Hollywood will take its sharpest crack at Wall Street since Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox first graced the screen 26 years ago when The Wolf of Wall Street premieres this year.
After director Martin Scorsese threatened to delay finalizing the movie in time for the holiday season rush and Oscar contention, it now looks like the Paramount Pictures (VIAB) will open in late November.
Paramount Pictures says it will eliminate 5% of its workforce in a new round of job cuts.
The studio had a solid summer with Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z beating expectations at the box office, but faces a sticky situation with Martin Scorcese wanting to delay the debut of The Wolf of Wall Street right in front of the holiday season and deadline to qualify for major awards.
The Viacom (VIAB)-owned company says it's undergoing an organizational realignment.
Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings made an interesting disclosure on the phenomenon known as binge viewing during his talk at the Google Zeitgeist event.
The exec notes most streaming customers watch Netflix as if they were reading a book - a chapter at a time on their own schedule.
Even if binge viewing is more of a media sensation than the normal practice of consumers, the ability of Netflix to allow TV viewers to play catch-up was credited by execs at AMC Networks on the heels of its Emmy win and success for Breaking Bad which started off as a ratings dud.
What to watch: The symbiotic relationship between Netflix and broadcasters (CBS, DIS, AMCX, VIAB, CMCSA) is part of the thesis on why the company won't be squeezed out.
The app, called Yahoo Screen (YHOO), features both Yahoo-developed content and material from partners/licensees. Content from Saturday Night Live, which Yahoo scored an exclusive licensing deal for earlier this year, is included, as is video from existing partners such as The Onion and ABC News.
Also includedare Comedy Central shows such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, courtesy of a new content deal with Viacom (VIA, VIAB)
Much like other new Yahoo apps, Screen places a big emphasis on images and a simple, fluid UI. The app enters a crowded mobile video landscape that includes Netflix, 800-lb. gorilla YouTube, and a bevy of more targeted apps created by TV networks, content owners, and startups.
Though the approach of the NFL football was a big consideration, it was the renegotiated carriage deal between CBS and Verizon that cut into the cable operator's leverage unexpectedly.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but most analysts think the monthly carriage rate per subscriber for CBS programming came in a rate that will help other broadcasters in their own upcoming negotiations.
The leverage between broadcasters (CMCSA, DIS, FXA, CBS, AMCX, VIAB) and the cable/satellite industry (TWC, CVC, CMCSA, CHTR, DTV, DISH) is so lopsided that BTIG says it feels as if the bazooka-carrying armored broadcasters are battling a cable/satellite group only carrying paper swords. A scenario that detriments U.S. consumers.
One solution proposed by BTIG is to allow retransmission fees to be negotiated in each market by the entire group via a little Congressional intervention. Not a perfect solution if major broadcasters decide to turn into cable networks, but potentially a workable one.
What to watch: It's only 9 days before NFL football starts and CBS vs. TWC goes to Defcon 1.
Sony's (SNE +0.5%) deal with Viacom (VIAB -0.2%) should help it as it negotiates with other programmers off an existing baseline contract.
Companies such as Disney (DIS) and Time Warner (TWX) may consider jumping in with Sony's service at ground-level to create a viable cable/satellite alternative or a fragmented online TV market could exist if other tech giants also land content deals.
It won't be the death of the cable box just yet, but the Sony TV service appears set to present the under-40 crowd a strong new cord-cutting option.
State-owned distributor China Film Group has agreed to restart payments owed to U.S. film companies after the two sides resolved a dispute over whether a new value-added tax should be taken out of the studios' share of box-office receipts. The latter had argued that the roughly 2% tax wasn't their responsibility.
The amount owed could reportedly top $200M. Companies that are or could be affected include Time Warner (TWX), Sony (SNE), Lions Gate (LGF), Fox (FOXA), Viacom (VIA), Comcast (CMCSA), and Dreamworks Animation (DWA).
The implications of the Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.7%) and CBS (CBS +0.2%) fight over retransmission fees will be significant for the entire industry, particularly if Congress rewrites legislation covering the topic.
Though a band-aid fix could happen at any time, BTIG Research thinks regulators and legislators will lean toward the position of the cable/satellite industry to determine that current laws weren't intended to fund NFL rights acquisitions and primetime network programming, but to ensure the flow of news and information over the airwaves.
The back-to-the-basics position, if it comes off, could benefit Dish Network (DISH), DirecTV (DTV), Cox Communications, Charter Communications (CHTR), and Cablevision (CVC) in future negoiations - while cutting into the potential for broadcasters (DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, AMCX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI).
A collapse of the bundled channel model would seemingly leave program providers such as Viacom (VIAB), Discovery Communications (DISCA), Scripps Networks (SNI), and AMC Networks (AMCX) out in the wild as fees could rise and fall more abruptly as hit shows come and go.
Disney's (DIS) claims nothing could knock ESPN off its high horse (and high carriage fees) - but with NBC (CMCSA), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), and CBS (CBS) needing high-profile sports events on their schedule, the cost of future licensing deals could soar.
Don't forget about Netflix (NFLX). Along with +30M subscribers in the U.S., even old-school cable stalwart Dolan admits he is a fan of the streaming service. Disruption in the cable/satellite market could lead to some cord-cutting and extra subscriptions for Netflix and Amazon (AMZN) Prime.
The growth story is still alive at Viacom (VIAB +6.5%) with cable/satellite firms paying higher licensing fees for shows and with new streaming deals lined up by the company looking promising, notes Barron's.
During FQ3, the media concern's U.S. advertising revenue growth rate hit its highest level since 4QFY11, and analysts see more upside.
Shares of Viacom trade at a lower multiple than media giants Disney and Time Warner.
The company's $20B buyback plan provides a nice little backstop.
Viacom (VIAB) posted a 37 % rise to $243 million, or 40 cents/share, revenue fell as Paramount released few films, DVD sales down.
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Viacom Inc is an entertainment content company that connects with audiences in over 160 countries and territories and creates television programs, motion pictures, short-form video, applications , games, consumer products, social media.