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March 22, 2013
07:28 EDTDIS, VIAB, VZ, CVC, CMCSA, TWCPay TV providers have to keep paying, WSJ reports
Several major pay-TV providers have publicly protested programming costs that are rising faster than the companies can raise their own prices. But as long as their content is considered must-have, distributors have little choice but to pay what networks ask, reports the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street." Maybe the only things change is if enough customers decide they simply can't afford to pay for TV anymore. Reference Link
News For TWC;CVC;VIAB;CMCSA;VZ;DIS From The Last 14 Days
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September 30, 2015
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 EDTCVC, VIABCablevision, 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.
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.
10:48 EDTCMCSA, VIABMorgan 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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