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News For DIS;TWC;CVC;CMCSA;VZ From The Last 14 Days
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September 30, 2015
17:04 EDTTWCEarthLink, Time Warner Cable extend high-speed service agreement
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13:33 EDTTWC, CMCSAFCC review of Charter-TWC deal likely to extend into 1Q16, CTFN says
The FCC's review of Charter Communications' (CHTR) proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks will likely extend into the first quarter of 2016 and could take even longer, CTFN reports, citing an attorney who often deals with telecom issues before the FCC. "...It is virtually impossible for the FCC to complete its review and adopt an order approving the license transfer before 1Q16 and, in my opinion, even getting it done before April 1 is a stretch," Barbara Esbin, a partner at law firm Cinnamon Mueller, told CTFN in an email. Esbin also said that the merger "appears to have drawn none of the heavy flack that felled Comcast (CMCSA)-TWC," a proposal that was nixed by the FCC and DOJ earlier this year, the report says. California utility regulators are also preparing for their own review of the deal since it will particularly effect the southern half of the state, the report says. Reference Link
11:31 EDTVZOn Track Innovations files patent infringement lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon
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10:50 EDTVZAT&T, Verizon could find it hard to sell enterprise businesses, CTFN says
The wireline units of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) that serve corporate customers may be viewed as good units to sell if the companies need to raise cash to help defray spectrum acquisition costs, but a small number of potential buyers and low EBITDA multiples for the units could make any such divestitures challenging, contended CTFN. Level 3 (LVLT) could be seen as a potentially interested buyer, but a source within the company told CTFN that purchasing units that are part of other companies, known as a "carve out," doesn't match the company's usual M&A strategy. Reference Link
09:31 EDTVZVerizon Ventures partners with Grand Central Tech
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September 29, 2015
18:55 EDTCVCCablevision, Viacom in talks to settle antitrust dispute, Reuters says
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15:19 EDTDISDiscovery drops as investor day fails to dispell cord-cutting fears
Shares of Discovery Communications (DISCA) have dropped today as the company held its first-ever investor day amid ongoing concerns about the potential decline of pay TV. NEW GUIDANCE: Discovery Chief Financial Officer Andrew Warren updated the company's full year 2015 outlook, saying he expects constant currency adjusted earnings per share to grow in the low double digits. The company expects revenue for the year to grow 9%-10%, with free cash flow up in low single digits. Meanwhile, year over year currency headwinds were seen deducting $460M from revenue and 24c-29c from adjusted EPS. Discovery also established long-term guidance, saying it sees its adjusted EPS compound annual growth rate up in low double digits from 2015 to 2018, on a constant currency basis. "Third quarter results are on track, highlighted by strong U.S. advertising growth," Warren added. THREE BILLION SUBSCRIBERS: CEO David Zaslav commented during the investor day that the company is "confident in the long-term outlook for our business," adding that Discovery expects to reach 3B cumulative worldwide subscribers by year's end. The Chief Executive highlighted what he called five differentiators for Discovery's growth potential, including its ownership of a growing and diverse portfolio of content and IP "that uniquely positions Discovery for the changing media landscape." CORD CUTTING: Multiple Discovery executives showcased the company's European products, including Eurosport and the Eurosport Player OTT service, as well as the company's apparent first-mover advantage in Latin America. The seemingly increased attention on foreign initiatives comes as U.S. cord-cutting trends continue generating headlines, with Citi analyst Jason Bazinet arguing as recently as September 18 that Disney (DIS) would be the only cable network to make more money in a bundle-free world. According to media reports of today's Discovery event, Chief Executive Zaslav said "it's not rational" that media companies are selling so much of their content to streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) that threaten the appeal of cable bundles. The CEO added that Discovery has assumed a 1%-2% decline in pay TV over "the next couple of years," though he reassured investor day attendees that the company's adjusted operating income should be roughly flat even in a worst-case scenario. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Discovery crashed as much as 7% in early morning trading before seeing hesitant moves higher. The stock is down just under 4% to roughly $26.70 heading towards session close.
12:57 EDTTWCFCC nod for TWC, Charter deal may not be as easy as expected, dealReporter says
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11:09 EDTCMCSAGoPro announces launch of channel on Comcast Watchable
GoPro (GPRO) announced it's bringing the GoPro Channel to Watchable, Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) new, cross-platform video service. GoPro's first Multichannel Video Programming Distributor agreement will deliver GoPro content to users on iOS,, and X1. Launching in beta, all Watchable content is free, the company stated.
11:05 EDTCMCSAComcast launches video platform Watchable, Business Insider reports
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06:18 EDTVZPublicis signs advertising partnership with Verizon's Go90 service, WSJ reports
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September 28, 2015
14:08 EDTVZAOL announces the launch of LIVE by AOL
AOL announced the launch of LIVE by AOL, a comprehensive end-to-end service for the production, streaming, distribution and monetization of live events. LIVE by AOL brings together AOL's world-class video expertise with Verizon Digital Media Services to give content and media partners access to a complete suite of live experience solutions for all screens and devices. LIVE by AOL provides content and media partners with unprecedented distribution through the company's owned and operated properties, including, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and more, in addition to a holistic and open network of over 1,700 publisher partners for live distribution across mobile, digital, over-the-top, and linear TV. In addition to LIVE's expansive reach, the solution also provides complete production capabilities, full content-preparation supported by cross-device, cloud-based encoding that is combined with Verizon Digital Media Services' high-performance stream delivery, and options to monetize through various advertising, sponsorship, and native integration options. "As the video landscape continues to evolve, live programming is the next frontier for innovation," said Jimmy Maymann, EVP and President, AOL Content & Consumer Brands. "LIVE by AOL not only unites the pillars of our business, but enables all of our content and media partners to tap into the power of live programming and bring that success to their own properties. As the lines between traditional television and online video blur, producing, distributing, and monetizing live content in the digital realm will be a deciding factor for those who successfully step into the next era of video."
13:42 EDTVZVerizon offers annual upgrade plan for iPhone users
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09:36 EDTDIS Active equity options trading on open
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09:12 EDTTWCRovi news a 'small positive first step,' says JPMorgan
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08:07 EDTTWCRovi, Time Warner Cable extend existing agreement
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07:17 EDTCVCAltice scales back bond sale to finance Cablevision buyout, Financial Times says
Altice (ATCEY) has scaled back a bond offering to finance $17.7B buyout of Cablevision (CVC), reports the Financial Times. According to people familiar with the fundraising discussions, Altice was forced to downsize its planned offering to $5.3B and had to promise investors a higher yield. Reference Link
06:50 EDTVZVerizon's go90 wins $80M from backers, NY Post reports
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06:08 EDTCMCSAComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTCMCSA'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
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