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Multichannel Planner | Week of Feb. 27, 2017

Nickelodeon kicks off upfront season, Mobile World Congress begins and more 2/27/2017 9:45 AM

Spring is in the air, the upfront march to May has begun, and here are some notable items on MCN editors’ datebooks for the week ahead.

What's Up in Tech
Watch for wireless-industry news this week from Barcelona, Spain, where Mobile World Congress gets underway. 5G, the emerging next-generation standard, will take center stage as both carriers and vendors are expected to present more detail about early, precommercial trials of the technology, which will initially enable multi-Gigabit access speeds for fixed-wireless applications and will later support mobility. Its low-latency characteristics will also support more futuristic applications such as self-driving cars. For cable operators, 5G is expected to become a significant focus as they continue to build out wireless and mobile strategies of their own: Comcast, Charter Communications and Dish Network all talked up 5G prospects on their most recent earnings calls. The emergence of 5G is also poised to open the door to potentially lucrative backhaul deals, as mobile service providers will need to tap into fiber-rich networks to support their new, high-capacity wireless networks.
— Jeff Baumgartner | Follow @thebauminator on Twitter

What's On TV
Upfront season gets underway as Nickelodeon on Thursday afternoon (March 2) makes its pitches to buyers and media in New York. Smithsonian Channel chronicles former President Barack Obama’s most impactful speeches in a Monday (Feb. 27) documentary, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, while Spike TV on Wednesday (March 1) debuts its six-part true-crime documentary series Time: The Kalief Browder Story.

On the scripted front, FX on Sunday (March 5) premieres Feud: Bette and Joan (pictured) -- read the MCN review. E! that same day will launch its second scripted series, The Arrangement. OTT service Hulu on Wednesday debuts drama series National Treasure, based on a hit U.K. series. And FX’s freshman series Taboo airs its season finale on Tuesday (Feb. 28) after an eight-episode run.
— R. Thomas Umstead | Follow @rtumstead on Twitter

What's Up in Finance
Bold-faced names in media circles gather once again for Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom conference, Monday-Thursday (Feb. 27-March 1) at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, with Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts expected to kick things off on Monday evening. On Tuesday, the slate gets thicker with 21st Century Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch, followed by Nielsen chief financial officer Jamere Jackson and Verizon Communications CFO Matt Ellis. Charter Communications CFO Christopher Winfrey, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish have their turn at the podium on Wednesday.
— Mike Farrell | Follow @mikefcable on Twitter