a $60 million deal with TelevisaUnivision. The female-led company purchased the stations, which span eight major cities, and secured the deal with an investment from Lakestar Finance.
  • Amazon’s Consumer CEO, Dave Clark, announced his resignation this week. Clark, who worked at Amazon for over 20 years, was the former head of Amazon’s logistics business.
  • HiDef, an “interactive entertainment” company,  announced a partnership with Snap Inc., with plans to create a new mobile app game with Snap’s Bitmojis. With over 300 million Snap users, this comes at a good time of expansion for both companies. 
  • Voodoo, the leader in the mobile gaming industry with 6 billion downloads, partnered with oolo, a company dedicated to data-driven operations. With 6 billion downloads and 300 million monthly users, this is an important step in Voodoo monitoring its ad revenue, as well as other business operations.
  • Haymarket Media Group acquired Podcast Awards, the owner of Podcast Awards of the British, Irish and Australian awards. This is an addition to Haymarket’s content portfolio across digital and physical media platforms.
  • Star Atlas, a gaming design company, partnered with iBUYPOWER, a manufacturer of gaming PCs, to get its games and users into the metaverse. This comes as many companies begin to commit and invest in the growing metaverse space. 
  • Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes announced the start of Lamina 1, their joint venture in Layer-1 blockchain technology in the metaverse. The development of the blockchain will continue later in the year with a testnet, followed by a betanet. After the testing phase, leaders hope to help creators looking to craft metaverse projects at scale. 
  • Pinterest acquired The-Yes, an e-commerce platform used to enhance consumer engagement. The-Yes staff will join Pinterest. The-Yes platform will be shut down later this year, as Pinterest has plans to integrate The-Yes into its existing platform, with hopes that it will increase consumer engagement. 
  • Vice Media hired Jonathan Bing as CCO
    • He was formerly director of communications at Netflix
  • Peloton hired Liz Coddington as CFO
    • She was formerly a vp at Amazon Web Services in Services Finance
  • Lionsgate promoted Suzy Feldman to evp of Worldwide TV Marketing
    • She was formerly svp at Lionsgate
  • Mindshare Media hired Kathy Kline as chief strategy and innovation officer
    • She was formerly the global chief strategy officer at Starcom
  • Politico Europe hired Caroline Kinneberg as head of Politico Studio
    • She was formerly the head of content partnerships at The Economist
  • Allen Media Group hired Chris Malone as executive vp and head of development
    • He was formerly a principal at Stellex Capital Management
  • Meta promoted Guy Rosen to chief information security officer, the first person to hold this title at the company
    • He was formerly the vp of integrity and security
  • Full service-marketing agency RP3 Agency hired Ingrid Vax as head of business development
    • She was formerly director of client relationships at D.C.-based branding agency Bullhorn Creative
  • Mara, a crypto-platform headquartered in Africa, hired Susan Younis as CMO
    • She was formerly the marketing lead in Africa for Apple Music

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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