Nov. 22, 2013, 2:38 PM
Nov. 22, 2013, 1:50 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA +3%) doesn't think it faces unsolvable regulatory obstacles it if buys Time Warner Cable (TWC +7.5%), say sources.
- Based on geographic coverage area, Comcast and Time Warner Cable make for a logical pair to merge, but several media analysts question the ability to get the DOJ fully on board.
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:48 AM
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens nationally today with expectations running high that the movie will deliver a smashing box office haul. (Previous: Buzz and reviews)
- Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI) will carve off little revenue pieces here and there while IMAX (IMAX +0.3%) should see a windfall with early reviews saying it's a "must-see" in the IMAX format.
- Comcast (CMCSA)-property Fandago has seen enormous traffic and interest this week which will help Q4 subscriber totals.
- Also: Don't forget about books. The timing of the Catching Fire release could help Scholastic (SCHL +0.6%) see booming holiday sales for the Hunger Games book series.
- Movie studio Lions Gate (LGF +1.8%) is the proud owner of the vibrant franchise and stands to gain the most. Global audiences are likely to take their cues from the U.S. and an opening at +$175M is hard to ignore. It also has Divergent waiting in the wings with the same low-cost, high-teenager appeal formula.
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:08 AM
- Shares of Comcast (CMCSA +2.6%) are on the move after CNBC reports that some significant shareholders are telling management to take a look at bidding for Time Warner Cable (TWC +7.3%).
- Though anti-trust issues can't be ignored, many media analysts think a CMCSA-TWC marriage makes more sense than TWC-Charter (CHTR) coupling.
- Don't forget about Cablevision (CVC): Shares are up 6.4% as investors bet it might make it to the altar as well.
Nov. 20, 2013, 11:09 AM| 1 Comment
Nov. 15, 2013, 12:39 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA -0.3%) will offer both new releases and older movies for purchase to its consumers to store in the cloud.
- The company is working with all the major studios to rapidly expand its library and could release some titles before the DVD and Blu-Ray window opens.
- Verizon (VZ -0.8%) is the only other major pay-TV player selling digital movies, although Dish Network (DISH -0.7%) is reported to be considering a similar move.
Nov. 15, 2013, 7:05 AM
Nov. 14, 2013, 4:16 PM
Nov. 13, 2013, 1:02 PM
- Netflix (NFLX) is being pitched a deal by major movies studios to buy exclusive rights to a miniseries that would be released in movie theaters initially in one- to two-hour episodes.
- The company is reported to be torn on the issue if landing early rights to the filmed episodes outweighs straying from its binge viewing model.
- If nothing else, the discussions highlight the advantage of being on the content side (DIS, SNE, VIAB, CMCSA, LGF, TWX, AMCX, DISCA, SNI) of the media business as new distribution channels emerge.
Nov. 13, 2013, 7:41 AM
- Research firm MoffettNathanson estimates the pay-TV industry lost 0.2% of its subscriber count in Q3 Y/Y.
- The drop which is partially attributable to the impact of more streaming options for consumers marks the worst 12-month loss of subscribers in the pay TV industry's history.
- In this quarter's batch of earnings conference calls from industry heavyweights, execs showed a great deal of surprise at how resistant the sub-thirty year old crowd is to adding television services on top of broadband.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, TWC, CVC, CMCSA
- Related earnings call transcripts: VZ, DISH, CHTR
Nov. 9, 2013, 10:48 AM
- Movie studios continue to double down on superhero franchise films in the hopes of hitting the paydirt despite the risk of oversaturation.
- The increasing pace of superhero releases could create a "major blood bath" next summer, warns Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. He sees a potential ripple of major losses ($400M-$500M) as studios reach too far with their superhero tentpoles.
- Though smaller studios bring in financiers to share the cost and the risk, the majors are more likely to go it alone.
- Related stocks: DIS, SNE, VIAB, CMCSA, LGF, TWX.
Nov. 8, 2013, 9:43 AM
- NBC (CMCSA) signs a deal with Virgin Galactic to broadcast the company's groundbreaking space flight.
- Richard Branson plans to travel into space sometime early next year with two of his adult children in what will mark one of the first private space adventures.
- The space programming could also end up on other Comcast properties such as CNBC, SyFy, and The Weather Channel.
Nov. 6, 2013, 11:18 AM
- DirecTV (DTV -1.3%) CEO Mike White thinks the rollout of 4K Ultra HD will have a material impact on the company's performance within three years.
- The company is ensuring it will have the capacity to handle 4K demand as it launches new satellites.
- Potential early adopters also include Netflix (NFLX -1.6%) and Comcast (CMCSA -0.1%) which have both said they would develop programming in 4K. The catch could be if consumers will be driven to new buy 4K Ultra HD TVs in droves. Remember how much-hyped 3D played out.
Oct. 31, 2013, 10:15 AM| 1 Comment
Oct. 31, 2013, 8:29 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) reports it lost 304K video customers in Q3 after analysts expected a drop of around 182K.
- The quarter included a high-profile blackout of CBS from key TWC markets which undoubtedly played a factor.
- What to watch: The company's painful loss of subscribers adds a big wildcard to future negotiations between broadcasters and cable/satellite players.
- Related stocks: TWX, CMCSA, FOXA, CHTR, DISH, DTV, VIAB, AMCX, CVC, DIS.
Oct. 30, 2013, 10:08 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA -1.6%) CEO Brian Roberts says the company isn't in any rush to add Netflix (NFLX -2%) as an app inside its set-top box. The exec reasons consumers can easily find the streaming service. The outlook is a slight deviance from what some media analysts forecast for the relationship between the streaming juggernaut and cable heavyweights.
- Advertising revenue increased 2.6% ex-Olympics at broadcast TV properties and the company sees some room for margin improvement in the segment with costs lower.
- On the expense side, higher programming costs dragged up total expenses 4.5%. Without those costs, all other expenses were only up 2%.
- The rollout of X1 video-on-demand has gone very well and marketing X2 will be a focus in 2014, notes management.
- Earnings call webcast
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