Nov. 13, 2014, 3:12 AM
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is pushing "full steam ahead" with its acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), despite the regulatory review process and looming regulation governing net neutrality.
- Comcast expected the deal to be completed “sometime in the first quarter and we still believe that today,” says CEO Brian Roberts.
- Roberts reiterated that Comcast opposes the proposals to classify broadband providers as utilities, which would endanger the company's plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to upgrade its networks.
Nov. 12, 2014, 8:01 AM
Nov. 11, 2014, 9:39 AM
- NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) executive Seth Winter says close to 90% of the advertising space for the Super Bowl is sold out.
- The ad sales have been closely watched with early reports indicating that NBC trailed the pace set last year by Fox after setting an initial 30-second spot rate of $4.5M versus the estimated $4.0M Fox took in.
- The reaction of Madison Avenue to the rash of player scandals in the NFL this season has also been a consideration.
Nov. 11, 2014, 7:24 AM
- The FCC votes to uphold a previous ruling by its Media Bureau covering the access by third parties to pay-TV contracts.
- In-person access to the information will open up on November 17 unless programmers win a new court order.
- FCC statement (.pdf)
- Related stocks: DIS, CBS, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, SNI, FOXA, CMCSA, CRWN.
Oct. 31, 2014, 2:55 AM
- In response to Senator Patrick Leahy's letter last week urging top ISPs to not enter "paid prioritization" deals, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and AT&T (NYSE:T) say they have no plans to create the Internet "fast lanes" which would hurt consumers' freedom to roam the Web.
- Verizon (NYSE:VZ) published its response to Leahy on Wednesday, also asserting that it has no plans for "fast lanes".
- The pledges come after the FCC proposed its "net neutrality" rules that prohibit ISPs from blocking content, but suggests allowing some "commercially reasonable" paid prioritization deals.
Oct. 29, 2014, 1:22 PM
- A bid by Aereo to be defined as a cable provider gained support from the FCC with a new proposal out this week which was described in a blog post written by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
- The agency supports "open access" for consumers to high-speed broadband delivery and the right of over-the-top firms to offer programming owned by pay-TV providers and broadcasters.
- In essence, the FCC thinks the bundled pay-TV model should be broken so that consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.
- What to watch: Though Aero isn't likely to be the ultimate pay-TV disrupter without the deep pockets to license content, the position of the FCC opens the door for other Internet video players to emerge and chips away at the bundled channels model.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, NFLX.
Oct. 28, 2014, 12:44 PM
- Viacom (VIA, VIAB) says it will expand the amount of programming it offers on Hulu under the terms of a new deal.
- Series from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TVLand, Spike, BET, and Logo will all be added to Hulu over the coming weeks.
- Hulu is owned by Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
Oct. 26, 2014, 10:17 PM
- Movie theater traffic was strong enough in the U.S. over the weekend to push the total for October to an all-time record with five days still left in the month.
- The top 12 films earned $102.7M in the U.S. for the three-day period, up 8% Y/Y. Horror film Ouija from Universal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) took in $20.0M.
- Rentrak weekly global box office totals: 1) Annabelle from Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) $29.8M, 2) Gone Girl from 20th Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) $29.5M, 3) Fury from Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) $24.2M.
- Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
Oct. 24, 2014, 12:49 PM
- The current share prices of Time Warner Cable (TWC +2.1%) and Comcast (CMCSA +2.2%) indicate the market is rating the odds of an approved merger by the FCC and DOJ at 75%, according to commentary from media analyst Craig Moffett.
- Earlier this week, Dish Networks joined some pay-TV peers in slamming the deal in communications with regulators.
- Execs with Comcast exuded confidence on the merger during the firm's earnings conference call yesterday.
Oct. 23, 2014, 1:15 PM
- NBCU top exec Steve Burke says the company is considering doling out some of its sports programming to USA Network. Presumably, the move would help in carriage fee negotiations.
- There's some candid talk on the pressure NBCU will have to maintain the same level of cable ratings due to time-shifted viewing trends.
- Burke sounded unconcerned with plans by CBS and HBO to launch a streaming service. In the case of HBO, he sees a delicate balancing act for HBO in preventing cannibalization. There are no announced plans for a competing service from NBC at the moment.
- Comcast (CMCSA +3.4%) had more success selling two-product bundles (no voice) than the triple-play option during the quarter.
- The merger with Time Warner Cable is expected to close in the early part of 2015.
- Earnings call webcast
Oct. 23, 2014, 7:51 AM
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) reports a 4.0% lift in consolidated revenue and 9.7% gain in operating income during Q3.
- NBCUniversal revenue: NBCUniversal +0.7% to $2.26B; Broadcast TV +7.7% to $1.77B; Filmed Entertainment -15.2% to $1.19B; Theme Parks +18.7% to $786M.
- Cable Communications revenue: Video revenue +1.0% to $5.18B, High-Speed Internet +9.6% to $2.84B; Voice -0.5% to $913M; Business Services +21.0% to $1.011B.
- Total cable customer net adds +82K.
- The company's free cash flow ended the period at $2.5B, up 26.7% Y/Y.
- CMCSA +1.0% premarket.
Oct. 23, 2014, 7:25 AM
Oct. 23, 2014, 7:02 AM
Oct. 22, 2014, 5:30 PM
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Oct. 22, 2014, 12:43 PM
- The FCC announces it will pause its review of the proposed Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) - Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) - AT&T (NYSE:T) mergers.
- The delay is due in part to bickering over who has the right to see confidential carriage fee agreements involving the companies.
- The agency says the informal 180-day time clock for the review has been halted.
Oct. 20, 2014, 10:25 PM
- The top ten films in the U.S. grossed $115.4M over the weekend, up 27% from the same period a year ago.
- Sony's (NYSE:SNE) Fury was the top movie of the weekend with a $23.5M take, while 20th Century Fox's (NASDAQ:FOXA) Gone Girl impressed by taking in $17.8M in its third week at theaters. The David Fincher film crossed the $100M mark over the weekend vs. a production budget of $62M.
- YTD U.S. box office revenue -3.9% at $8.261B.
- Studio stocks: LGF, SNE, VIA, CMCSA, DIS.
- Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
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