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.
Sep. 24, 2014, 3:21 AM
- 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) met with Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) yesterday to discuss a possible purchase of the company, although a person familiar with the matter says Fox took the meeting as a courtesy.
- While there is no deal yet, a full acquisition of the company would be valued at more than $3.2B, based on Tuesday's closing price.
- Starz has been recently struggling to create original programming, and also lost a deal to Netflix over accessing movies from Disney, which will take effect in early 2017.
Dec. 19, 2013, 9:11 AM
- Consolidation in the media industry will involve more than just deals between heavyweights such as Time Warner Cable, Charter Communication, Cox, and Comcast, according to analysis from MoffettNathanson.
- Due to the negotiating leverage of broadcast networks and sports rights owners, the investment firm sees subscale content owners combining forces in the sector.
- On watch: Discovery Communications (DISCA), Scripps Network Interactive (SNI), AMC Networks (AMCX), Starz (STRZA), Madison Square Garden (MSG).
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