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March 27, 2014
11:35 EDTTWX, FOXA, CMCSAMSNBC struggling, Politico reports
Comcast's (CMCSA) MSNBC saw its viewership and revenue drop more sharply last year than either of its two rivals, 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) Fox News and Time Warner's (TWX) CNN, according to Nielsen data, Politico reports. MSNBC's prime time viewership tumbled 24% last year, while its revenue was estimated to have dropped 2%, Politico added. It is believed that the network brought in about $475M, less than half of CNN's total and about 25% of Fox's revenue, Politico reported. Reference Link
News For CMCSA;FOXA;TWX From The Last 14 Days
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September 30, 2015
17:53 EDTCMCSANBCUniversal reaches advertising deal with YouTube, WSJ says
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13:33 EDTCMCSAFCC 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
September 29, 2015
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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09:40 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox, ValueAct Capital enter into agreement regarding ownership
Twenty-First Century Fox announced that it entered into a Nomination Agreement dated September 28 with ValueAct Capital Master Fund L.P., VA Partners I, LLC, ValueAct Capital Management, L.P., ValueAct Capital Management, LLC, ValueAct Holdings, L.P., ValueAct Holdings GP, LLC, Volpe Velox, L.P., Volpe Velox, LLC and Jeffrey W. Ubben. The ValueAct Group currently beneficially owns approximately 5.9% of the company's outstanding Class B Common Stock. Pursuant to the Nomination Agreement, and subject to the conditions set forth therein, the company agreed to nominate Ubben, the Founder, CEO and CIO of ValueAct Capital, for election to the company's Board at the company's annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2015.Subject to certain exceptions, if at any time the ValueAct Group ceases to own at least 5% of the outstanding Class B Common Stock of the company, the company will no longer be required to nominate Ubben for election at the 2015 Annual Meeting and, if he previously joined the Board, Ubben will be required to resign from the Board. Under the Nomination Agreement, in the event that Ubben no longer serves as a company director prior to the Company's 2016 annual meeting of stockholders due to his death or disability, the company and the ValueAct Group shall work together to nominate a mutually acceptable replacement so long as the ValueAct Group continues to own at least 5% of the company's outstanding Class B Common Stock. For the duration of the Standstill Period, the ValueAct Group has agreed, among other things, that it will not: (i) in any way participate in any "solicitation" of proxies; (ii) in any way participate in any group with any persons who are not ValueAct affiliates with respect to the company's securities; (iii) acquire any beneficial or other ownership interest of (A) 7% or more of the company's Class B Common Stock outstanding at such time or (B) 7% or more of the company's Class A Common Stock outstanding at such time; (iv) knowingly sell the securities of the company to any person or entity that would own more than 4.9% of the outstanding shares of the Company's Class B Common Stock or 4.9% of the outstanding shares of the company's Class A Common Stock following such transaction; (v) effect or seek to effect any tender or exchange offer, merger, consolidation, acquisition, scheme, arrangement, business combination, recapitalization, reorganization, sale or acquisition of material assets, liquidation, dissolution or other extraordinary transaction involving the Company, or frustrate or seek to frustrate any extraordinary transaction proposed or endorsed by the company; (vi) engage in any short sale or similar derivative transaction related to the market price or value of the company's securities.
09:31 EDTFOXAValueAct agrees to 7% equity cap in standstill with 21st Century Fox
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08:38 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox, ValueAct Capital enter into agreement regarding ownership
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08:37 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox nominates ValueAct CEO Jeffrey Ubben for election to board
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September 28, 2015
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 EDTTWX, FOXA, CMCSA'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.
September 25, 2015
13:17 EDTTWX, FOXA, CMCSAFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
10:48 EDTTWX, CMCSA, FOXAMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
September 24, 2015
20:04 EDTFOXA, CMCSAFacebook virtual reality initiative picks up speed with $99 Samsung device
Thursday's Oculus Connect 2 event saw numerous announcements from Facebook (FB) virtual reality subsidiary Oculus VR, including content deals with major media players as well as a $99 VR headset developed in conjunction with Samsung (SSNLF). CONTENT OFFERINGS: The virtual reality firm will be partnering with Fox (FOX, FOXA) and Lionsgate (LGF) to bring more than 100 films to the Oculus Store at launch. Additionally, Netflix (NFLX), Amazon's (AMZN), TiVo (TIVO), and Hulu -- the joint venture of Disney (DIS), Fox, and Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) NBCUniversal -- will be launching apps for the company's virtual reality products, bringing web TV and streaming content to early adopters of the new technology. MAINSTREAM DEVICE: Samsung joined with Oculus to reveal a new $99 "Gear VR" headset on Thursday. Standing in contrast to Oculus' own pricier devices, the Samsung headset will rely on the company's Galaxy line of smartphones to power its virtual reality experiences. Note that a major point of contention regarding the "blockbuster" potential -- or lack thereof -- of VR technology is whether consumers will be willing to pay upwards of $399 for the Oculus gadgets. Samsung's Gear VR tends more towards what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has called "medium immersion" devices, potentially allaying investor concern over adoption rates with its more attractive point of entry. PRICE ACTION: Facebook shares closed higher by 0.5% and continued to rise in after-hours trading, up another 0.2%.
13:44 EDTFOXA, CMCSAOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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September 22, 2015
10:07 EDTTWX, CMCSA, FOXAMedia companies adjust Netflix strategy ahead of OTT growth, Bloomberg says
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September 21, 2015
13:31 EDTTWXAfter Emmys, analyst sees 'growing threat' to established content creators
Netflix (NFLX), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA) shares fell in midday trading following last night's Emmy Awards, while Amazon (AMZN) climbed. An analyst called the combined nominations for Netflix and Amazon a an indication that emerging over-the-top streaming services have become a "growing threat to the establishment." WHAT'S NEW: HBO, a Time Warner network, dominated the 67th Annual Emmy Awards, walking away with 43 awards overall, including 29 Creative Emmys, while Netflix won four awards, as did Viacom's Comedy Central. Amazon, meanwhile, achieved its first-ever Emmy wins with five total awards. Following HBO's performance at the annual awards show, Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings tweeted: "Congrats @HBO on supporting so much Emmy-winning talent. Your leadership of great television is inspiring." Netflix was nominated for 34 awards, while Amazon was nominated for 12. STREET RESEARCH: Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali said that while Netflix's four Emmys this year was "somewhat disappointing" considering last year's seven, the service's performance at the awards show was "notable," particularly since the company has long been underestimated by bigger and more established content creators. Squali said that the combined 46 nominations for both Netflix and Amazon is a "clear indication" that emerging over-the-top streaming services have become a "growing threat to the establishment" and that it's "a matter of time" before such services begin to rival and possibly exceed their "linear cousins." The analyst sees Netflix gaining strong momentum heading into the second half of fiscal 2015 and 2016 and reiterated a Buy rating on the company's stock with a $125 price target. PRICE ACTION: Netflix shares are down 1.95% to $100.62 in afternoon trading. Meanwhile, Time Warner is down 0.29% to $69.44, Viacom is down 2.42% to $45.58, and Amazon is up 0.94% to $545.32.
12:55 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session with a triple digit gain for the Dow and remained in a fairly narrow range for most of the morning. However, once the European markets closed, the U.S. averages weakened and are now struggling to remain in positive ground. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., existing home sales fell 4.8% to a 5.31M rate in August, versus expectations for them to be down 1.6% to a rate of 5.5M. Over the weekend, three Federal Reserve officials, namely an Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. In Europe, Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party gained 35.5% of the vote in the Greek election. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Volkswagen (VLKAY) trading in Germany plunged and the ADRs trading in New York dropped more than 17.5% after the EPA and California Air Resources Board detected manipulations that violate American environmental standards while testing Volkswagen diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters... Time Warner's (TWX) HBO dominated the Emmy awards ceremony with 43 awards, including the 29 Creative Emmys it won last week. Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN) earned its first-ever Emmy wins and Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings, whose company won four awards, tweeted out: "Congrats @HBO on supporting so much Emmy-winning talent. Your leadership of great television is inspiring." MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Atmel (ATML), which jumped 12% after agreeing to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at approximately $4.6B, or the equivalent of $10.42 per Atmel share. Among the noteworthy losers was Mallinckrodt (MNK), which dropped 9% following the announcement that ANI Pharmaceuticals (ANIP) plans to acquire two new drug applications from Merck (MRK) that could compete with Acthar, Mallinckrodt's largest product. Also lower was uniQure (QURE), which fell 15% after announcing topline results of one-year follow-up data from a Phase I/II clinical trial in four Sanfilippo B syndrome patients. Both stocks were among the many big pharma and biotech decliners after Hillary Clinton, on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report detailing Turing Pharmaceuticals' price hike to $750 from $13.50 per pill of a drug that treats a life-threatening parasitic infection, vowed to lay out a plan tomorrow to take on what she calls "price gouging" of specialty drugs. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 38.57, or 0.24%, to 16,423.15, the Nasdaq was down 21.13, or 0.44%, to 4,806.10, and the S&P 500 was up 1.85, or 0.09%, to 1,959.88.
09:14 EDTTWXNetflix CEO congratulates HBO on Emmy dominance
Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings tweeted out: "Congrats @HBO on supporting so much Emmy-winning talent. Your leadership of great television is inspiring." Time Warner's (TWX) HBO dominated the Emmy awards ceremony with 43 awards over all, including 29 Creative Emmys last week. Viacom's (VIA) Comedy Central, with four wins, was the network with the second-highest number of awards last night. Meanwhile, Hastings' won Netflix won four awards and Amazon (AMZN) earned its first-ever Emmy wins with two awards for its series "Transparent." Reference Link
September 20, 2015
19:48 EDTTWX, FOXA, CMCSA'Maze Runner' sequel outpaces 'Black Mass'
Young-adult science fiction film "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" raced ahead of Johnny Depp-led crime biopic "Black Mass" in their respective weekend debuts. WEEKEND LEADER: Falling somewhat short of estimated sales in the range of $34M-$36M, Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20. The sci-fi action thriller's $61M budget nearly doubles that of the first "Maze Runner" film, building on a trend of dystopic young-adult films popularized by Lionsgate's (LGF) "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: "Black Mass" from Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros. took in $23.4M for its domestic open. The Boston-based crime film garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike, with particular praise given to Johnny Depp in the role of mobster Whitey Bulger. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's horror thriller "The Visit" earned $11.4M in its second week in theaters, while Sony (SNE) thriller "The Perfect Guy" fell to fourth place with $9.7M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Universal's disaster film "Everest" grossed $7.6M despite opening in just 545 theaters ahead of its wider release.
16:37 EDTTWXWarner Bros., China Media Capital form joint venture to develop Chinese films
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