Jul. 22, 2014, 7:04 AM
Jul. 21, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jul. 18, 2014, 1:33 PM
- General Motors and Procter & Gamble have reduced their level of ad commitments compared to a year ago, according to estimates from the WSJ.
- The shift of more ad dollars away from TV to digital channels could bite 2H revenue for major networks (DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA, TWX, AMCX, VIA).
- The overall cable upfront market is now expected to show a Y/Y decline of as much as 5% after early estimates were for a 4% gain.
Jul. 18, 2014, 11:36 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA +0.5%) announces it signed a deal with the new SEC Network (NYSE:DIS).
- The company will also offer up access to authenticated pay TV customers on its Xfinity service and through the WatchESPN app.
- The big picture: Though financial terms weren't disclosed, the apparent ease with which the new sports network is adding carriage fee deals is a testament to the leverage Disney has with its ESPN juggernaut. Trying to chip away at ESPN's sports rights dominance is at least a small part of the rationale behind 21st Century Fox and Time Warner joining forces.
Jul. 16, 2014, 8:13 AM
- 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) will pay as much as $85 per share for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), according to Bloomberg.
- The frothy premium hasn't gone unnoticed in the broadcaster sector with CBS (NYSE:CBS) up 1.6% premarket and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) rising 1.8%. Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is 1.7% higher, while even media giants Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are catching a piece of the frenzy, up 0.7% and 0.9% premarket, respectively.
- TWX is in dreamland, up +20.2% to $85.32.
- It's setting up to be a banner day for the PowerShares Dynamic Media ETF (NYSEARCA:PBS).
Jul. 14, 2014, 11:36 AM| Comment!
Jul. 14, 2014, 10:42 AM
- Fresh research from Annalect indicates more than a third of binge-viewing TV watchers would agree to watch some ads if it meant they could score lower subscription rates.
- In an interesting twist, binge viewers end up discussing with friends and family the ads they do see at a higher rate than normal viewers.
- What to watch: Streaming services such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are still trying to define how advertising can be part of their model, with dynamic ads tapped to be an effective way to increase relevancy and conversion rates. On the content side, major networks (CBS, DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) want to move to a C7 system (7-day window) of counting ads from C3 in order to capture VOD, streaming, and DVR viewers.
Jul. 14, 2014, 8:54 AM
- Execs with NBC Entertainment (NASDAQ:CMCSA) say the network took in $300M more than last year in upfront ad dollars on the back of strong prime time ratings for key shows.
- NBC also extended its lead for the late-night talk show time slot.
- What to watch: A plan by CBS (NYSE:CBS) to dominate Thursday nights with its NFL football package in the fall creates a major strategic decision for NBC, Fox, and ABC on whether or not to cede the night and adjust their schedule accordingly.
Jul. 14, 2014, 8:13 AM| Comment!
Jul. 11, 2014, 1:19 PM
- The 2014 World Cup has delivered smashing ratings reports for ESPN, Univision, and ABC - but has also exposed a weakness in the TV Everywhere platform for coverage of live events, reports GigaOm.
- The complicated process to transcode video feeds into a content delivery network can create a delay of up to 20 seconds - plenty of time for spoilers to crop up for viewers through their online feeds, mobile devices, or nearby friends.
- Though the delay isn't considered a big enough complication to derail TV Everywhere, it's another annoyance for viewers already frustrated with the authentication process.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DISCA, CBS, VZ.
Jul. 11, 2014, 10:14 AM
- The Department of Justice has asked CBS (CBS +0.2%), Disney (DIS -0.2%), and Discover Communications (DISCA +0.2%) to weigh in on the proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA -0.2%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%).
- Presumably, the media companies expressed concern over NBCUniversal receiving preferential treatment if the deal is approved.
- Netflix (NFLX +1%) and Dish Network (DISH +0.4%) are already on record as opposing the deal.
Jul. 9, 2014, 8:42 AM
- Select media stocks could see some volatility this week with the Allen & Co. Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho expected to get some M&A rumors kickstarted.
- This year's affair arrives with two mega-mergers (AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast-Time Warner Cable) looming large in the industry, and in a development which bodes well for content owners, will be attended by tech heavyweights such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix's (NFLX) Reed Hastings, and Twitter's Dick Costolo.
- The eclectic mix also includes Warren Buffett and NBA commissioner Adam Silver who will chat up media execs with the NBA TV contract up for bid soon.
- Analysts expect the Allen conference to be high on stock-moving rumors, but light on binding deals.
- Rumored deals: A Discovery Communications (DISCA)-Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) merger; Verizon (VZ) taking a run at Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA); 21st Century Fox (FOXA) offering a hefty premium for Time Warner (TWX).
- Related ETF: PBS
Jul. 8, 2014, 10:53 AM
- The FCC has named William Rogerson as part of the team that will review the Comcast (CMCSA)- Time Warner Cable (TWC) and AT&T (T) - DirecTV (DTV) mergers.
- Rogerson is considered a bit of a merger hawk after being a gadfly during the Comcast-NBCUniversal combination.
- Some analysts think the composition of the board as a whole will lead to a tough review process for the media giants.
Jul. 7, 2014, 7:41 AM
- The summer box office stayed in a sluggish trend with a 4th of July weekend that failed to produce any fireworks.
- The top 12 films for the weekend earned $118.5M, down 47% from last year when Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger debuted.
- Transformers: Age of Extinction led the box office rankings with a $36.4M haul for Paramount (VIA, VIAB), while Tammy opened to $32.9M over the five days for Warner Bros. (TWX).
- The summer box office is now down nearly 20% Y/Y after the misfire during the crucial holiday weekend.
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, FOXA, SNE, CMCSA, LGF.
Jul. 3, 2014, 8:17 AM
- Univision continued its impressive World Cup ratings this week with 5.1M viewers tuning in for the coverage of the U.S.-Belgium knockout stage game.
- The network also scored another 1.8M viewers through its streaming service.
- Though the rating bonanza is well-timed with Univision a rumored target of CBS and Time Warner, there's a bittersweet element to the payday after the network lost the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Comcast (CMCSA) property Telemundo.
Jul. 2, 2014, 12:49 PM
- Pay-TV operators (DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC) will have to spend about $18.32 a month per subscriber within wo years to gain broad rights to sports content, according to estimates from SNL Kagan. That figure makes it difficult for the group to offer smaller bundles to bring back cord-cutters and lure cord-nevers.
- The major sports broadcasters (DIS, TWX, FOXA, CMCSA, CBS) only earned about $1.17 a month in 1995, despite lacking any competition from streaming or online services.
- Though the AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast-Time Warner Cable mergers could add leverage to the pay-TV side, new sports channels Fox Sport 1 and NBC Sports Network aim to achieve the must-have clout and high carriage fees earned by ESPN.
- Passing on costs might not be an option: Average revenue per user at pay-TV operators has hit a tipping point with consumers, with most analysts seeing the push-back continuing.
- "Something has to give," sums up media analyst Craig Moffett.
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