By S-3 Public Affairs
FACT OF THE WEEK
With the start of baseball season, there are more ways to catch games online. Mashable reports, “Twitter will live-stream weekly Major League Baseball games this upcoming season, renewing a partnership between the two companies that’s been in place since 2016. Twitter’s partnership is one component of MLB’s effort to distribute its games digitally and on social media. In addition to the Twitter deal, YouTube TV is a presenting sponsor of the World Series, and Facebook recently scored the exclusive rights to air 25 games this year. Unlike Facebook, Twitter broadcasts aren’t exclusive: Each stream is a simulcast with a team’s local TV broadcast.”
A push toward social media streaming fits with the MLB’s attempt to attract younger audiences. Morning Consult polling finds the audience for MLB tends to skew older and proposed changes to speed up the overall game time would likely not have an impact on viewership
IN THE MEDIA
Recode shares an interview with Financial Times CEO John Ridding recalling the response when they put their content behind a paywall: “reactions in the tech world ranged from skeptical to ‘pretty hostile.’” But now that decision has paid off. “Now the CEO of the FT is feeling vindicated: Subscriptions to online reporting from the Nikkei-owned London-based business newspaper start at $350 per year, and readers are buying. Ridding said two-thirds of the FT’s 900,000 subscribers are digital customers, and subscriptions have overtaken advertising as the chief source of the company’s revenue, also representing about two-thirds of the total.”
The FT’s approach is different in that, “Rather than giving readers a certain number of free articles per month — the ‘metered’ business model practiced by the New York Times, the Washington Post and Wired, among others — it has shifted in recent years to just give them unfettered access for free for the first month. ‘We thought, what do we really want to do?’ Ridding recalled. ‘We really want to achieve the habit in digital that people used to have in print. A metered model kind of goes against that because you’re, by definition, rationing. … Ideally, you spend a month with the FT, you get to appreciate it, you become a subscriber.’”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The Hill reports, “President Trump will meet with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar next week at the White House as the Trump administration tries to encourage several Middle Eastern nations to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country. The White House said in a statement Thursday that Trump ‘looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Qatar and to advance our common security and economic priorities’ with Al Thani during the meeting Tuesday.”
President Trump will also head to Peru for the Summit of the Americas happening Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14.
ON THE HILL
Congress returns with all eyes looking to House and Senate hearings with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Committees will also continue work on FY2019 appropriations with several administration officials testifying.
Monday (April 9): Senate resumes consideration of the nomination of Claria Horn Boom to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky; House Homeland Security Committee field hearing on lessons learned and the path forward from Hurricane Harvey, to be held in Texas;
Tuesday (April 10): Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committee joint hearing on Facebook, social media privacy, and the abuse of data, with testimony from CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of Sharon Gustafson to be general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the U.S. Transportation Command; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on state perspectives of cooperative federalism under the Clean Air Act; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the Summit of the Americas; House Rules Committee hearing on the Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act;
Wednesday (April 11): House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Facebook’s transparency and use of consumer data, with testimony from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and subcommittee hearings on the state of restoration of Puerto Rico’s electric infrastructure and improving the ability of Medicare and Medicaid to provide care for patients in combating the opioid crisis; House Financial Services Committee hearing on the 2018 semi-annual report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, with testimony from Acting Director Mick Mulvaney; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budgets of the Treasury Department’s International Programs (with testimony from Secretary Steven Mnuchin), Internal Revenue Service (with testimony from Acting Commissioner David Kautter), Department of the Interior (with testimony from Secretary Ryan Zinke, Office of Budget Director Denise Flanagan, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Olivia Barton Ferriter), Department of Homeland Security (with testimony from Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen), U.S. Strategic Command (with testimony in closed session from Gen. John E. Hyten), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (with testimony from RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D.), National Institutes of Health (with testimony from NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins), and U.S. Capitol police, and to receive stakeholder perspectives on FY2019 budget rail safety and infrastructure; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests of the Missile Defense Agency (with testimony from Director Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves), Department of Agriculture (with testimony from Secretary Sonny Perdue and USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson and Acting Budget Officer Diem-Linh Jones), Department of Transportation (with testimony from Secretary Elaine Chao), Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration (with testimony from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, and Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar); House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the administration’s proposal for financing overseas development (with testimony from Overseas Private Investment Corporation President and CEO Ray Washburne) and subcommittee hearings on North Korea’s diplomatic gambit and an update on the Goldman Act; House Armed Services Committee hearing on the state of cyber operations today and subcommittee hearing to review the Department of Defense budget, strategy, policy, and programs for cyber operations and U.S. Cyber Command for FY2019 (with testimony from Assistant Defense Secretary Kenneth Rapuano and Michael Rogers, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency); House Natural Resources Committee markup of 5 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on 4 national heritage and memorial bills; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable policy discussion on saving taxpayer dollars and the federal real property database; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on local responses and resources to curtail the opioid epidemic; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee legislative hearing on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Mark Bennett (to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit), Nancy Brasel (to be District Judge for the District of Minnesota), Robert Summerhays (to be District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana), Eric Tostrud (to be District Judge for the District of Minnesota), and Wendy Vitter (to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Kirsten Madison (to be assistant secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs) and Thomas Hushek (to be ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan); Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz to the Surface Transportation Board; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Paul Lawrence (to be Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits) and Joseph Falvey, Jr. (to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims); Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on market access challenges in China; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on prioritizing a culture of preparedness at FEMA, with testimony from Administrator Brock Long; Senate Budget Committee hearing on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook for FY2018-2028, with testimony from CBO Director Dr. Keith Hall; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on U.S. Special Operations Command’s efforts to transform the force for future security challenges, health of the Department of Defense industrial base and its role in providing readiness to the warfighter, and U.S. nuclear weapons policy, programs, and strategy; The Hill’s Newsmaker Series event with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA);
Thursday (April 12): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Army, with testimony from Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 Labor Department budget request, with testimony from Secretary Alexander Acosta; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the 2018 tax filing season and future IRS challenges, with testimony from Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the status of preparation and response capabilities for the next hurricane season; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing to review the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on fentanyl and the opioid crisis; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the effects of tariff increases on the U.S. economy and jobs and subcommittee hearing to receive local perspectives on the jobs gap; House Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook, with testimony from CBO Director Dr. Keith Hall; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budgets of the Transportation Department (with testimony from Secretary Elaine Chao), National Guard and Reserve, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (with testimony from Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot), Government Publishing Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (with testimony from CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and ICE Executive Associate Directors Matthew Albence and Derek Benner), Smithsonian Institution,architect of the Capitol, energy, installations and the environment, and investments in health workforce and rural communities (with testimony from Health Resources and Services Administration Associate Administrators Tom Morris and Luis Padilla); House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget request for the Transportation Security Administration and challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security’s consolidated headquarters project; House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2019 National Defense Authorization budget request from the Defense Department, with testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget request for combat aviation programs and the 355-ship Navy plan; House Intelligence Subcommittee closed hearing on the FY2019 budget; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 Energy Department budget; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on Federal Housing Finance Agency oversight and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act; House Administration Committee business meeting to consider the FDLP Modernization Act and Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act and hearing to examine the role of shared employees in the House; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on lessons learned and ways forward in global health supply chain management; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearings on the benefits of the Navajo generating station to local economies and FY2019 budget priorities for the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Power Marketing Administrations; House Judiciary Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act and North Texas Water Supply Security Act; House Oversight and Government Reform joint subcommittee hearing on improper payments in state-administered Medicaid programs and subcommittee hearing on illegal immigrants and U.S. borders;
Friday (April 13): House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 budget for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with testimony from Administrator Brock Long; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 military personnel posture; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on challenges and opportunities for high octane fuels and high efficiency vehicles.