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News in Brief

SONY has confirmed it would take a $145 million write-down on its Blu-ray disc business. The fresh profit warning came just three months after the previous guidance. Sony's results (for 2013-14) are issued on 14 May. The company pioneered Blu-ray technology, but now says it has further revised downward its anticipated profitability reflecting the slump in sales of packaged media. It says it does not expect to recover the value of its current stockpile of product.

NETFLIX is now streaming content in 4K with the second season of its original drama House of Cards. In a blog post, Netflix said that although its catalogue of Ultra-HD content is currently small, it expects to add more 4K content and increase the number of devices it can be accessed on later this year. Despite the ramping up of 4K content, Netflix believes that it is still some way off before the technology is considered mainstream. In a blog post, it says "We expect it will likely take up to 5 years before Ultra-HD 4K becomes mainstream; when most of the TVs on store shelves are Ultra-HD 4K."

ON 5 MAY, a world record attempt begun with four people who set out to beat the previous record from Las Vegas of 87 straight hours, by watching the TV series 24. Come 9 May, Erik Pettersson had watched Viaplay for 90 straight hours and broken the record. The attempt has taken place at Viaplay's headquarters in Stockholm, where the participants have knocked back 100 cups of coffee and watched 134 episodes. According to Guinness World Record?s rules, the participants have only been allowed one 5-minute break per hour, with the option of saving up their minutes for a longer consecutive break.

PROVISIONAL Q1 figures from 11 EU markets indicate that box office admissions in the European Union increased in the first three months of this year, compared to Q1 2013. Quarterly admissions increased significantly in 3 out of the 5 big EU markets, namely in France (+18.9%), Italy (+13 %) and Spain (+8.7%), outweighing smaller decreases in Germany and the UK. On a cumulative basis, admissions in these five markets increased by 5.6%. These markets represent around 75% of total EU admissions.

ACCORDING to Nielsen's forthcoming Advertising & Audiences Report, the average US TV home now receives 189 TV channels - a record high and significant jump since 2008, when the average home received 129 channels. Despite this increase, however, consumers have consistently tuned in to an average of just 17 channels!