Mon, Jan. 5, 7:46 AM
- ESPN (NYSE:DIS) is considering entering the daily fantasy sports market, according to a report from SportBusiness Daily.
- Fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings have seen explosive growth through their contests aimed at sports fans.
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) holds a position in FanDuel through its VC arm.
Fri, Jan. 2, 11:54 AM
- 2014 saw a mixed performance for movie studios (LGF, CMCSA, TWX, DIS, SNI, VIA, VIAB, FOXA, DIS).
- U.S. box office -5.2% Y/Y to $10.3B. Higher ticket prices and improved in-theater spending helped offset low traffic.
- China box office +36% Y/Y to $4.77B Though the number of foreign films are capped by the government, the box office winner in the nation in 2014 was Paramount's Transformers: Age of Extinction. Local productions accounted for 54% of the tally. IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) had a big year.
- U.K. box office -5% to $1.73b. The Lego Movie from Warner Bros. topped the chart.
- France box office +8% to $4.77B.
- Japan +5.9% led by a stellar $249M from Disney's Frozen.
Fri, Jan. 2, 10:39 AM
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
- Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
- Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
- Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
Dec. 30, 2014, 10:50 AM
- U.S movie admissions are down 6% to 1.259B this year to mark the lowest level of movie attendance since 1995.
- An increase in average ticket prices on the push to premium seating helped offset the decline in traffic.
- Universal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) recorded box office revenue of $1.09B (-23% Y/Y) on 18 movies tracked to rank fifth of the studios.
- Neighbors was the only Universal movie to top $150M for the studio - a mark that was less than half of what Despicable Me 2 delivered last year for the studio.
Dec. 23, 2014, 1:52 AM
- The FCC is again pausing its review of the proposed $45B merger of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), citing delays in getting documents from the latter.
- Imposing an informal 180-day countdown for the review, the FCC is determining whether combining the cable companies is in the public interest.
- Time Warner Cable has promised to produce the missing documents, but the agency is pausing the review at day 104 until Jan. 12, saying it needs extra time to study new submissions.
Dec. 18, 2014, 1:44 PM
- NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) says it will pull NBC and ten other cable networks off Cable One if a new carriage deal isn't struck by January 1.
- A blackout would impact 475K subscribers.
- NBCU wants an agreement at the same rates it applies to the National Cable Television Cooperative, while Cable One is looking for lower costs.
- Cable One is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (GHC +0.9%).
Dec. 17, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Dish Network (DISH +0.6%) says Netflix might be integrated into the company's upcoming streaming subscription product and be part of its search functions.
- The OTT programming package from the satellite company is set to include Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ABC, A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Travel Channel among other networks. Netflix access will require authentication.
- What to watch: Media analysts think other online TV ventures will face more pressure to include Netflix (NFLX +3.6%) after Dish made its move. There could also be an impact on pay-TV operators (CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DTV) if Netflix gets insides their boxes to cut into VOD revenue.
- Previously: Dish Network brings Netflix into the box
Dec. 16, 2014, 2:25 PM
Dec. 11, 2014, 2:28 PM
- Nielsen reports that so-called digitals, what the company calls consumers aged between 12 and 24, saw 7.1 movies in theaters this year - compared to the 8.4 movies the group saw the previous year.
- Moviegoers between the ages of 25 and 44 increased the number of theater trips this year to 8.1 from 7.7 in 2013.
- No great surprise, but digitals increased the amount of content they streamed this year, including more full-length movies.
- Perhaps of interest to studios (LGF, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, FOXA, DIS), a majority of digitals say they trust trailers and the opinions of friends over movie commercials aired on TV.
- Full Nielsen report
- Theater stocks: CKEC, AMC, CNK, RLD, IMAX, RDI, MCS.
Dec. 11, 2014, 7:21 AM| Comment!
Dec. 4, 2014, 3:33 PM
- Starz (STRZA -3.8%) still has considerable potential to be purchased by a larger media company despite CBS walking away, writes Congress Wealth Management CIO Peter Andersen.
- Anderson thinks Comcast (CMCSA -1.5%) or 21st Century Fox (FOXA +1%) might be interested in pulling the trigger near the expected Starz deal price of $5B.
Dec. 4, 2014, 11:53 AM
- There might be a little sweat on the brow of NFL owners as a new bill introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal takes dead aim at the permanent anti-trust exemption status enjoyed by the pro football league.
- The powerful exemption has helped the value of NFL teams exceed most asset classes over the last two decades.
- A hearing today of the Judiciary Committee includes debate on the topic and the league's handling of player scandals.
- If the NFL were to lose the anti-trust exemption (still considered a long shot) - it would allow broadcasters to negotiate media deals piecemeal.
- Escalating sports rights costs are a major consideration for CBS (NYSE:CBS), NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), ESPN (NYSE:DIS), Turner (NYSE:TWX), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
Dec. 3, 2014, 7:43 AM
- Americans decreased the amount of daily time spent watching TV by 4.4% Y/Y to 4 hours and 32 minutes in Q3, according to a new report from Nielsen.
- The amount of time viewing video on the Internet and time-shifted content both rose during the quarter.
- "What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion," observes Nielsen.
- This year's upfront ad meetings saw flat sales for broadcast networks and a 6% decline in ad sales for cable networks.
- Related stocks: NFLX, FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, SNE, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI.
Nov. 26, 2014, 8:58 AM
- CBS and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) have extended a programming agreement for another week, keeping the network on the air for Dish’s 14M satellite TV subscribers while the parties negotiate.
- Dish is juggling more than just the CBS talks, after last week restoring channels from Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) Turner Broadcasting to its service while seeking a longer-term deal; Dish also has a contract deadline looming next week with Comcast’s (CMCSA, CMCSK) SportsNet regional sports network.
- Negotiations have become more complicated as discussions go beyond price to include streaming rights to computers and mobile devices, DirecTV CEO Mike White says.
Nov. 25, 2014, 2:46 PM
- "Not surprisingly, billionaires reduced their energy allocations (NYSEARCA:XLE) during Q3," says Direxion, unveiling the quarterly rebalance for the iBillionaire Index (which serves as the benchmark for the IBLN ETF). Attention was instead shifted to healthcare (NYSEARCA:XLV) and materials (NYSEARCA:XLB), with companies like Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON).
- Also added to the index: TMO, GM, FB, CBS, GOOG, MAS, APD, DAL, NOV, WHR, THC, ABBV.
- Dropped from the index: AIG, MCK, CTSH, MSI, RIG, CI, APC, GPS, MSFT, CMCSA, NFLX, MHFI, WMB, ICE.
- Outlying sectors: Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY) makes up 23.33% of the iBillionaire Index vs. 11.68% for the S&P 500, and Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI) and financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) make up just 6.67% each of the index vs. 10.44 and 16.30 of the S&P 500, respectively. Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP) have zero representation in the index vs. 9.7% in the S&P 500.
- Previously: Direxion launched an ETF with iBillionaire today
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