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April 8, 2014
14:22 EDTBX, CMCSA, DTVWeather Channel near deal to return to DirecTV, WSJ says
DirecTV (DTV) is near a deal to return the Weather Channel to its lineup, said The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, one of whom said DirecTV will agree to a small increase in the fees it pays though less than the bump the Weather Channel was seeking. The Weather Channel is owned as a joint venture between Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal, Blackstone (BX) and Bain Capital. Reference Link
News For DTV;CMCSA;BX From The Last 14 Days
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October 7, 2015
15:14 EDTCMCSAAmazon considering possible online service for live TV, Bloomberg says
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15:00 EDTCMCSAAmazon exploring potential online TV service, Bloomberg says
Amazon (AMZN) is said to have reached out to CBS (CBS) and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal about online TV, according to Bloomberg.
14:01 EDTBXBlackstone in $39M settlement pact with SEC over fee disclosure
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that three private equity fund advisers within The Blackstone Group have agreed to pay nearly $39M to settle charges that they failed to fully inform investors about benefits that the advisers obtained from accelerated monitoring fees and discounts on legal fees. Nearly $29M of the settlement will be distributed to affected fund investors. Reference Link
08:02 EDTCMCSACiti, 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.
06:10 EDTBXBlackstone says 'bullish' on New York and Miami, The Independent reports
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05:58 EDTCMCSAHulu renews, expands programming deal with Viacom, Deadline Hollywood says
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October 6, 2015
07:24 EDTBXbloomberg to hold a summit
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October 2, 2015
07:15 EDTBXBlackstone's Gray: Bearish market to lead to REIT takeovers, Bloomberg says
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October 1, 2015
19:15 EDTBXJPMorgan preparing $18B bid for U.K. mortgage pool, Bloomberg says
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13:37 EDTBXBerry Plastics completes purchase of AVINTIV for $2.45B
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08:03 EDTBXBlackstone completes spin-off of PJT Partners
Blackstone (BX) and PJT Partners (PJT) announced the successful completion of the previously announced spin-off of Blackstone's financial and strategic advisory services, restructuring and reorganization advisory services and Park Hill Group businesses, which have been combined with PJT Capital LP, a global independent financial advisory firm founded by Paul J. Taubman, to form an independent, publicly traded company called PJT Partners. Blackstone common unitholders of record as of the close of business on September 22, 2015 received one share of Class A common stock of PJT Partners for every 40 common units of Blackstone held on the record date. The spin-off has been structured to be tax-free to Blackstone's common unitholders for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, except to the extent of any gain or loss recognized by a common unitholder as a result of any cash received in lieu of fractional shares. Common unitholders are urged to consult their tax advisors with respect to U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences of the spin-off.
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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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 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.
September 25, 2015
13:17 EDTCMCSAFly 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.
10:58 EDTBXBlackstone management to meet with Jefferies
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10:48 EDTCMCSAMorgan 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.
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