Dec. 16, 2013, 3:21 PM
- Yahoo (YHOO) and NBC (CMCSA) announce that they have extended their Olympics coverage alliance to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
- The deal for an undisclosed amount will see Yahoo receive digital video rights to NBC's coverage, including live streams of select events.
- The Winter Games in Sochi, Russia will run from February 7 to February 23.
Dec. 13, 2013, 12:55 PM
- New polling from Harris Interactive confirms that consumers streaming video content prefer the practice of binge viewing.
- The news isn't a shocker to Netflix (NFLX -0.2%) and Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) which have been pointing toward their own viewing data for quite a while.
- Redbox Instant (VZ, OUTR) could be the next streaming service to bring on TV shows for binge viewing, according to media buzz.
- The read-through for broadcasters (CBS, AMCX, FOXA, DIS, CMCSA) is mixed. Advertising rates could suffer if more viewers are willing to wait until series are available for streaming, but the payoffs for quality content are getting higher and higher. Just this week, CBS CEO Les Moonves tipped off that Amazon paid $700K per episode for streaming rights to Under the Dome - while AMC Networks knows full well that without Netflix hit show Breaking Bad would have broken down.
Dec. 13, 2013, 11:31 AM
Dec. 13, 2013, 10:34 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%) plans to drop New England Cable News from its programming on the East Coast.
- The move is sparking some protest in the region and signals trouble for the Comcast (CMCSA)-owned property.
- What to watch: One of the common themes at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference this week was that Pay-TV operators will take a closer look at dropping unprofitable networks. Execs seem to have been struck with a little bit of a reality check that bundling winners and losers can't go on forever.
Dec. 13, 2013, 8:01 AM
- Aereo says it won't oppose a petition to the Supreme Court filed by broadcasters (FOXA, CMCSA, CBS, DIS) as it preps to let the high court decide the issue on if its service is legal.
- So far, Aereo has a decent track record in court cases filed against it in new markets where its has entered.
- However, the legal squabbles have slowed down Aereo's growth track. The company is only in 9 markets after setting a goal to be in 22 by the end of the year.
Dec. 11, 2013, 3:25 PM
- An initiative started last month by Comcast (CMCSA -1%) to utilize a "See It" button on Twitter to help users watch a show or buy tickets via its Fandago property appears to be catching on.
- The service could see a major expansion as early as Q1 that allows Twitter users who tweet "SEEIt" to have an automatic button embedded in their message that can send users directly to a show online or through video on demand. In some cases, the SEEIt button will act as a remote control for users' set top boxes.
- The SEEIt service is seen as a way to boost ratings metrics and potentially advertising rates for shows which light up social media.
- Signing up for the Twitter-Comcast service: Disney (DIS), Discovery Communications (DISCA), Fox Networks (FOXA), Cablevision (CVC), Charter (CHTR), Time Warner Cable (TWC).
Dec. 11, 2013, 1:02 PM
- The latest batch of TV viewing data for the week ending on December 1 reveals an interesting trend.
- Four of the eight highest rated shows on Rentrak's Stickiness Index are from Hispanic networks.
- Broadcasters Univision and Telemundo (CMCSA) both had two shows on the list.
- Related: Univision mulls over IPO.
Dec. 9, 2013, 7:50 AM
- ZenithOptimedia forecasts advertising will grow 5.3% in 2014 to $560B with a solid pace of growth in the U.S. and China supporting the industry.
- TV advertising (CBS, CMCSA, FOXA, DIS, AMCX, DISCA, SNI) is in decline as desktop Internet and mobile continue to draw advertising buyers, but perhaps not as rapidly as some have previously predicted. TV's share of advertising is expected to go from 40.2% of advertising this year to 39.3% in 2016, according to the research firm.
Dec. 6, 2013, 6:29 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA +0.4%) has tapped J.P. Morgan for advice as it evaluates a bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.2%), Reuters reports.
- Sources said Comcast does not intend to make a pre-emptive bid, but may jump in if it looks like Charter Communications (CHTR +0.4%) is getting close to a deal.
- TWC, for its part, considers Comcast the best suitor given its ability to make an all-cash offer and the better nature of the geographic fit between the 2 operators.
- Previous: FCC commissioner doubts Comcast-TWC merger would be approved
Dec. 6, 2013, 11:21 AM
- NBC's (CMCSA) gamble to broadcast The Sound of Music live appears to have paid off as the show dominated network ratings last night.
- The singing Von Trapps even beat out last week's comparable show for NBC when it had a hyped prime-time NFL game.
- Variety reports NBC landed some premium ad rates for the show which didn't shy away from taking some breaks for commercials.
Dec. 6, 2013, 2:44 AM
- The Obama administration probably wouldn't authorize any attempt by Comcast (CMCSA) to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC), FCC Republican commissioner Ajit Pai has told the WSJ.
- Precedents such as the government's blocking of AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile US suggest a Comcast-TWC deal "could face a number of hurdles in the Obama administration," Pai said. "A Republican administration likely would be more inclined to approve a deal."
- TWC has already turned down two bids from Charter Communications (CHTR), the WSJ reports, adding that Comcast and Charter are unlikely to make a joint offer.
- While the interest in TWC has sent the telecom carrier's shares soaring, it has also hurt its bonds, due to fears about a debt overhang that a deal could bring. The price of TWC's 30-year bond that matures in 2042 has tumbled 17% since the merger chatter began.
Dec. 5, 2013, 3:55 PM| 7 Comments
Dec. 4, 2013, 5:23 PM
- The economic argument is lopsided against the Pay-TV industry (CHTR, CVC, TWC, DISH, DTV) moving to an a la carte system, reasons Needham.
- The investment firm has some staggering estimates which indicate consumers could end up paying significantly more for an unbundled system or see a large number of networks close up shop to limit their choices.
- Working backwards, 180 channels at an average annual programming cost of $280M per year requires a bundled system to create the ad and subscriber revenue to support it.
- Though the math might work out fine and dandy, subscriber losses and a younger generation unfazed by cord-cutting indicates something might need to give.
- The wildcard in the mix: Online TV initiatives from Sony, Google, and Intel as well as the evolution of Netflix (NFLX) will also play a factor.
- Related stocks: CBS, DIS, AMCX, TWX, CMCSA, FOXA, SNI, MSG, DISCA
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:55 PM
- Deutsche Bank weighs in on the chase for Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.4%) that has lit a fuse under the entire sector.
- The investment firm thinks only one bidder will emerge - Charter (CHTR +0.1%) with help from Cox or Comcast (CMCSA +0.2%) - but at a deal price lower than $140 per TWC share.
- Previous comments from Liberty Media (LMCA -1.6%) on a "merger of equals" also limits the premium a Liberty-backed bid would pay, notes Deutsche.
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:13 PM
- Universal Pictures (CMCSA) says it has shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 indefinitely following the death of actor Paul Walker.
- The sixth installment of the series was the highest grossest film of the bunch with a global box office haul of $788M.
- The studio didn't disclose if it will take a write-off or pursue other options with the franchise.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:52 AM
- Higher spending on programming by network owners is paying off immediately in the form of increased revenue from content, according to media analysts.
- The most recent round of reports from Time Warner (TWX -0.4%), CBS (CBS +0.4%), Viacom (VIAB -0.4%), and 21st Century Fox (FOXA -0.8%) show higher program costs were offset by licensing and advertising revenue. Even big sports rights deals from Disney (DIS -0.7%) and NBC (CMCSA) appear to be adding enough profits to justify the steep costs.
- What to watch: A breaking point on programming costs could be seen in the future with the Pay-TV industry (DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC) dabbling with smaller bundles for consumers.
- Related ETF: PBS.
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