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.
Oct. 17, 2014, 2:35 PM
- Speculation in the media industry is that this week's news of HBO and CBS developing streaming options for consumers strengthens the case for regulatory approval of the Comcast - Time Warner Cable merger.
- Consumers are expected to have more broadband options outside of traditional cable/telco in the near future with streaming proliferating.
- Federal and state regulators are currently reviewing the implications of Comcast (CMCSA +2.4%) swallowing up Time Warner Cable (TWC +2.6%).
Oct. 15, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Netflix (NFLX -2.6%) slid a little lower after Time Warner announced HBO would become a stand-alone service sometime in 2015.
- Though it isn't clear how much of HBO's programming will migrate over to the OTT product, the mention of the "international possibilities" of a streaming HBO is enough to catch the attention of Netflix watchers.
- The development also has implications for Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) and Amazon (AMZN -1%) which could end us as delivery partners or direct streaming rivals, according to Re/code.
- Pay-TV operators (CHTR, CVC, DISH, DTV) are in a bit of a box by the plan and may choose to play hardball with HBO.
Oct. 14, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Global growth, foreign-exchange, oil, and small caps are the subject of every client inquiry, says David Kostin. His team's recommendation: Buy "American exceptionalism."
- In Kostin's view, U.S. economy and corporate fundamentals are still strong, with economic growth expected by Goldman economists to be 3.2% next year, the fastest expansion since 2005. Europe is expected to grow just 1%.
- What his team likes are those stocks of companies which have a high proportion of domestic sales, plus sectors like Consumer Staples (XLP -0.1%) and Discretionary (XLY +0.7%) which stand to benefit from lower oil prices (plunging again today).
- As for small caps (IWM +0.9%), Kostin is wary, noting downward earnings revisions have boosted small cap P/E ratios even as prices have declined.
- The list of S&P 500 names capturing two or more of Kostin's themes: GT, GM, PCLN, AMZN, CMCSA, LOW, DG, TSN, ADM, CVS, AVP, WAG, PXD, HAL, JPM, BAC, SCHW, PNC, MS, C, GNW, LNC, MET, THC, AET, UNH, ESRX, HUM, WLP, BIIB, GILD, DAL, CMI, FLR, CRM, JBL, MA, FB, MU, FSLR, VMC, MON, T.
Oct. 13, 2014, 6:57 AM| Comment!
Oct. 10, 2014, 7:43 AM
- The top 40 cable channels have lost 3% of the subscribers over the last four years, according to data compiled by The Wall Street Journal.
- ESPN (NYSE:DIS), TNT (NYSE:TWX), Nickelodeon (NASDAQ:VIAB), USA (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and CNN all shed more than 3% of their subscribers as consumers sought smaller bundles.
- Basic plans with a trimmed list of channels account for 12% of all pay-TV subscriptions, up from a level of 8%-10% just a few years ago.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC.
Oct. 8, 2014, 11:41 AM| 2 Comments
Oct. 8, 2014, 7:22 AM
- Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) CEO Mike Hopkins is mulling over reducing the numbers of advertisements that run on Hulu Plus, according to the New York Post.
- Data from comScore indicated Hulu showed 250% more ads than what was seen on YouTube and other Google properties during a tracking period.
- The ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to online channels still benefits Hulu even with a lower ad count.
Oct. 7, 2014, 1:22 PM
- Consumers will end paying for the "reckless spending" of major networks for sports coverage rights, warns Mediacom's Tom Larsen.
- Earlier this week, ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and TNT (NYSE:TWX) signed 9-year contracts which will triple the amount they spend for NBA rights.
- Though the added costs won't start piling up until the 2015-2016 NBA season ends, some media analysts think a bubble has been built up on sports licensing costs that could burst before then.
- The pay-TV sector could suffer if consumers hit the wall on rising monthly TV bills.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, TWC, CMCSA, CVC.
Oct. 6, 2014, 3:32 PM
- Cable industry analyst Craig Moffett thinks the cable/broadband industry is well-positioned to benefit from the gradual consumer shift to WiFi-first services.
- The pieces are falling together for the group as smartphone users increasingly use WiFi connections for data and voice - instead of relying on cellular networks.
- In another two to three years after technology hurdles are cleared, cable WiFi could be the standard, says Moffett.
- Related stocks: TWC, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, VZ, T
Oct. 6, 2014, 10:45 AM
- ESPN's new deal with the NBA will let it experiment with selling online access to "out of market" games outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle.
- Though the initiative could take several years to take form, it will mark another small step toward a la carte programming for consumers.
- Media analysts note the length of the contract between the NBA with Disney (DIS +0.7%) and Time Warner (TWX) effectively boxes out Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) until past the 2024-2025 season.
- On the pay-TV side, operators such as Comcast, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), AT&T (NYSE:T), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) have to fret over an online product competing with their sports packages which include NBA games.
Oct. 2, 2014, 9:28 AM
- A survey of consumers by RBC Capital Markets indicates viewership of network TV websites has fallen.
- YouTube, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) scored a higher percentage of viewers from a year ago - while NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), ABC (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) were all in decline over the period.
- HBO Go (NYSE:TWX) saw its percentage of users rise to 10% from 6%, while Hulu fell back.
- Secular TV ratings have also been in decline for networks.
Sep. 30, 2014, 1:29 PM
- Time Warner Cable's (TWC -0.3%) inability to strike deals with distributors for its SportsNet LA network could have a ripple effect, say industry insiders.
- The cable operator took the brunt of the criticism in the L.A. area over coverage of the division-winning L.A. Dodgers being unavailable for a large swath of the region.
- The development could be a factor as networks such as Fox Sports North (NASDAQ:FOXA), Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (NASDAQ:CMCSA), New England Sports Network, YES Network, and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia look to renegotiate their deals with pay-TV operators.
Sep. 30, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The long-established window for feature films established between Hollywood studios and theater exhibitors will crack in a major fashion next summer when Netflix (NFLX +1.1%) and IMAX (IMAX +0.7%) jointly release a film online and through the large-screen IMAX format.
- Though media analysts think theater chains will continue to bristle over the game-changing initiative - and for now IMAX says it will let exhibitors control the films that run on IMAX screens - IMAX sits in a powerful position in the future if it wants to play hardball.
- "Netflix already changed the TV business in a very, very significant way. The movie business is teed up next," says BTIG's Rich Greenfield on the development.
- Netflix and Weinstein are collaborating on a number of projects, several of which could turn into straight-to-streaming feature films.
- What to watch: Hollywood studios (LGF, SNE, VIA, CMCSA, DIS) could be the ones to have the final say on if the feature film window model is adjusted.
Sep. 30, 2014, 9:19 AM
- The FCC is considering new regulations for companies looking to offer an over-the-top online video service, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- Rules governing OTT services could make it harder for content providers and distributors to carve out smaller deals for programming.
- Traditional streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that offer their content on-demand should be outside the regulatory purview of the FCC on the OTT startups.
- Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are the furthest along in the race for a trimmed-down online video package aimed largely at cord-cutters and cord-nevers.
CMCSA vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR