Tue, Jan. 6, 6:50 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. 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. 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
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
- Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
- It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
- Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
- The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
- Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
- What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
- The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
Nov. 13, 2014, 3:12 AM
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is pushing "full steam ahead" with its acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), despite the regulatory review process and looming regulation governing net neutrality.
- Comcast expected the deal to be completed “sometime in the first quarter and we still believe that today,” says CEO Brian Roberts.
- Roberts reiterated that Comcast opposes the proposals to classify broadband providers as utilities, which would endanger the company's plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to upgrade its networks.
Oct. 30, 2014, 7:46 AM
- Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) reports residential video revenue fell 4% Y/Y to $2.497B in Q3.
- Residential high-speed data revenue +10.9% to $1.62B.
- Programming and content costs +9.6% to $1.326B.
- Average monthly programming costs per residential video subscriber +11.1% to $38.96.
- High-speed data net additions +108K to 11.51M.
- Total customer relationships -18K Q/Q to 14.457M. Triple play customers -24K over the quarter.
Oct. 30, 2014, 6:04 AM| Comment!
Oct. 29, 2014, 1:22 PM
- A bid by Aereo to be defined as a cable provider gained support from the FCC with a new proposal out this week which was described in a blog post written by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
- The agency supports "open access" for consumers to high-speed broadband delivery and the right of over-the-top firms to offer programming owned by pay-TV providers and broadcasters.
- In essence, the FCC thinks the bundled pay-TV model should be broken so that consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.
- What to watch: Though Aero isn't likely to be the ultimate pay-TV disrupter without the deep pockets to license content, the position of the FCC opens the door for other Internet video players to emerge and chips away at the bundled channels model.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, NFLX.
Oct. 24, 2014, 12:49 PM
- The current share prices of Time Warner Cable (TWC +2.1%) and Comcast (CMCSA +2.2%) indicate the market is rating the odds of an approved merger by the FCC and DOJ at 75%, according to commentary from media analyst Craig Moffett.
- Earlier this week, Dish Networks joined some pay-TV peers in slamming the deal in communications with regulators.
- Execs with Comcast exuded confidence on the merger during the firm's earnings conference call yesterday.
Oct. 24, 2014, 11:30 AM
- The number of global pay-TV subscribers will rise 19.6% to 1.1B in five years, according to a forecast from ABI Research.
- The research firm thinks global pay-TV revenue could top $323B by the end of the period.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, LBTYA, CHA, T, TWC, OTCPK:BSYBF, OTC:SKDTF, OTCPK:KBDHY, OTCQX:DTEGY, AMX,
Oct. 23, 2014, 10:23 AM
Oct. 22, 2014, 12:43 PM
- The FCC announces it will pause its review of the proposed Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) - Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) - AT&T (NYSE:T) mergers.
- The delay is due in part to bickering over who has the right to see confidential carriage fee agreements involving the companies.
- The agency says the informal 180-day time clock for the review has been halted.
Oct. 17, 2014, 2:35 PM
- Speculation in the media industry is that this week's news of HBO and CBS developing streaming options for consumers strengthens the case for regulatory approval of the Comcast - Time Warner Cable merger.
- Consumers are expected to have more broadband options outside of traditional cable/telco in the near future with streaming proliferating.
- Federal and state regulators are currently reviewing the implications of Comcast (CMCSA +2.4%) swallowing up Time Warner Cable (TWC +2.6%).
Oct. 10, 2014, 11:22 AM
- Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) trades at $142.20 to mark a 7.20% discount to the level of Comcast's CMCSA offer to buy the company.
- Merger arbitrage traders see more risk in the deal with other media companies lobbying regulators to take a hard line, reports Bloomberg.
- An extension by the FCC of its review period has also put some investors on edge.
Oct. 8, 2014, 11:41 AM| 2 Comments
TWC vs. ETF Alternatives
Time Warner Cable Inc provides video, high-speed data and voice services. The Company also offers security and home management services, networking and transport services and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services.
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