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April 10, 2014
07:21 EDTCMCSA, DIS, FOXA, CMCSK, FOXHulu's head of original programming development to leave company, AdWeek says
Charlotte Koh, Huluís head of original programming development, is leaving the company, AdWeek reports. Further details of the departure are not known. Hulu is owned by a consortium of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX), Disney (DIS) and NBC Universal, a division of Comcast (CMCSA). Reference Link
News For DIS;FOX;FOXA;CMCSA;CMCSK From The Last 14 Days
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October 2, 2015
12:43 EDTFOX, FOXAFly 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
10:37 EDTDISBofA/Merrill's Top 10 US Ideas for Q4 2015
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September 30, 2015
17:53 EDTCMCSK, CMCSANBCUniversal reaches advertising deal with YouTube, WSJ says
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13:33 EDTCMCSK, 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
September 29, 2015
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.
11:09 EDTCMCSK, CMCSAGoPro 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 EDTFOX, FOXA21st 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 EDTFOX, FOXA21st Century Fox, ValueAct Capital enter into agreement regarding ownership
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08:37 EDTFOX, FOXA21st Century Fox nominates ValueAct CEO Jeffrey Ubben for election to board
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07:02 EDTFOXScientific Games and 21st Century Fox to launch Simpsons slot machine
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September 28, 2015
10:05 EDTFOXHigh option volume stocks
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09:36 EDTDIS Active equity options trading on open
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06:08 EDTCMCSA, CMCSKComcast 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 EDTFOX, CMCSK, 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 EDTFOX, FOXA, CMCSA, CMCSKFly 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 EDTCMCSK, CMCSA, FOX, 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 EDTCMCSA, DIS, FOXA, CMCSK, FOXFacebook 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 EDTCMCSA, DIS, CMCSK, FOX, FOXAOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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