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Briefs

ESPN’s call shows 3-D in trouble

ESPN’s decision to shut down its 3-D channel by the end of the year is the latest sign the format won’t revolutionize entertainment as the industry hoped.

Troubling signs for 3-D have been on the horizon for the last year or so. ESPN 3D’s audience ratings were below The Nielsen Co.’s measurable threshold, and in March, the Motion Picture Association said box office revenue for 3-D showings in the U.S. and Canada held steady at $1.8 billion in 2012. The number of 3-D films released in the period dropped by 20 percent.

“The ESPN decision is a sign that the 3-D ecosystem is not healthy,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with investment banking firm Needham & Co. “It must be there’s not enough demand for 3-D TV.”

Last year, an estimated 6 percent of TVs in the U.S. were able to show 3-D programming, according to the most recent data from research firm IHS Screen Digest. Even homes that have 3-D TVs don’t appear to be using them very much, said IHS analyst Sweta Dash.

Revlon pays $850,000 to settle SEC charges

Cosmetics company Revlon Inc. has agreed to pay an $850,000 fine to settle federal charges that it withheld key information from shareholders about a “going-private” transaction.

Going-private transactions are typically when a company seeks to cash out shareholders so it or a private equity firm can acquire all outstanding shares.

The Securities and Exchange Commission found that during such a voluntary exchange offer to satisfy a $107 million debt to a controlling shareholder, Revlon misled investors by not telling them an outside adviser found terms of the deal inadequate.

Caterpillar cuts support for Scouts

Caterpillar Inc. is no longer giving money to the Boy Scouts because the organization discriminates against homosexuals, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer confirmed Thursday.

The company’s move wasn’t directly tied to the recent Boy Scouts decision to continue to bar homosexual adults from roles within the organization while allowing openly gay children to be scouts. Instead, spokeswoman Rachel Potts said, the company decided to cut off funding while reviewing a request for $25,000 that came in last year from a local group in Illinois.

That decision was never announced publicly or communicated to the Boy Scouts of America, only to the local group, she said. But she added that the Boy Scouts’ policy that continues to bar homosexual adults from working in the organization is “discriminatory.”

Caterpillar has made donations in the past to the Boy Scouts of America.

Forecast sees payoff for Google mobile ads

Google will sell more mobile advertising than the rest of its rivals combined for the second straight year, according to a new forecast that highlights the expansion of the Internet search leader’s moneymaking prowess from personal computers to smartphones and tablets.

The report released Thursday by the research firm eMarketer projects Google Inc. will generate nearly $8.9 billion in mobile ad revenue throughout the world this year. The figure reflects the anticipated amount that Google will retain after paying commissions to its ad partners.

The prediction calls for Google to hold a 56 percent share of the overall mobile ad market.

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