Fri, Jul. 15, 2:03 PM
- Network stocks CBS, Discovery Communications and AMC Networks have headed lower today as UBS downgrades them in a new update.
- CBS fell 3.1%, erasing the past week's gains, as analyst Douglas Mitchelson suggested ad strength is priced in and might wane in the second half, especially amid the intensifying competition of presidential campaign ad season.
- UBS downgraded it to Sell from Neutral and kept a $52 price target (about 7% downside from today's lower price).
- Similarly, second-half concerns weigh on Discovery (DISCA -2.3%) and AMC (AMCX -4%) as Michelson worries about their ability to diversify away from focus strengths, and downgrades to Sell In AMC's case, it will need a hit to replace a weakening The Walking Dead; and UBS is concerned that neither AMC nor Discovery can make it into a new skinny bundle from Hulu.
- AMC is sitting just 3.5% over its 52-week low, while Discovery is just 6.2% over its 52-week low.
Thu, Jul. 14, 4:43 PM
- HBO (TWX +0.9%) again racked up Emmy nominations, outpacing FX (FOX +0.7%, FOXA +0.7%) by 38 nods for the 68th annual Awards.
- HBO took 94 nominations, and its lead series Game of Thrones logged 23 nominations. FX was paced by The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which drew 22 nominations.
- Meanwhile, Netflix's 54 nominations (up 59% Y/Y) fell just short of FX's 56, and both those networks along with HBO out-nominated the major broadcast networks: NBC (CMCSA +0.3%), ABC (DIS +0.1%), CBS (CBS +0.7%) and Fox were Nos. 4-7 with 41, 35, 35 and 29 nominations respectively.
- Amazon.com Prime Video (AMZN -0.2%) drew 16 nominations, up from 12 a year ago, but Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOX, FOXA) was shut out.
Mon, Jul. 11, 11:05 AM
- Viacom (VIA -2.7%, VIAB -2.2%) is lower today as Wells Fargo downgrades it to Underperform after a fresh look at earnings models in its Media and Telecom sector.
- Domestic advertising is healthy, Marci Ryvicker and team write, but Viacom's networks aren't joining in the gains. CBS (CBS +0.4%) and Time Warner (TWX +0.5%) are "fine," with estimates left as is, but "when it comes to VIAB, we can't put this lightly -- we significantly cut numbers," saying estimates for domestic affiliate fee growth went to negative $30M from the previous $39M in gains.
- "We know this is currently trading on corporate governance 'events,' but we don't see how anyone can come in and successfully turn this company around over the next 12 months," Wells says. "It has fallen too far too fast, in our opinion, esp. in cable nets (which have LT contracts)."
- On average, the analysts expect 5% affiliate fee revenue growth; ESPN (DIS +0.3%) could be mid-single digits ("due to easy comps") and high single digits for everyone else except Viacom, for which it expects a bit decline.
Mon, Jul. 11, 9:46 AM
- Twitter (TWTR -2.2%), attempting to make more moves in live event streaming, will broadcast the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this month on its platform.
- That's via a deal with CBSN, the streaming service of CBS News (CBS +0.7%). That stream will simulcast on Twitter whenever the conventions are in session.
- The company hopes to leverage its real-time discussion strengths alongside newsworthy live coverage such as sports and the conventions.
- Twitter earlier set a deal to stream a package of Thursday night NFL games in the fall; it ran some coverage from Wimbledon recently; and the company is in talks with the NBA and Turner Broadcasting to add basketball coverage, as well as Major League Soccer.
- Previously: Twitter loses another sell-side fan, down 2% (Jul. 11 2016)
Fri, Jul. 8, 4:25 PM
- CBS Radio (CBS +1.7%) has filed an S-1 for its spin-off initial public offering.
- The filing is light, noting a nominal funding of $100M but with no symbol or exchange yet named.
- For 2015, it notes revenues of $1.23B (down 5.5% from the prior year) and a loss from continuing operations of $136.5M. In the first three months of this year, it logged $264.1M in revenues and net income from continuing operations of $33.4M.
- The company plans to separate the radio operation in a manner similar to how it spun off outdoor advertising (a unit now known as Outfront Media).
- After hours: CBS -0.4%.
Wed, Jul. 6, 3:26 PM
- Disclosed as part of a senior note offering, CBS plans to file for an IPO of CBS Radio this month.
- CEO Les Moonves in March told investors the separation of the radio operation would be similar to that of the outdoor-advertising unit from 2014.
- In rating the senior notes BBB, Fitch says the spinoff would cut CBS's exposure to more volatile ad revenue by about 5%, based on 2015, when advertising accounted for about 50% of company revenue.
- The radio operation used to be a big part of CBS's bottom line, but with satellite radio and streaming services competing, not so much lately, and the company took a $484M write-down on the value of its radio licenses in Q4.
Tue, Jul. 5, 1:29 PM
- Netflix (NFLX +1.4%) has formed a new multi-year deal with the CW keeping it as the exclusive subscription service for CW scripted series.
- One key change is a shorter window between the show's season finale and its availability on Netflix, shrinking to eight days starting with the 2016-2017 season.
- Shows in the deal include standby DC series Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow as well as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries along with programs on the new fall schedule.
- The CW, owned by CBS (CBS -1.1%) and Time Warner (TWX -1%), had originally formed its deal with Netflix in 2011.
- Previously: Netflix turns higher on deal with Comcast (Jul. 05 2016)
- Previously: Guggenheim sees significant upside for Netflix (Jul. 05 2016)
Fri, Jul. 1, 3:33 PM
- The FCC says it will reveal the names of bidders in the forward auction portion of the broadcast incentive spectrum auction, setting the start of the next phase likely in mid-July.
- There are about 100 parties eligible to bid and they have a payment due by 5 p.m. today, which will validate a final list. A 15-business-day period has to follow public notice of the bidders.
- The reverse auction concluded this week with the agency needing to raise $88B to cover $86.4B in payments to broadcasters, a sum that could mean changes to the process (including multiple rounds) as the FCC works to scare it up.
- Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
Wed, Jun. 29, 7:45 PM
- The FCC has set the cost of the spectrum being sold in the broadcast spectrum incentive auction at a whopping $86.4B -- a sum that wireless carriers may balk at.
- That means that the FCC might have to sell less spectrum than had been expected, or use multiple rounds to settle bidding by broadcasters.
- The current stage is the reverse auction, where broadcasters bid low to give up their low-band airwaves to the FCC -- and participation has been strong from broadcasters who might have "significantly inflated expectations," says analyst Roger Entner. That's to be followed by a forward auction round of bidding by carriers.
- A second round of reverse auction with the broadcasters may be needed, which could slow the entire process into 2017.
- Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
Wed, Jun. 15, 4:14 AM
- Out of the public eye for more than a year, Sumner Redstone has made appearances at Viacom's (VIA, VIAB) Paramount Pictures and CBS's West Coast headquarters over the past five days.
- The visits come as Viacom lead independent director, Fred Salerno, pleads for a meeting with Redstone and warned of further court battles if the media tycoon remains inaccessible to the board.
Tue, Jun. 14, 2:52 AM
- The former girlfriend and confidante of Sumner Redstone is seeking a new trial to argue he's mentally incapacitated after a Los Angeles judge dismissed her lawsuit last month.
- Manuela Herzer claims she has new evidence that Redstone's daughter, Shari, has been scheming for two years to have her evicted from the business mogul's mansion and to take control of her father's life and businesses, including Viacom (VIA, VIAB) and CBS.
Wed, Jun. 8, 12:30 PM
Mon, Jun. 6, 8:56 AM
- Attorneys for Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari have asked a court to deny legal challenges filed by Viacom's (VIA, VIAB) Philippe Dauman and George Abrams, and reject a request to move up the trial over Dauman's ouster from the media mogul's trust.
- The verdict can decide who will ultimately control the destiny of both Viacom and CBS.
Fri, May 27, 3:59 PM
- A Massachusetts judge has granted the request of Viacom (VIA +5.8%, VIAB +3.9%) CEO/Chairman Philippe Dauman to expedite his effort to reverse the decision removing Dauman from Sumner Redstone's trust.
- Yesterday, Dauman had asked for a trial date no later than September on his challenge, and said that he would require a medical exam of Redstone to evaluate his mental competency. The judge today set a hearing for the morning of June 7.
- Dauman and Viacom board ally George Abrams were removed last Friday from the seven-member trust that will eventually manage Sumner Redstone's assets, including controlling stakes in Viacom and CBS (CBS +1%). Dauman and Abrams are alleging that Redstone's daughter Shari is manipulating the 93-year-old in order to get control of the companies.
- Previously: Viacom now up 5% after expanded Cox carriage deal (May. 27 2016)
- Previously: CNBC: Viacom board preparing for wholesale ouster as soon as today (May. 27 2016)
Thu, May 26, 1:03 PM
Tue, May 24, 7:55 PM
- Making good on CEO Les Moonves' upbeat projections, CBS (CBS +1.8%) is wrapping up a stellar run on top of the ratings, logging its eighth straight year as the most-watched network overall as well as grabbing demographic coups.
- It was also the network's 13th overall ratings win in 14 years (Fox (FOX +1.4%, FOXA +1.4%) stole a year in 2007-08 during the writer's strike).
- With just a few nights left to count, CBS has won adults 18-49 for just the second time in 24 years, with the help of Super Bowl (which helped the last time it did so, three years ago). It's also No. 1 in adults 25-54 for the ninth time in 13 years.
- Meanwhile, NBC (CMCSA +1%) had the best first-year class, with new drama hits Blindspot and Chicago Med, and had its most-watched season without a Super Bowl or Olympics in nine years. It would have virtually tied CBS in adults 18-49 if not for the Super Bowl.
- ABC (DIS +0.3%) saw its ratings decline 14% this year, and decline 18% among adults 18-49.
- Among the big broadcasters in total, though, viewership declined 7% to another record low amid even greater program variety from newer programming/digital entrants.
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Industry: Broadcasting - TV
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