May. 21, 2014, 9:50 AM
- The Syfy network will debut Sharknado 2 on July 30.
- The first Sharknado film delivered staggering ratings while dominating the shark-in-a-tornado TV category. A theatrical run and merchandising brought in extra money for NBCUniversal (CMCSA).
- What to watch: Sharknado 2 will roll out in 86 different nations within a day of its U.S. debut in an example of the exponential ratings power that an under-the-radar hit can deliver.
May. 19, 2014, 9:11 AM
- A report from the FCC indicates basic cable TV prices have risen at a rate 4X the rate of inflation over the last 18 years.
- In the last year alone, the average cost of basic service rose 4.6% to $63.03.
- What to watch: The FCC report, which is full of details on the impact of pricing in "non-competitive" markets, is likely to be referred to during discussion in Washington DC on the Time Warner Cable (TWC)- Comcast (CMCSA) merger.
- Related stocks: CVC, CHTR
- Full FCC report (.pdf)
May. 15, 2014, 9:41 AM
- SpinCo (CHTR, CMCSA) has tapped Michael Willner to be the CEO of the company.
- Willner is the co-founder and CEO of Insight Communications.
- Comcast and Charter will each get to appoint three board members and mutually agree on the last three members.
- SpinCo is the new cable company that will be spun off from Comcast following the firm's merger with Time Warner Cable.
May. 15, 2014, 4:43 AM
- The Federal Communications Commission is due to vote today on a proposal to formally allow some "commercially reasonable" deals that would enable Internet content companies to pay fees so that their traffic receives priority on the network.
- Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) are among those opposed to "pay-for-priority," while Netflix (NFLX) is strongly in favor of net neutrality as well. The latter has reluctantly forged "direct-peering" agreements that remove bottlenecks between networks and ensure that its contents streams more smoothly.
- Advocates of net neutrality fear that pay-for-priority will lead to "fast lanes" for corporations that can afford it and slower traffic for others, and some even want Internet providers to be reclassified as utilities, as is the case with telephone operations.
- Meanwhile, the FCC is also scheduled to decide on rules for the sale of low-frequency airwaves to wireless carriers, with the regulations expected to limit how much Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) can purchase.
- Other relevant tickers: CMCSA, TWC, ALLT, LVLT, CCOI, FTR, WIN, CTL, CHTR, CVC, DISH.
May. 13, 2014, 9:56 AM
- Media analysts at the Upfront meetings in New York City forecast some ad rate increases for major broadcasters.
- Topeka forecast: ABC (DIS) +0.5%, NBC (CMCSA) +3%, Fox (FOXA) +5%, CBS +7%.
- Advertising revenue from this week's Upfront commitments will be largely realized later in the year.
- The CW network - owned by CBS and Time Warner (TWX) - is tapped to see a 1.5% falloff in ad rates due to some dwindling momentum.
- Upfront coverage: ESPN dazzles, strength at CBS
May. 13, 2014, 7:01 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) plans to add Turner shows to its list of on-demand viewing options, according to the WSJ.
- The deal with the Time Warner (TWX) unit will include shows from TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and truTV.
- Sector watch: Deals to add distributions channels for current shows can increase ratings. CBS (CBS) saw a significant jump in the ratings for The Good Wife after signing a similar deal with content.
May. 11, 2014, 5:05 AM
- Time Warner has held discussions to buy popular YouTube video network Fullscreen, Bloomberg reports.
- Fullsreen, which is backed by Peter Chernin, Comcast Ventures (CMCSA) and WPP, is looking to receive a similar price that Disney has agreed to pay for another Youtube network, Maker Studios. Disney was to hand over $500M upfront and another $450M in milestones.
- Fullscreen has 380M subscribers and draws over 3B monthly video views. It generated $50-70M in revenue last year but it isn't profitable.
May. 7, 2014, 1:55 PM| Comment!
May. 4, 2014, 10:05 AM
- DreamWorks Animation (DWA) CEO Jeffery Katzenberg fired out a warning to the movie industry during his talk at the Milliken Global Conference in Beverly Hills last week.
- “Movies are not a growth business,” exclaimed the exec who cut his teeth on the medium.
- Katzenberg sees a future where movies play for a short period of three weeks at theaters for $15.00 - followed by a run on TV at $4.99 and smartphones at $1.99. The forecast doesn't bode well for theater operators and associated businesses.
- DreamWorks plans increasing its focus on shortform (digital and TV) in response.
- Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei also cautioned at the conference of a seismic change in the media industry as "clutter" from video games and social media crowds out traditional entertainment channels.
- Movie studio stocks: DIS, LGF, SNE, VIAB, TWX, FOXA, VIA, CMCSA
- Movie exhibitor/equipment stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, DCIN
- Related ETF: PBS
May. 2, 2014, 4:59 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA -0.2%) and Electronic Arts (EA -0.8%) are close to a deal that would allow games such as FIFA 14 and Madden NFL 25 to be streamed to Comcast's advanced X1 platform, Reuters reports.
- The service, said to be in testing for two years, would give EA access to Comcast's 22M+ subs (and perhaps eventually Time Warner Cable's subs, should the merger clear) at a time when console game sales growth remains muted and highly cyclical. It would also arrive as Apple and Google reportedly gets set to join Amazon in launching set-tops supporting casual gaming.
- EA +1.3% AH. The gaming giant's FQ4 results arrive on May 6.
Apr. 30, 2014, 10:07 AM
- Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) made some significant announcements today at the Upfront meetings in New York City.
- The company plans to allow more viewers to watch content on mobile devices for free this summer. A new iPhone app will also launch within months.
- CEO Mike Hopkins told advertising execs that Hulu is in talks with pay-TV providers to get inside of cable boxes. If the firm can pull off the trick and box out Netflix (NFLX) on some cable or satellite services it would be a bit of a coup.
- Another innovation from Hulu: An online/mobile Pizza Hut ad will be run soon which allows consumers to order a pizza from within the ad. The concept could lead to a pay-per-conversion form of advertising which would appeal to consumer product and service companies.
Apr. 29, 2014, 10:14 AM
- Broadcast network dollar volume ordered at the media industry's Upfront meetings will fall 2% this year, forecasts JP Morgan.
- Cable network revenue is expected to rise 3%.
- Last year, Upfront broadcast revenue fell 2.1% to $9.1B and cable revenue rose 5% to $9.8B.
- Stratification within the cable sector will benefit the top-rated networks, according to buyers.
- Related stocks: DIS, FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DISCA, SNI, MSG, AMCX, VIAB, CRWN, TWX, OUTD
Apr. 28, 2014, 6:57 AM
- Charter (CHTR) will acquire 1.4M existing Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers, giving it 5.7M in total and making it the second-largest cable operator in the U.S.
- Charter and Comcast (CMCSA) will also each transfer approximately 1.6M subs respectively.
- Charter will acquire 33% in a new publicly-traded cable provider that Comcast will spin off to its shareholders and that will serve 2.5M customers. Charter will pay for the stake by issuing new stock to Comcast shareholders.
- After all the deals are finalized, Charter's managed residential subscribers will be below 30% of the U.S.'s total MVPD (multichannel video programming) subscribers.
- The value of the Comcast-Charter transactions wasn't provided, but the FT put a figure of $20B when it published a mostly accurate report about them over the weekend, prior to an official announcement today. (PR)
Apr. 28, 2014, 6:10 AM
Apr. 27, 2014, 1:39 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) could this week announce a $20B three-part deal to divest subscribers as part of its attempt to assuage antitrust concerns about its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC), the FT reports.
- Comcast would sell 1.4M subscribers from TWC's network to Charter (CHTR), while Comcast would also place 2.5M subscribers in a new company in which Charter would own 35%. Comcast and Charter would then swap 1.65M customers.
- The transactions are contingent on Comcast receiving approval for its takeover of TWC.
Apr. 24, 2014, 9:50 AM
- Fandango (CMCSA) buys Movieclips from Zefr Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
- The network has an impressive presence on YouTube with an average of over 200M video views per month.
- The acquisition will give Fandango the opportunity to integrate the content from Movieclips across its online and mobile platforms.
CMCSA vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR