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. 11, 2014, 6:07 PM
- DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) announces it sold a 25% stake in AwesomenessTV to Hearst Corporation for $81.25M.
- The two companies plan to partner together on growing the YouTube property aimed at teenagers.
Nov. 13, 2014, 7:32 AM
- Shares of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) soar in early trading on reports that a merger with Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) is being negotiated.
- Early analyst reaction to the combination is favorable due to the potential boost to consumer products sales and content tie-ins between the two companies.
- Talks between DreamWorks and Softbank over a merger stalled last month when an agreement on a deal price couldn't be hammered out.
- DWA +21.8% to $27.25 premarket.
Nov. 13, 2014, 1:51 AM
- Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) is in advanced talks to buy DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), and would pay a mix of cash and stock under the current terms of the proposed deal.
- An exact price has not yet been determined, although Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, is seeking more than $30 a share, a significant premium over Wednesday's close at $22.37.
- News of the possible merger comes about six weeks after reports emerged that SoftBank was in talks to acquire the animation studio.
Sep. 30, 2014, 6:57 AM
- A new report has surfaced from The Hollywood Reporter stating that Japan's SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is in talks to acquire a minority stake in privately held movie studio Legendary Pictures. The publication says the talks have been going on for weeks.
- The news comes following reports that SoftBank's discussions to buy Dreamworks Animation have cooled.
Sep. 29, 2014, 5:47 PM
- The WSJ says it "wasn't immediately clear" what led buyout talks between SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) and Dreamworks (NASDAQ:DWA) to cool. The paper now reports the companies "could ultimately strike a deal other than an outright takeover ... for instance some kind of content partnership."
- DWA -7.4% AH to $26.10. Shares rose 26% in regular trading on reports of acquisition talks featuring a $32/share offer.
Sep. 28, 2014, 5:06 AM
- SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) in a deal that would value the company at $3.4B, states The Hollywood Reporter.
- Under the proposed deal, DWA founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg would sign a five-year contract to remain with the company.
- SoftBank is said to have offered $32 per share for DreamWorks, a substantial premium to the stock's Friday closing price of $22.36.
Feb. 13, 2014, 12:48 PM
- The media industry is busy evaluating the impact of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger even if the DOJ clips the size of the deal a bit.
- A key word for content providers today is leverage. A larger Comcast (CMCSA), (broadband and Pay-TV) would give it additional clout in negotiating retransmission contracts with networks (CBS, FOXA, AMCX, DISCA, SNI) and studios (DIS, TWX, LGF, SNE, DWA, VIAB) for home video sales.
- The relationship between streaming firms and Comcast could get more complicated. Though studios rake in money from Netflix, if Comcast ever decides to charge its massive base of broadband subscribers on a usage basis - both Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu are in harm's way.
- Companies with future ambitions in the online TV area (think Sony) might see additional pressures from a larger Comcast. In theory, the media giant could launch a similar national service.
- Related ETFs: PBS
May 1, 2013, 9:56 AM
Apr. 30, 2013, 7:45 PMMore on DreamWorks Animation (DWA): Q1 beats across the board, masking a 39% Y/Y drop in net profit as the computer-animation studio's overhead costs grew and revenue edged lower. Separately, reports are circulating that the company is close to buying AwesomenessTV, a YouTube network aimed at teens and tweens. The network was launched last June after rounding up $3.5M in funding and has nearly 500K subscribers and generated more than 80M video views last month. Shares +6.8% AH. | Comment!
Jul. 23, 2012, 9:39 AMDreamWorks (DWA -2.1%) is acquiring Classic Media, owner of Lassie, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and other family-oriented brands, for $155M in cash from a P-E firm. The deal will be financed using a combo of existing cash and DreamWorks' credit facility. Classic owns the rights to over 450 movies and 6,100 TV episodes. For the fiscal year ending Feb. 29, it posted revenue of $82.2M, and operating income of $19.2M. | Comment!
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