NBC’s 2020 streaming service won’t be very compelling for cord cutters — and that’s by design

The proof is in the details of NBC’s streaming service, coming next spring. And you’ll get a few originals for the streaming service, the quality of which is to be determined. NBC expects its revenue from cord cutters on its streaming service to be “completely immaterial,” according to a person familiar with the matter. Customers who cancel Comcast’s TV service for, say, YouTube TV will still get NBC’s streaming service for free. But at launch next year, the NBC streaming service won’t be a comp


The proof is in the details of NBC’s streaming service, coming next spring. And you’ll get a few originals for the streaming service, the quality of which is to be determined. NBC expects its revenue from cord cutters on its streaming service to be “completely immaterial,” according to a person familiar with the matter. Customers who cancel Comcast’s TV service for, say, YouTube TV will still get NBC’s streaming service for free. But at launch next year, the NBC streaming service won’t be a comp
NBC’s 2020 streaming service won’t be very compelling for cord cutters — and that’s by design Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wont, cord, disney, thats, live, nbcs, service, hulu, tv, 2020, compelling, nbc, paytv, streaming, design, customers, cutters


NBC's 2020 streaming service won't be very compelling for cord cutters — and that's by design

The streaming wars — the race to launch subscription video products — has been driven by an underlying concept: The traditional pay-TV bundle is dying as millions of U.S. households cut the cord each year and shift their video consumption to services like Netflix.

This has been a hard pill to swallow for legacy media companies, which derive billions of dollars from traditional pay TV. Yet, many of those media companies are coming to grips with reality and beginning to disrupt their own business models, headlined by Disney’s $6.99 Disney+ offering for this year.

That’s not the case for Comcast’s NBCUniversal (the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com).

NBC doesn’t want you to cut the cord. Maybe this isn’t too surprising since its owner is the largest U.S. cable company. But it’s unusual because it directly contradicts the disruption narrative. Instead of submissively accepting that the pay-TV world is ending, NBC is taking a stand and fighting back.

The proof is in the details of NBC’s streaming service, coming next spring.

NBC’s ad-supported streaming service will be free to all customers who pay for traditional live television — whether through Comcast or any other provider, including virtual pay-TV bundles like Google’s YouTube TV or AT&T’s DirecTV Now, assuming partnership deals are struck, according to people familiar with the matter.

For those who have cut the cord, it will probably be about $10, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions on price are still ongoing.

CNBC has also learned that the free version of service for pay-TV subscribers will include live linear channels, same-season episodes and past-season episodes. Customers will be able to watch NBC programming anywhere, on any device, independent of their cable provider’s footprint. NBC will have nonexclusive access to all of the programming it sells to Hulu for the streaming service, as part of the deal with Disney the two companies announced on Tuesday.

But the $10 version for cord cutters won’t include live linear channels and won’t include same-season shows. You’ll get a bunch of reruns, most of which will also be available on Hulu if you already subscribe to that service. And you’ll get a few originals for the streaming service, the quality of which is to be determined.

So what are you getting for your $10 a month? Not much at first. And that’s the point.

NBC expects its revenue from cord cutters on its streaming service to be “completely immaterial,” according to a person familiar with the matter. The company is actively trying to make its cord-cutting streaming service inferior to its pay-TV version. The service is primarily meant as a nice additional benefit for customers who already pay for cable or satellite TV.

NBC’s decision isn’t totally motivated by supporting Comcast’s cable TV business. Now that Disney has full operational control of Hulu, Disney can bundle Hulu (or Hulu with Live TV) with Disney+ to make a compelling streaming offering that should further accelerate cord cutting. NBC is OK with this. Customers who cancel Comcast’s TV service for, say, YouTube TV will still get NBC’s streaming service for free.

NBC will certainly monitor the take rate of its streaming service among non pay-TV subscribers if cord cutting dramatically accelerates. If necessary, it can move content on and off its service thanks to Tuesday’s deal with Hulu, as well as the impending expiration of streaming-rights deals for popular shows it owns, such as “The Office.” And three years from now, when its content deal with Hulu ends, there’s an easy path for NBC to make its streaming service more compelling by making all its content exclusive to it.

But at launch next year, the NBC streaming service won’t be a compelling addition for cord cutters. And that’s the point.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

WATCH: Comcast will sell its Hulu stake to Disney, giving Disney full control


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wont, cord, disney, thats, live, nbcs, service, hulu, tv, 2020, compelling, nbc, paytv, streaming, design, customers, cutters


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Here’s why Altice USA just dropped $200 million on streaming video start-up Cheddar

Cable and internet provider Altice USA has agreed to buy news streaming start-up Cheddar for $200 million, snapping up a growing video site with a focus on ad revenue. Cheddar founder and Chief Executive Jon Steinberg will stay on to lead Altice News, which includes Cheddar, News 12 and i24NEWS, an Israel-based 24-hour international news network. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told CNBC that Steinberg should be able to “turbocharge” Altice’s news offerings with a larger balance sheet at his disposal


Cable and internet provider Altice USA has agreed to buy news streaming start-up Cheddar for $200 million, snapping up a growing video site with a focus on ad revenue. Cheddar founder and Chief Executive Jon Steinberg will stay on to lead Altice News, which includes Cheddar, News 12 and i24NEWS, an Israel-based 24-hour international news network. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told CNBC that Steinberg should be able to “turbocharge” Altice’s news offerings with a larger balance sheet at his disposal
Here’s why Altice USA just dropped $200 million on streaming video start-up Cheddar Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, altice, 200, streaming, steinberg, million, heres, dropped, startup, includes, goei, video, usa, jon, media, cheddar, general, business


Here's why Altice USA just dropped $200 million on streaming video start-up Cheddar

Cable and internet provider Altice USA has agreed to buy news streaming start-up Cheddar for $200 million, snapping up a growing video site with a focus on ad revenue.

Cheddar founder and Chief Executive Jon Steinberg will stay on to lead Altice News, which includes Cheddar, News 12 and i24NEWS, an Israel-based 24-hour international news network. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told CNBC that Steinberg should be able to “turbocharge” Altice’s news offerings with a larger balance sheet at his disposal, and help Altice bolster its advertising business.

“Cheddar gives us a full suite of news, business and general news to advertise across multiple different markets,” Goei said. “But beyond the product, it’s about bringing on board a management team led by Jon Steinberg that knows how to create good news content and get distributed as broadly as possible.”

Steinberg started Cheddar in 2016 as a live-streaming business channel geared to a millennial audience, and has since expanded into general news. Goei said that Steinberg will continue moving the company into new areas. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the acquisition.

The deal comes as other digital media companies struggle to sustain their growth with Google and Facebook gobbling up the majority of online ad dollars. BuzzFeed and Vice Media recently announced dramatic layoffs, as did Verizon Media Group, which includes HuffPo, Yahoo and TechCrunch.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, altice, 200, streaming, steinberg, million, heres, dropped, startup, includes, goei, video, usa, jon, media, cheddar, general, business


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Legal gambling from your phone could be a $150 billion industry, but making it happen will be tough

I logged on to FanDuel, where I’d placed my bet, and discovered the app was making me an offer. Americans gamble more than $150 billion illegally on sports in a year, according to estimates from the American Gaming Association. For March, FanDuel took in $13.3 million in online sports bets for New Jersey, taking more than 50 percent of the New Jersey market. “Our original estimates for the New Jersey market have been very, very, very materially exceeded,” said FanDuel Chief Revenue Officer Mike


I logged on to FanDuel, where I’d placed my bet, and discovered the app was making me an offer. Americans gamble more than $150 billion illegally on sports in a year, according to estimates from the American Gaming Association. For March, FanDuel took in $13.3 million in online sports bets for New Jersey, taking more than 50 percent of the New Jersey market. “Our original estimates for the New Jersey market have been very, very, very materially exceeded,” said FanDuel Chief Revenue Officer Mike
Legal gambling from your phone could be a $150 billion industry, but making it happen will be tough Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-27  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, legal, happen, market, fanduel, 150, phone, billion, bets, tough, gambling, states, state, industry, jersey, draftkings, betting, making, bet


Legal gambling from your phone could be a $150 billion industry, but making it happen will be tough

Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Andrew Redington | Getty Images

I was rooting for Tiger Woods to win the Masters this month. And I wanted to watch him attack Augusta National’s last nine holes without mixed allegiances. There was just one problem. I’d placed a bet on Francisco Molinari to win, with 22-to-1 odds. I live in New Jersey, so I’d been able to place the bet right from my mobile phone. Since New Jersey legalized sports betting last year, gamblers have placed more than 34 million bets on the DraftKings and FanDuel platforms. The two companies, competing against about a dozen rivals, have 83% market share in New Jersey. To put that in perspective, New Jersey’s entire population is less than 9 million. Any state can legalize sports betting after a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year. So far, New Jersey is the only state where FanDuel and DraftKings are up and running, although laws allowing mobile sports betting have been passed in seven other states. Fortunately, there was a way I could root for Tiger and exit my Molinari bet early. I logged on to FanDuel, where I’d placed my bet, and discovered the app was making me an offer. I could cash out on Molinari, before the tournament ended. He was -13 after nine holes, three strokes ahead of Tiger Woods and others, who were tied for second place. Perfect. I would forgo my option to win $220 from my $10 bet (I’m not exactly a high-stakes gambler) and walk away with $147. I’d make a significant profit and watch the back nine unencumbered by split emotions. But I was in New York that Sunday, just across the New Jersey border. Mobile gaming applications know where you are and won’t let you bet outside the state. My only option was to call someone to log in to my account with my private password and make the bet. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t). I watched Molinari blow his lead and my potential profit evaporate. Such is the state of mobile sports betting — both transformative and disorderly. The theoretical market for DraftKings and FanDuel is huge. Americans gamble more than $150 billion illegally on sports in a year, according to estimates from the American Gaming Association. About another $5 billion comes in legally. For March, FanDuel took in $13.3 million in online sports bets for New Jersey, taking more than 50 percent of the New Jersey market. DraftKings generated $7.3 million in internet sports wagering revenue. “Our original estimates for the New Jersey market have been very, very, very materially exceeded,” said FanDuel Chief Revenue Officer Mike Raffensperger. “Gambling is still dominated by an illegal grey-and-black market, whether with local bookies or offshore operators, that have been in place for a very long time. In a regulated, consumer-protected business, we’re very optimistic that we can actively displace that as more responsible actors.”

FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack Source: FanDuel

But while mobile sports gaming has tantalizingly large market projections, getting from today — where I can’t cash out a bet because I’m in the wrong location — to a seamless experience where millions of Americans can participate, will be a long and arduous slog. Tech giants like Uber and Facebook have used a “move fast and break things ” mantra to gain vast scale quickly. Gambling companies, meanwhile, must navigate a grab bag of regulations, tax rates and legislation that will limit the addressable market for years to come. “If we’re looking at the U.S. over the next five years, if you take New Jersey as the template and put that over every other state, it would be a huge mistake,” said Richard Carter, CEO of SBTech. His company has agreed to provide mobile betting technology in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Mississippi for Churchill Downs, a $3.8 billion company that owns racetracks and casinos throughout the U.S., as well as casino company Golden Nugget. “There is no doubt both FanDuel and DraftKings will have large market share,” Carter said. “But different states will have different market leaders. You need market access. Some states will be lottery-only. Some states will be limited to tribal gaming. Some states won’t allow FanDuel and DraftKings to use their brands. They’ll have to use the casino brand. There are lots of nuances. You have to take each state as it comes.”

The promise of sports betting

Until last year, legal sports betting in the U.S. was primarily limited to Nevada, which voted to allow bookmaking in 1949. The business is fairly straightforward. The house, or bookmaker, sets a line that’s meant to convince an equal number of bettors to take each side of a wager. Then the sportsbook takes a cut of each wager, or “vig” — typically a mid-single-digit percentage — for playing market maker. The goal is to break even on the actual bets and profit on the vig. Sometimes the house gets its initial spread wrong and has to adjust as a flood of bets comes in on one side or the other. If the bookmaker doesn’t adjust in time, it can end up taking big losses or winning more than expected. This happened at The Masters, when sportsbooks lost millions on Woods’ victory, who was originally an 18-to-1 shot to win his first major since 2008. The popularity of sports betting could offset the low margins. Less than a year after legalization, internet sports betting in the first quarter of 2019 amounted to $862 million in New Jersey, compared with about $216 million for terrestrial casinos. With combined market share of 83%, that suggests FanDuel and DraftKings cleared more than $700 million worth of bets. Many sources in the industry say that the companies have a take of about 5% of each bet, which puts the two companies at $35 million in sports gambling revenue, just in the first quarter. And that’s just in one state.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was instrumental in legalizing sports gambling in New Jersey. Getty Images

For years, lawmakers stopped sports betting from spreading too wide. In particular, a 1992 law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act effectively prevented legalization in all but four states. A legal challenge led by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie led to the Supreme Court striking down the PASPA as unconstitutional in 2018. Since then Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have all legalized sports betting. A total of fifteen states could legalize by the end of the year and 30 by next year, according to Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network, a research and analytics company dedicated to sports gambling. But legalization is only step one for any company interested in getting a mobile sportsbook up and running.

‘A Wild West scenario’

In each state, online betting companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings have to apply for supplier licenses, an arduous process that requires reams of paperwork about the financial histories of key employees and anyone who owns more than 5% of the company. Each state runs its own licensing process, meaning the same type of background checks are conducted over and over again, taking years to complete. (Companies can get temporary waivers to operate while regulators conduct their due diligence). Once licensed as a supplier, online providers must cut deals with existing land-based casinos for so-called “skins,” giving them the right to operate in each state. DraftKings announced a deal with Caesars in February to give it market access in 12 states outside New Jersey. Caesars received DraftKings equity for the skins access. FanDuel struck a similar agreement with Boyd Gaming last year. In other cases, online providers strike revenue-sharing deals with existing casinos for skins. Thus far, no states have a system in place where mobile operators can apply for a direct license and avoid the revenue or equity share, although Massachusetts is contemplating it.

FanDuel betting booths Source: FanDuel

New Jersey allows each existing casino to give out three skins to individually branded websites. So, while FanDuel and DraftKings dominate the market today, they face competition from more than a dozen online sportsbooks, including from casinos Caesars, Golden Nugget, MGM and international providers such as William Hill, Bet365, Kindred Group and The Stars Group. Each state has different rules about how many skins it is willing to give out. Pennsylvania laws allow just one skin per casino, making access more competitive and therefore expensive for online companies. Pennsylvania plans to legalize online sports betting to existing casinos within weeks. But Pennsylvania plans to tax sports betting at a whopping 36% rate. That’s in addition to a $10 million licensing fee for sportsbook operators, making the venture far less profitable than in New Jersey, where the tax rate for land-based betting is just 8.5% and online betting is 13%. Making things more complicated, some states such as Delaware don’t have any existing casinos. In that state, the lottery runs legalized sports betting, meaning DraftKings and FanDuel may be shut out completely. Other states, such as Nevada, are protective of land-based resort casinos because of their job creation and tax revenues. Anyone interested in mobile betting must go to a physical casino to sign up before they can play — far different from the “sign up in minutes from my couch” New Jersey experience. Nevada hasn’t given DraftKings and FanDuel supplier licenses to compete with incumbent operators.

A man makes his bets at the FANDUEL sportsbook during the Super Bowl LIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey, February 3, 2019 Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

In addition, tribal gaming dominates the casino industry in several U.S. states, including California, Florida and New York. It’s still unclear exactly how Native American-owned casinos will play into the sports betting landscape. The Department of Justice’s interpretation of the Federal Wire Act could also affect how interstate sports betting is legalized as more states pass their own individual laws around gambling. Will a mobile operator need a state license in order to cash out a bet across state lines, or only to place a bet? Those types of questions are still largely unanswered. “It’s a bit of a Wild West scenario right now,” said Keane. “The interesting thing about the United States is it’s basically 50 different countries. If you’re in Europe, it’s a very different proposition than figuring out even the East Coast of the U.S. The legislators have different goals and different processes. New Jersey has been the most forward thinking and thoughtful about being a mobile-first state. Many of the other states have been in a protectionist stance. Mobile has won and will continue to win. All of these operators need to get wise to that.” DraftKings is optimistic that the New Jersey model will spread to the rest of the country. “It’s going to take some time for a national roll-out, but as legislators start looking at what New Jersey did to create a tax stream and remove the illegal market, legislators want to move faster,” said Paul Liberman, co-founder and chief operating officer at DraftKings. “New Jersey has done a great job of developing a regulatory framework that works for both businesses and the state. We believe over the next few years we’ll get a dozen or more states to adopt it.”

How DraftKings and FanDuel vaulted ahead

FanDuel and DraftKings are both privately held, venture-backed companies. FanDuel was founded in 2009 and has raised more than $400 million. Last May, U.K bookmaking business Paddy Power Betfair took a majority stake in the company, seeing a big opportunity after the Supreme Court decision. DraftKings came along in 2012 and has raised more than $600 million, according to Crunchbase. Both companies could go public in the next year or two, according to people familiar with the matter. The two start-ups were richly funded in their early days, allowing them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising four years ago to build customer rolls. At the time, the companies were frantically signing up players to compete in Daily Fantasy Sports, a competition where users choose players and use real-life statistics to compete against others for prize money. During one week in November 2015, DraftKings outspent every other company on the planet in weekly TV advertising. It had a valuation of about $1 billion at the time. FanDuel wasn’t far behind, spending more money on TV advertising in 2015 than it had in total 2014 sales, according to estimates by research firm iSpot.tv.

From left, the three co-founders of DraftKings, Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman and Jason Robins, pose together in their Boston office on Apr. 24, 2017. Pat Greenhouse | Boston Globe | Getty Images

The two fantasy sports leaders later tried to merge — one way to end an advertising battle. Both companies were also trying to weather a series of settlements with state regulators over deceptive advertising practices. But regulators blocked the deal in 2017, and they dropped the transaction. In retrospect, now that online sports gambling is becoming legal, the 2015 mad rush for customers looks like a brilliant strategy. DraftKings has 11 million customers on file, which the company can try to convert to sports betters. FanDuel has more than 8.5 million customers. “We’ve already invested quite a substantial amount of money to acquire customers,” said DraftKings co-founder Liberman. “A large part of why FanDuel and DraftKings are doing so well in this market is that established customer base.” “Did we go a little bit overboard? Maybe,” Liberman said. “There were definitely some deals that weren’t the best, but to this day, I think were we to do it again, I think we’d probably do it similarly.” That same type of ad blitz isn’t likely to repeat itself, said FanDuel’s Raffensperger. His company has already shifted away from so-called “direct response” marketing, which attempts to get customers to sign up for a product immediately, and more toward advertising that builds a brand, he said. “I think we are much more interested in making a product,” he said. “We’re definitely taking a different strategic focus.” But even if the company’s ad strategy isn’t direct response, the companies are still trying to convince customers to sign up immediately — by literally giving away money. DraftKings offers $25 in free bets. FanDuel gives you an instant $5 tacked on to your initial deposit. Australian company PointsBet offers a $50 bonus. Most of the major companies also offer “risk-free” bets for signing up, where the sportsbook will refund initial bets that end up losing. At any given time, a sportsbook may offer five or more promotions, including betting on non-game events such as the NFL Draft, which frequently change day to day or week to week.

Innovation required

Eventually, traditional sports betting will be a sucker’s game, predicted Paul Martino, a former FanDuel board member and venture capitalist at Bullpen Capital. High customer acquisition costs, between giving away free money for betting and advertising, will be a huge barrier to entry. FanDuel’s Raffensperger said it took the company about a year to earn back a customer’s acquisition cost with DFS. Already, mobile products offer a slew of so-called prop bets and parlays — stringed-together wagers that increase odds — associated with various sports. For a given baseball game, you can bet on if the number of runs in the first inning will be even or odd, if an individual player will hit a home run, and whether or not there will be a grand slam in the game. Each of these bets comes with associated odds. A $10 bet on if there will be a grand slam might pay $80. A bet on “no” to the same question will win you about 33 cents. In some circumstances, algorithms provide early payouts to bets, such as my Molinari bet, to give sports gambling a stock market feel.

FanDuel mobile app Source: FanDuel

There are also in-game bets, which maximize “engagement,” or ongoing attention to game. That is a word which is music to the ears of professional sports league owners and commissioners such as Adam Silver, who runs the National Basketball Association and has led the charge for legalized gambling for about five years. Fans “want to bet throughout the game, so they’re betting on quarter scores, on particular players, on free throws and everything else, and independent of whatever revenue stream comes from licensing our intellectual property to those gaming companies, it results in enormous additional engagement in fans,” Silver said at a 2017 panel on gambling at Manhattan’s Paley Center for Media. SBTech is working with various leagues to build technology around putting chips in balls, uniforms and equipment to allow for more prop bets, such as whether or not a golf shot will be within six feet of the pin. NFL in-game betting is particularly reliant on the speed of data because strategies change so quickly depending on game situations, which subsequently changes odds, SBTech’s Carter said. You’ll also likely have a Netflix-like recommendation engine that pushes your favorite bets on favorite sports, Carter said. This technology actually already exists, albeit in a somewhat primitive form, he said.

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-27  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, legal, happen, market, fanduel, 150, phone, billion, bets, tough, gambling, states, state, industry, jersey, draftkings, betting, making, bet


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Comcast is in talks to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney

Disney and Comcast are holding talks about working out a deal for Comcast’s 30% stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Hulu last week bought back a 9.5% stake in itself from Time-Warner owner AT&T, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion. That 9.5% stake will be split between Disney and Comcast, unless Disney consolidates the entire company. But just as Comcast came off the sidelines, 21st Century Fox agreed to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney. Instead of being an equal owner


Disney and Comcast are holding talks about working out a deal for Comcast’s 30% stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Hulu last week bought back a 9.5% stake in itself from Time-Warner owner AT&T, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion. That 9.5% stake will be split between Disney and Comcast, unless Disney consolidates the entire company. But just as Comcast came off the sidelines, 21st Century Fox agreed to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney. Instead of being an equal owner
Comcast is in talks to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-25  Authors: alex sherman, david a grogan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sell, stake, companys, streaming, owner, 30, hulu, deal, talks, comcast, disney, nbc


Comcast is in talks to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney

Comcast has had a frustrating run as a partial owner of video streaming platform Hulu, but that doesn’t make the decision to sell its minority stake in the company any easier.

Disney and Comcast are holding talks about working out a deal for Comcast’s 30% stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast is now weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later, said these people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. It’s still unclear if a deal will transpire.

The two companies are the last remaining owners of a company that was originally founded as a joint venture between several media giants. Hulu last week bought back a 9.5% stake in itself from Time-Warner owner AT&T, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion. That 9.5% stake will be split between Disney and Comcast, unless Disney consolidates the entire company.

“On Hulu, the relationship with NBC, it’s very much in everybody’s interest to maintain,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Thursday during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “And we have no new news today on it, other than it’s really valuable. And we’re really glad we own a large piece of it.”

For years, Comcast was barred from having a say in Hulu’s direction — part of a consent decree Comcast agreed to when it acquired NBCUniversal in 2011. (NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.)

Seven years later, Comcast’s ownership in Hulu switched from passive to active, when the consent decree expired in 2018. That gave Roberts and NBC CEO Steve Burke some say in the company’s future.

But just as Comcast came off the sidelines, 21st Century Fox agreed to sell its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney. That deal, which closed last month, effectively silenced Comcast once again. Instead of being an equal owner with Fox and Disney, Comcast now owns a minority stake to Disney’s 60%.

“Fifty years from now will we be in Hulu? No, I don’t think we will,” Burke told Variety in January. “But I don’t think we’ll sell in five minutes.”

As of today, NBC provides about 17% of Hulu’s content. NBC has no plans to remove content from Hulu, which will continue to serve as NBC’s vessel for same-season shows even after the launch of the company’s new streaming service in 2020, according to people familiar with the matter. (NBC’s streaming service will showcase the company’s library of TV shows and movies.)

There are compelling reasons for Comcast to hold and to sell. Here’s what Comcast is debating, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-25  Authors: alex sherman, david a grogan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sell, stake, companys, streaming, owner, 30, hulu, deal, talks, comcast, disney, nbc


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Netflix: We’re not worried about Disney or Apple

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn’t worried about Disney+ or Apple TV+. “Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services,” Netflix wrote. That far surpasses what Apple and Disney plan to spend on their streaming services. Netflix is counting on its larger offering to buffer it from competitive streaming services which may fill niches but won’t replace it. Both Apple and Disney “are world class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete,” Netflix wrote.


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn’t worried about Disney+ or Apple TV+. “Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services,” Netflix wrote. That far surpasses what Apple and Disney plan to spend on their streaming services. Netflix is counting on its larger offering to buffer it from competitive streaming services which may fill niches but won’t replace it. Both Apple and Disney “are world class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete,” Netflix wrote.
Netflix: We’re not worried about Disney or Apple Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, linear, content, viewing, netflix, streaming, services, disney, worried, company, spend, apple


Netflix: We're not worried about Disney or Apple

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn’t worried about Disney+ or Apple TV+.

Netflix called out the two new streaming services, both which plan to launch later this year, in its quarterly shareholder letter accompanying its Q1 ’19 earnings report.

“Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services,” Netflix wrote. “We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings.”

Netflix’s premise is based in the belief that consumers will continue to “migrate away from linear viewing, similar to how US cable networks collectively grew for years as viewing shifted from broadcast networks during the 1980s and 1990s.”

The company notes that time spent on Netflix still makes up only about 10% of total TV watching and just 2% of mobile viewing, according to networking equipment company Sandvine.

Netflix’s strategy has been to offer a linear streaming service filled with both original content and licensed shows from other programmers. Netflix may spend up to $15 billion on content this year, according to some analyst estimates.

That far surpasses what Apple and Disney plan to spend on their streaming services. Disney said last week during its investor day that even by 2024, it still plans to spend only $2.5 billion a year on original programming for Disney+.

Netflix is counting on its larger offering to buffer it from competitive streaming services which may fill niches but won’t replace it.

Both Apple and Disney “are world class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete,” Netflix wrote. “The clear beneficiaries will be content creators and consumers who will reap the rewards of many companies vying to provide a great video experience for audiences.”

Netflix added 9.6 million paid customers in the first quarter, giving the company just shy of 150 paid million subscribers.

WATCH: Bob Iger details Disney’s Netflix competitor


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, linear, content, viewing, netflix, streaming, services, disney, worried, company, spend, apple


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Disney+ is the service Apple wants

Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be. That’s Disney+. That’s Disney+.


Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be. That’s Disney+. That’s Disney+.
Disney+ is the service Apple wants Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, service, spend, programming, thats, disney, subscription, tv, content, wants, apple


Disney+ is the service Apple wants

The two presentations couldn’t have been more jarringly different.

Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Notable celebrities took the stage, including Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell.

But the payoff was lacking. There were virtually no clips of actual show footage, leading to somewhat droning monologues from stars and creators.

More curious, there were no details about the service. How much would it cost? How much would Apple spend on original content? Could you bundle it with other Apple subscription products? When would Apple TV+ be available? Nothing. Why even bother with a launch with all of these key details missing?

Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. Celebrities were lacking, but Disney showed actual video of shows and movies, including surefire mega-hits “Frozen 2,” The Lion King remake, and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which will all eventually join the subscription service.

Disney executives methodically checked off all the specifics. The service will be $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually, underpricing Netflix. All programming will be available for offline downloading. Disney will spend $1 billion on original programming for the service by 2020 and more than $2 billion by 2024. Disney plans to bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ for a discount (although no discount pricing was given on this point).

As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be.

Apple wants family-friendly content. That’s Disney+. Apple wants a recurring revenue subscription product to help change part of the growth narrative around the company. That’s Disney+. Apple wants Hollywood’s best to build branded content that fits with Apple’s best-in-class mobile products. That’s Disney+.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, service, spend, programming, thats, disney, subscription, tv, content, wants, apple


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Disney+ is the service Apple wants

Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be. That’s Disney+. That’s Disney+.


Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be. That’s Disney+. That’s Disney+.
Disney+ is the service Apple wants Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, service, spend, programming, thats, disney, subscription, tv, content, wants, apple


Disney+ is the service Apple wants

The two presentations couldn’t have been more jarringly different.

Last month, Apple launched its hotly awaited new TV service, Apple TV+. Notable celebrities took the stage, including Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell.

But the payoff was lacking. There were virtually no clips of actual show footage, leading to somewhat droning monologues from stars and creators.

More curious, there were no details about the service. How much would it cost? How much would Apple spend on original content? Could you bundle it with other Apple subscription products? When would Apple TV+ be available? Nothing. Why even bother with a launch with all of these key details missing?

Then it was Disney’s turn to debut its streaming service, Disney+, last week. Celebrities were lacking, but Disney showed actual video of shows and movies, including surefire mega-hits “Frozen 2,” The Lion King remake, and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which will all eventually join the subscription service.

Disney executives methodically checked off all the specifics. The service will be $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually, underpricing Netflix. All programming will be available for offline downloading. Disney will spend $1 billion on original programming for the service by 2020 and more than $2 billion by 2024. Disney plans to bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ for a discount (although no discount pricing was given on this point).

As the presentation went on, it grew clear that Disney+ is much of what Apple+ wants to be.

Apple wants family-friendly content. That’s Disney+. Apple wants a recurring revenue subscription product to help change part of the growth narrative around the company. That’s Disney+. Apple wants Hollywood’s best to build branded content that fits with Apple’s best-in-class mobile products. That’s Disney+.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: alex sherman, david paul morris, bloomberg, getty images, patrick t fallon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, service, spend, programming, thats, disney, subscription, tv, content, wants, apple


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Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on

Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said. A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company ha


Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said. A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company ha
Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: alex sherman, michael short, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nielsen, sale, company, revenue, drags, buying, interest, firms, interested, review, segment, familiar, process, management, private


Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on

Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter.

Advent International is working with Goldman Sachs Group on a bid, as well as Apollo Global Management, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said.

A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company has always been challenging because of the company’s size. Nielsen has a market capitalization of $9.3 billion and has an additional $8.4 billion in total debt. An acquisition of the entire company would be one of the largest private takeovers in years and well above the typical size of an acquisition for Advent, in particular. Final bids aren’t due for several weeks, two of the people said.

Spokespeople for Advent and Nielsen declined to comment. A spokesman for Apollo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has an 8.4 percent in the company, has pushed Nielsen to find a buyer. Nielsen said in September that it was working with investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Guggenheim Securities, as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an “expanded” review of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company.

Nielsen began holding management presentations for potential buyers in January after naming David Kenny as its new CEO, people familiar with the matter told CNBC in December. While both Blackstone Group and Bain Capital had met with the company and considered an acquisition, neither is still involved in the process, said people familiar with the matter.

“The Nielsen Board of Directors continues to move ahead with its strategic review, which includes a broad range of options, including continuing to operate as a public, independent company; a separation of either Nielsen’s Media or Connect segment; or a sale of the company,” Nielsen said in a statement. “There can be no assurance that this review will result in a specific transaction or other alternative. The company will provide updates on the review when it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required.”

Kenny joined Nielsen after serving as the head of IBM’s Watson AI platform and portfolio business. He was also formerly chairman and CEO of the Weather Company, a portion of which he sold to IBM. His hiring piqued the interest of several private equity firms because of his background with leverage buyouts, according to two people familiar with the matter. Kenny spent a decade at Bain from 1987 to 1997.

Nielsen shares have slumped in recent years as revenue growth has stalled. 2018 revenue fell about 1% from 2017. The company’s “Watch” segment, which includes TV ratings, has been more successful than its “Buy” segment, which provides marketing information about what people buy on a global basis. While Watch revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased 3.5% to $881 million, Buy sales declined 8.4% to $777 million, which Nielsen blamed on decreased spending and demand from large multinational corporations.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: alex sherman, michael short, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nielsen, sale, company, revenue, drags, buying, interest, firms, interested, review, segment, familiar, process, management, private


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Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video

Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. “Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to


Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. “Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to
Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: alex sherman, source, jewel samad, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, video, toe, rights, media, bulldozer, content, traditional, search, business, company, league, prime, amazon


Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video

Amazon’s ability to connect content to commerce won over the Tolkien estate back in 2017, when the company bought the rights to a “Lord of the Rings” series. Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. Already today, a search for “The Hobbit” doesn’t just show you the book to buy, but it also gives you a chance to subscribe to watch the movie on Prime Video.

Amazon’s next big splash could be sports, especially live sports programming. The company has already acquired some streaming rights to Thursday night football and Premier League games, but it has yet to land a huge exclusive sports rights deal.

That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. Professional sports leagues may initially be hesitant to sell their rights exclusively to a nontraditional player like Amazon, but the potential to make a bigger profit may make the option more appealing.

“Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ Amazon, the first thing when they talked about the NFL, the number one metric they were looking at is ‘new to Prime,’ meaning new people that have come into the Prime ecosystem because those are people that spend a lot more over the year than people that are not part of the Prime ecosystem.”

The bigger battle, beyond just content, could be ownership of the home. Seamlessly connecting the Amazon Echo to TVs and mobile devices could revolutionize how people find shows and movies. So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to toe. But as Apple gets into original content too, that competition is coming.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: alex sherman, source, jewel samad, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, video, toe, rights, media, bulldozer, content, traditional, search, business, company, league, prime, amazon


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Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video

Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. “Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to


Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. “Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to
Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: alex sherman, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, league, video, amazon, business, toe, prime, content, company, search, media, traditional, rights, bulldozer


Amazon has been a business bulldozer, except in video

Amazon’s ability to connect content to commerce won over the Tolkien estate back in 2017, when the company bought the rights to a “Lord of the Rings” series. Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for merchandise. Already today, a search for “The Hobbit” doesn’t just show you the book to buy, but it also gives you a chance to subscribe to watch the movie on Prime Video.

Amazon’s next big splash could be sports, especially live sports programming. The company has already acquired some streaming rights to Thursday night football and Premier League games, but it has yet to land a huge exclusive sports rights deal.

That could change in the coming years as league rights to the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball come up for grabs. Professional sports leagues may initially be hesitant to sell their rights exclusively to a nontraditional player like Amazon, but the potential to make a bigger profit may make the option more appealing.

“Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a traditional media company,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. “A traditional media company is, ‘Well, how much advertising can I generate from this?’ Amazon, the first thing when they talked about the NFL, the number one metric they were looking at is ‘new to Prime,’ meaning new people that have come into the Prime ecosystem because those are people that spend a lot more over the year than people that are not part of the Prime ecosystem.”

The bigger battle, beyond just content, could be ownership of the home. Seamlessly connecting the Amazon Echo to TVs and mobile devices could revolutionize how people find shows and movies. So far, Amazon and Apple haven’t really gone toe to toe. But as Apple gets into original content too, that competition is coming.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: alex sherman, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, league, video, amazon, business, toe, prime, content, company, search, media, traditional, rights, bulldozer


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