|January 18, 2013|
|08:40 EDT||NWSA, LGF, CMCSA||Universal's low-budget 'Mama' seen winning weekend box office, LAT says|
Universal Pictures' (CMCSA) low-budget horror film "Mama" is expected to beat higher budget debuts from Lionsgate's (LGF) "The Last Stand" and Twentieth Century Fox' (NWSA) "Broken City" at the box office over the long Martin Luther King Day weekend, according to The Los Angeles Times, citing people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Reference Link
News For CMCSA;LGF;NWSA From The Last 14 Days
|October 7, 2015|
|08:02 EDT||CMCSA||Citi, NBC's TODAY announce multi-year sponsorship|
Citi (C) and NBC's (CMCSA) TODAY announced the Citi Concert Series on TODAY, to provide year-round opportunities for millions of Citi customers, TODAY viewers and fans to enjoy live performances by their favorite artists. This new multi-year sponsorship brings together Citi's and TODAY's decades of experience in live entertainment working with thousands of chart-topping artists.
|05:58 EDT||CMCSA||Hulu renews, expands programming deal with Viacom, Deadline Hollywood says|
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|October 6, 2015|
|05:51 EDT||LGF||Lionsgate, Starz merger would benefit both companies, says B. Riley|
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|October 5, 2015|
|17:29 EDT||LGF||Lionsgate, Starz in advanced merger discussions, LA Times says|
Mini-major studio Lionsgate (LGF) is in advanced talks to merge with movie channel Starz (STRZA), according to the Los Angeles Times, citing four people with knowledge of the matter. Reference Link
|08:02 EDT||LGF||Lionsgate and Skydance Media form global television distribution agreement|
Lionsgate announced that the two companies have formed a global television distribution pact. The launch of newly-created label Skydance International, which will feature Skydance Media's current and emerging premium television properties around the world following their initial U.S. broadcast, augments Lionsgate's worldwide distribution pipeline and permits the two companies to tap opportunities across the global television marketplace.
|October 4, 2015|
|17:39 EDT||LGF||'The Martian' soars in box office debut|
Science fiction film "The Martian" rocketed to the top of the box office amid widespread critical acclaim. WEEKEND LEADER: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian" grossed $55M in its domestic open for the weekend of October 4, beating expectations for $40M-$50M and nearly setting a record for October debuts. Director Ridley Scott's return to science fiction after 1979's "Alien" and the more recent "Prometheus" was applauded by critics and audiences alike, with "Martian" garnering a 94% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Sony's (SNE) "Hotel Transylvania 2" stepped down to second place with $33M after last weekend's strong open, while Lionsgate's (LGF) drug cartel thriller "Sicario" earned $12.1M after expanding nationwide, outpacing expectations for $8M-$10M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" and Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" took in a respective $11.6M and $7.7M.
|October 2, 2015|
|12:43 EDT||LGF||Fly Watch: 'The Martian' expected to win weekend box office |
Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian," based on the best selling science fiction novel by Andy Weir and starring Matt Damon, is expected to win this weekend's box office with an opening of between $40M-$50M. Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which set a record last weekend for a September opening with a $48.5M debut, is estimated to gross in the range of $29M-$31.5M in its second week. Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario," which opened two weeks ago in six theaters and expanded to 59 theaters last week, is expected to take in $8M-$10M in its first weekend expanding nationwide, now playing in about 2,500 theaters. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to bring in $8.5M-$8.9M in its second weekend. Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" is expected to earn an estimated $7.8M in its third weekend of release. Also new in theaters is Sony subsidiary TriStar's "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which opened Wednesday exclusively on 448 IMAX (IMAX) and large-format screens, and is expected to earn $3M through the weekend.
|October 1, 2015|
|17:22 EDT||LGF||Lionsgate wins rights to 'The Kingkiller Chronicle', Hollywood Reporter says|
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|September 30, 2015|
|17:53 EDT||CMCSA||NBCUniversal reaches advertising deal with YouTube, WSJ says|
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|17:42 EDT||NWSA||News Corp sells Amplify digital education businesses, terms not disclosed|
News Corp (NWS, NWSA) announced that it has sold its Amplify Insight and Learning businesses to a management team supported by a group of private investors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As a result of the sale, beginning in First Quarter of Fiscal 2016, News Corp will reflect the results of its Digital Education segment as discontinued operations.
|13:33 EDT||CMCSA||FCC 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
|09:07 EDT||LGF||Lionsgate signs deal with Buena Vista International for distribution in Russia |
Lionsgate has forged an output deal with international theatrical distributors Buena Vista International for distribution of Lionsgate titles in Russia and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agreement will kick off with Lionsgate's revenge thriller Sicario this fall.
|September 29, 2015|
|11:09 EDT||CMCSA||GoPro 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, Watchable.com, and X1. Launching in beta, all Watchable content is free, the company stated.
|11:05 EDT||CMCSA||Comcast launches video platform Watchable, Business Insider reports|
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|September 28, 2015|
|06:08 EDT||CMCSA||Comcast 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 EDT||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 EDT||LGF, CMCSA||Fly 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 EDT||CMCSA||Morgan 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 EDT||LGF, CMCSA||Facebook 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) Twitch.tv, 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 EDT||CMCSA||Oculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet|
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