tv Taking Stock With Pimm Fox Bloomberg May 8, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
>> this is "taking stock." i am pimm fox. today's theme is perspective. we are going to give you a lot of it. contour is providing a unique perspective when it comes to shooting video. how they plan to complete with go pro cameras. spyker offering a new definition of a bond car. he's going to tell me about his sales approach and this insight into his attempt to save saab. and the tilted kilt offers a memorable perspective for its
patrons. first, headlines from my radio cohost carol massar. >> let's check out some of the headlines, cbs out with earnings today. first quarter earnings beat estimates. profits rising to 70 cents per share. meantime, gas is rising hosting preliminary first-quarter profits that beat estimates. gap was helped by a gain in april sales. time warner shareholders will get one share of time for every share of time warner they hold as of may 23. >> thanks very much. now we move from time warner to time warner cable in washington today. a comcast deal once again coming under congressional scrutiny.
the providers made the case for their merger fighting antitrust claims and defending the benefit to consumers. yang yang joins us with some of the highlights. what happened? >> well, clocking in at four hours, we heard plenty of good arguments from both sides for and against the merger. it was david cohen who had the most face time, the most time at the microphone defending the merger. he is a pro at these hearings. this was his second defending this deal. he made the point it is good for competition and public interest in good for the consumer. >> the beneficiary of this enhanced competition and greater invest and is the american consumer. comcast will bring residential customers faster internet speed, more programming choices, more
robust wi-fi and are best in class x1 operating system. this is customers will benefit as well. >> another argument was the fact time warner cable and comcast to not actually compete in any of the same markets. really stressing for broadband video or voice services they do not compete in any market. so competition is not an issue when consumers will see as much choice. an opponent to the merger called it bogus. >> the fact is comcast and time warner cable compete. they compete in a number of ways. for instance, to carry local and regional sports teams and advertising dollars. >> anti-competitive leverage in
the broadband market, charging interconnection tolls. netflix was not there. deposition was represented at the hearing. another concern is that they will be judge and jury. i say this is about getting a public forum and this will come down to regulators. >> yang yang, i want to bring in cory johnson. have you take this and? -- how do you take in all this information? >> we have been covering this all day long. we look a cable tv 30 years ago. when you look at what cable is today, it is not just tv.
it is internet access. so to the guy who say they compete, that is true. those are serious issues. the real issues about access to the home and businesses that comcast and time warner will control over one third of high-speed internet into homes in america. that means they can make decisions about whose products will be delivered quickly and slowly. they have done this in the case of netflix where they decided netflix can pay to get their own fast lane to get their stuff delivered faster than competitors. that is why you have over 100 companies sank don't allow this merger to happen because it will be anti-competitive to every good and service that might
otherwise be delivered. >> yang yang, is there anybody making that case before congress? >> making the case, which case? >> that this goes beyond cable television and it has to do with internet access. you're going to control a third of the internet access and you can decide what kind of content gets into people's homes. >> definitely. although most of the hearing focused on tv. internet was also another big topic. comcast has made the case it will control one in three households but it still says the landscape is changing. one thing they are trying to strike is that maybe netflix is being a little bit self-serving trying to make this a consumer play when really they don't want to have to cough up more money.
that is an argument to have heard comcast make. they say and they have to compete with netflix who was creating its own content. everyone has some skin in the game and this should not be a reason to prevent them from making this deal happen. >> thank you very much, yang yang, and editor at large cory johnson from san francisco. you can catch cory and the rest of the crew at 6:00 p.m. eastern as part of our comcast everywhere special coverage on bloomberg tv. from the world of the internet to online gaming, sheldon adelson is the richest casino mogul. his net worth is $38 billion. he wants to put a stop to betting online. betty liu has more from an exclusive interview. what did he have to say?
>> seems like everyone sees the hypocrisy except for sheldon adelson. he says he wants to do the right thing. he says he is the 11th richest in the world but he wants to stop the exploitation of the poor. that is what he calls online gaming, which is legalized in three states. he is willing to put his money behind this the same way he has put it behind mitt romney in 2012. >> i want to make money from those who can afford it. i can't tell over the internet who is underaged. i can't tell who has financial difficulties. i can't tell who is not gaming responsibly. i can't tell if money is being laundered. i can in the casino. >> how much are you willing to spend? >> whatever it takes.
>> one thing he is not seeing which is the rise of social media, you can't tell who is online. we talked about money. he has gone up and down in his fortune. he said he is not interested in leaving a legacy behind. he is interested in what is happening now. >> i don't want to build a dynasty. a friend of mine says he only cares about the faces he can see. so in three generations from now, my children's children children, do i really care about them? i don't of who they are. they do not exist. >> that is kind of harsh, but he says i am being honest. i only care about what is going to happen the next few years. it is all business for me.
he is not interested in leaving behind a legacy for future generations. >> is he does not have to go into this business. >> he is able to talk about online gaming because most of his business is in macau in asia. generate 70% of revenue in macau and singapore. that is why he has no skin in the game. he is a lone wolf saying i'm against it. all of the other guys in las vegas are for it. >> las vegas sands is his company. why try to put money to stop this? why not say let other people do it? i will stick with my stuff in macau and run my casinos. there has got to be something. >> his answer would be i'm sheldon adelson and i think it is bad for america.
that sounds like why he is putting his money behind political candidates. >> coming up, a former cheerleader sues the new york jets overpay. you will meet the lawyer filing the suit. watching television is more than just a moving experience. we are going to tell you about a television that moves toward europe your position. ♪
are paid $150 per game and they get $100 for each special event. let's go to san francisco where sharon vinick joined us, she is a lawyer for dickson levy vinick burrell. she has a lawsuit against the oakland raiders cheerleaders which heads the court next week in alameda county. i wonder if you could outline for all of us exactly what it is that is being alleged in the lawsuit. >> there are four lawsuits against nfl teams. the raiders are being sued along with the bangles and the buffalo bills in new york and now the new york jets. all of them have the same outline which is that the women are only paid for their appearances on the field during games and an occasional outside appearance. they are not paid for all of they hours they spend practicing and going to fan days, photo
shoots and other activities. >> some of these activities i understand there are events where future or want to be cheerleaders are in attendance. the cheerleaders are supposed to be there so someone is making money while the cheerleaders are not. >> that is right. the raiders have two days where they have junior cheerleaders go on the field. so these kids come the day before and they are taught all of the routines, or those that younger children can master. the parents pay for the program and the cheerleaders do not get paid at all. the raiders are pocketing that money. >> what kind of response have you had from any of the teams were the cheerleaders voicing these concerns with their employers? >> so far there has not been an official response from the teams other than in our lawsuit
against the raiders they are trying to move it into arbitration. we have had support from the fans who are really outraged that these women who are professional dancers are being treated this way. >> can you give us an idea of what a total annual salary or how much money they would make in one year? >> it is a part-time job. none of them do it on a full-time basis. one of our clients is a stay-at-home mom of a three-year-old and the other client is a flight attendant. they make in the course of the season about 1200 $50 and some extra money for additional events and they work about 400 hours a year. if they were paid minimum wage for their time, they would make 3002 hundred dollars. $3200. would make
you're not talking about an enormous amount of money. the client and the jets case is a schoolteacher. she made $1700. it works out to less than minimum wage for the lawsuit that was filed this week. about three dollars 70 seven cents per hour. that is before she pays for things like straightening her hair, which is required for the team. then it is less than two dollars an hour. >> do they have to pay for their travel or their uniforms or anything associated with their appearances? >> it depends upon the team. they have to pay for their travel. they have to pay for hair and makeup and accessories. most of the teams do not make them pay for the uniform. they do have to pay for the upkeep of the uniform. typically a cheerleader will spend $500 in a season for travel, hair, maintaining their uniform. that is almost half of what they are earning. >> is it worth making the
distinction the lawsuits are being brought against the individual teams rather than the nfl? >> each of the teams employees the actual cheerleaders. the nfl is not their employer. some of the teams do it or directly or through a third party. we think the rule that the nfl has is twofold, we think these are policies that are far too similar among the teams to be a coincidence and the nfl under its bylaws requires that all contracts signed by any employee have to be sent to the nfl commissioner for review. so the nfl commissioner has had time to look at these contracts and say this is not legal. and he has not done that. >> is there any team in the nfl that does a great job in how it treats its cheerleaders? >> some of the press have said
the seahawks are paying their cheerleaders minimum wage. i have not actually seen anyone from the seahawks confirm that. i would love to hear whether it is true. that is the only team i have heard. >> thanks very much, sharon vinick, attorney with levy vinick burrell. we reached out to the jets and raiders. a spokesperson declined to comment and no word from the raiders. coming up next, i will speak with the president of bang & olufsen america, creating unique products. that is next on "taking stock." ♪
what about the sound fidelity and what about the design? bang & olufsen is aiming to stay on the cutting edge. today they introduced a new 4k television and it has some unique features. joining me now is the north american president of bang & olufsen, kathy thornton~bias. thank you for being here. i have to ask, what is 4k television? >> it is important for bang & olufsen to keep up with all of the new technology. many people keep television 6-7 years so imagine if you were to install a new tv and it was obsolete. so our answer to that is using software to roll out to our customers so when new technologies arise it allows you to be as cutting-edge as the technology will allow. ultrahigh definition is something customers are coming to demand from their television.
>> 4k is ultrahigh deaf. you feel like your hand can almost pierce the screen? >> it is a cinematic experience. it would be like in the theater and having the images actually come to life on the screen. bang & olufsen is known for its sound quality and they have this amazing acoustic sound television. so in essence the tv is like an entertainment system for your home. >> what about the idea that tv can find you in the room? >> bang & olufsen have a long history of iconic design. what we have always felt is the television should not overpower the room. it should be a part of the room that comes alive when you are ready to use it. those are the principles we use. when you turn it on, the television actually moves. the speakers come down. the curtain actually unfolds on the tv and it presents itself to
you almost as if it is ready to take center stage. when you turn it off, it goes back. so it does not take over the space and presents itself when you need it and falls back when you do not. >> what does this run? >> in the u.s. it is $7,900. which is a sharp price point for bang & olufsen and will let this reach a new generation of customers. >> and the design is the big thing. the way it looks as much as how it sounds. >> absolutely. they should work together. you do not want design that does not have good function and you do not want function without good design. >> a television that follows you in the room. >> and also a remote control that allows everyone to get one touch to their favorite channel, setting, viewing position with one touch of the remote. >> hope you don't lose that one. i want to thank you very much
>> this is "taking stock." i am pimm fox. combining a sport supercar with an investment bond is the brainchild of a car company spyker. victor muller is the former chairman of saab. i asked him today about this ultimate bond car and how it works. >> this product requires funding. since the market for bond issues is hot, we felt this would be an ideal way of creating an innovative product.
the bond buyer can actually opt the bond buyer can actually opt to have his bond redeemed after four years or have it converted into stock if we would go public prior to the expiration of the bond, or, convert the bond with a certain number into spyker number 37. so it is a convertible bond into a car. to our knowledge, that has not been done. >> how do you price something like this if the car has yet to be built? >> we know exactly what the car is going to be. this is not guesswork. the car is priced for every market. basically what it boils down to is the bond has a size of 100,000 pounds. if you roll up your interest over time, you will have enough money to buy the car and some options. if your car is below the accrued interest and the bond together,
we will redeem the difference or you will have to pay extra if you soup up your car to the point it becomes more expensive than accrued interest. >> you mentioned 100,000 pounds. so for 100,000 pounds, an individual can buy one of these bonds that is linked directly to the new b6 automobile. >> exactly. it is better than that. these 100 cars are an exclusive series of only 100 pieces. they will have very specific features, specific colors and interiors. they will be the bond car so to speak and there will be 100 of them. >> tell us about the mechanics, some of the statistics and so on. >> we launched of this car last year and the spider version in california in august.
it is aluminum suspension, v6 engine with a supercharger and a carbon fiber body, which is a first in this class. very lightweight and nimble and fast. 375 horsepower, manual and automatic transmissions. >> we understand there are three ways it could work, you turned it into the actual number of the automobile production. what about the other two? what if you don't want to buy the car after four years? >> you run out the ride and you get your money back. your bond is redeemed. and potentially, if we go public, you would also have the option to convert your bond into equity of the company. >> as someone who has tried to keep afloat a variety of
automobile companies such as saab, can you describe what it is like to try to sell supercars versus keeping the brand saab alive? >> two very different entities you are talking about. saab was a premium but mass production car company. spyker, when i started it, we opted to become a niche player. so we make a very limited number of cars. our annual production will hover around 700 cars. so in car terms that is a very small volume. that warrants the exclusivity our products are known for and this is why people crave our cars. >> can you describe some of the
time you have spent trying to turn saab into an entity that would survive without gm? >> you like to rub salt in open wounds. that was a very bad time. >> just interested in what was going on behind the scenes. if you can reveal the challenges. >> the challenges were humongous. we bought the company when general motors had put it into liquidation and that hurt the business. by 2011, we ran into financial difficulties and brought on board financiers. they were not allowed to invest and the company failed and that was the most dreadful day in my life when that happened. >> why weren't they allowed to invest? >> there were a number of reasons, if i would go into that, we would be here until late tonight.
it all came down to there were chinese investors interested in the company and they were not allowed in. and we felt they should have been and that caused a disruption between the parties. >> as someone that is running an automobile company, perhaps you have some insight into what the head of gm is going through facing the recall and the ongoing investigations. any thoughts about what that is like? >> i can only tell you we have fortunately never been in that position. you don't want to trade places with her. she just came into that position and her first experience is in front of a senate committee. that is something you don't want.
what i can tell you it all sounds serious for an outsider. i know as much as you do. which is basically what the media reports on him. i can tell you making cars is a serious business and you can't take any risks if it comes to safety. we live by that every day. people that will drive 200 miles an hour in our products, you have to make sure it is safe at all times. there is a price to that. you have to make sure with everything you've got the product meets the safety standards. >> i'm sure you have been following fiat and the combined chrysler-fiat. what do you think about the strategy he is trying to put together and execute at chrysler-fiat? >> i have to tell you i have followed what sergio has been doing with amazement. he is in a class of his own.
amazing performance and a bold move to acquire chrysler's when the industry was on fire. his strategy is proven to work. if i would have told you 15 years ago, that would have never worked. in today's market, it does. you can get away with it. his results speak for themselves. so he has to be right in what he does. i am more than impressed with what he does. this industry has a few people that are such outstanding leaders, alan mulally, elon musk, sergio, these guys are just true great entrepreneurial managers. >> my thanks to victor muller, the chief executive of spyker cars. you don't want to ruin your camera? i'm going to speak the chief executive of contour on building
>> today the company called oyster announced an expanded partnership with the publisher harpercollins. oyster is adding 10,000 titles bringing the number of e-books to more than half a million titles. joining me now to talk about the expansion is the cofounder eric stromberg. thanks for being here. described for people that are not familiar with oyster what is it exactly? >> oyster offers unlimited books for $10 a month. our members can read from a
library of 500,000 titles including award winners and bestsellers anytime and anywhere. you can download the app and see what your friends are reading and read any of those titles as well. >> why hasn't someone thought of this before? >> we started the company in 2012. when we started we were drawn to the idea because we had seen the impact of this model on movies and music and television and wanted to build that experience for books. the timing was right for a variety of reasons including the market dynamics and the growth of the market. >> what are some of the most popular books people are reading? using their laptops or ipads? >> absolutely, it spans a lot of genres, but on oyster people
love stuff that were turned into movies. things like "winter's tale," "the hobbit," and business books like "the seven habits of highly effective people." and people love short stories on their mobile device looking for something they can finish quickly. >> is there any allegiance to be android or the apple ios system? >> right now we are available on apple, but the goal for oyster is to be accessible available on any device. so we will be rolling out android this year. >> how long do people have access to the books? >> that is the beauty of the service. you never have to think about it again. so long as you are a paying subscriber. >> if you pay $10 a month, you can read any book and it does not matter whether you finish it now or in one year? >> that is right. unlimited access is at the core of what we are doing. >> is a just english-language books?
>> today, yes. of course our websites are set on expanding. >> what about other publishers? who else is participating? >> we work with harpercollins, disney, the perseus books group's, a broad set of some of the largest publishers that represent today's authors. >> thank you very much for sharing your story with us, eric stromberg the cofounder of oyster. from one company growing its library of e-books to another company looking to grow its camera sales, contour takes videos of your most extreme events from skydiving to mountain biking and scuba diving. james clark is the chairman and danny lysenko is the chief executive. great to have you. i want to start off with you, when i think about extreme sports and cameras, go pro comes to mind. how did you decide to make yours different?
>> it is an interesting story, i have only been involved for about five years. my wife was looking for an extreme camera to go skiing in the mountains. i did a header over the cliff and lost the contour camera. right after that i took my problems to contour and they immediately fixed it and found with a contour camera, they are interested in taking care of their customers. >> so as a customer you came to contour. danny, were you there at a time? >> i was not. >> see you did not get a call saying my camera fell off while i was skiing. >> no, but we do get some of those calls. our customers are very
passionate. >> are there different components? it is not just the camera itself. it can be put in a plastic case. >> we have a waterproof case that takes it waterproof to 60 meters. >> what about the specifications of the camera? what kind of pictures does it take? >> amazing hd video. it takes great hd. >> what about getting the camera into the professional field? this must be for industry as well. >> it is. it is for the high-end user and the everyday person. it is simple to use for a guy like me as well as a professional user. it has the great specs for something like this. >> we know mountain biking can be hazardous. the history of contour has been hazardous.
it went into receivership, then bought out at almost $2 million. tell us how the company got to where it is today. >> i have been involved several years with the company. i was on the board and watched this great product suffer with a lack of marketing. go pro creates a market and we drift behind them. we were able to buy it back. so we are believers in the product. >> any chance you're going to be making the camera smaller? i know they feel a certain way. what about the actual size? >> that is a great question. we love the look and feel of this camera and we are looking at ways of making it smaller. >> what is the battery life currently? >> two and a half to three hours right now. we would like to extend that to five hours. >> what is your favorite sport? >> i am still doing heli-skiing.
>> can we see that feature, that film of you going down? >> i lost that camera. i was coming back to report it and away they went. that is how i got involved in the company. >> gentlemen, thanks very much. james clark and danny lysenko. coming up next, i will speak to the president of the tilted kilt restaurant chain about growth, expansion plans, and some risks. this is "taking stock" on bloomberg. ♪
this $2 billion industry is called tilted kilt. joining me now is the president ron lynch. thanks for being here. you've got a history in the restaurant business. i was talking to you about opening a delicatessen. how many did you open? >> 106. over many years. >> why did you decide the tilted kilt is the place to go? >> i decided to start my own concept. i was looking for a concept and i found it in the rio casino. i thought it had legs to spread all over the country. >> what about the demographic of who goes? do you have information whether it is mainly men or women or what age groups? >> it is 36 years old, 75% male. sports bars are still mostly the
domain of the male. >> the outfits the waitresses wear, they must know this is something they're going to have to wear before they apply for the job. >> correct. we have a host program. it is like an audition for us. they have to fit the costume and look good in the costume. they have to have a spectacular personality. we are in the entertainment business. our servers are that element. >> tell me about that. >> it has been coined, people that offer more than spectacular food, we offer other things, flatscreen tvs, great female and male servers and we have limericks. >> ok, there have been some bumps along the way. you have had lawsuits brought against you. we were talking about the cheerleaders of various nfl
teams like the jets and raiders bringing a lawsuit against the teams. how would you manage the risk of lawsuits by the waitresses? >> it is a job. they apply for that job. you know, they are paid well. for what they do. they know the costume they are going to wear. >> i was referencing the notion you went undercover inside your own restaurant at one time and you found some things that bothered you. >> i found we need to get closer to the tables. as managers, we need to get closer to the action to see what the interaction is. our servers are what people come to see. they don't want a manager in the way. they need to be close. >> you want to pg-13 experience in the restaurant.
>> there are things we do not do and say. >> are there restaurants you have found more difficult to guide along this way? it is a franchise business. you can't control everything. >> we do. we have some that don't fulfill that role as well as others. when they do, it is great. >> what about the actual sales for this year? >> we are projecting to do in access of $220 million this year. >> as a sports bar, you've got to take on this cheerleader lawsuit against nfl teams? >> we pay for their costumes. we pay them well. i don't understand why they don't reward them for what they give. >> thank you for spending time with us. ron lynch, the president of tilted kilt. that does it for "taking stock." have a good night. ♪