Netflix’s latest results and executive comments show it’s just another media company — not a pay-TV killer

As Netflix’s stock soared over the past couple years, investors and consumers wondered how to think of the company’s long-term role in the media ecosystem. This quarter’s results should make it easier to define Netflix, but the answer may not be as ambitious as some had hoped. It’s easy to get wrapped up in Netflix’s grand successes and project aspirations on the company that may be too grandiose. That’s the kind of language you’d hear from someone that works at HBO. It is not the kind of langua


As Netflix’s stock soared over the past couple years, investors and consumers wondered how to think of the company’s long-term role in the media ecosystem. This quarter’s results should make it easier to define Netflix, but the answer may not be as ambitious as some had hoped. It’s easy to get wrapped up in Netflix’s grand successes and project aspirations on the company that may be too grandiose. That’s the kind of language you’d hear from someone that works at HBO. It is not the kind of langua
Netflix’s latest results and executive comments show it’s just another media company — not a pay-TV killer Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-18  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, language, executive, latest, media, company, youd, hbo, hear, think, sleep, companys, results, killer, netflixs, netflix, kind, paytv, comments


Netflix's latest results and executive comments show it's just another media company — not a pay-TV killer

As Netflix’s stock soared over the past couple years, investors and consumers wondered how to think of the company’s long-term role in the media ecosystem.

This quarter’s results should make it easier to define Netflix, but the answer may not be as ambitious as some had hoped.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in Netflix’s grand successes and project aspirations on the company that may be too grandiose. After all, Netflix vanquished Blockbuster, its first foe. It zoomed by HBO in global subscribers, its second target. It’s only natural to think about who Netflix may be coming after next — and the company’s own language around competitive landscape fueled those fires. Netflix has listed both sleep and Fortnite as recent competitors.

But listening to Netflix executives speak yesterday after reporting net customer additions that drastically fell short of analyst estimates and the company’s own guidance, there was no talk of sleep and Fortnite.

Instead, the company’s leadership spoke pragmatically about making better shows and movies to draw an audience.

“We’re just going to continue to focus on our strategy of developing more and more original programming,” said Netflix Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann. “There will be some quarter-by-quarter choppiness along the way based on things like seasonality and content slate.”

That’s the kind of language you’d hear from someone that works at HBO. It is not the kind of language you’d hear from someone at a cable operator, which historically has offered sweeping society-wide justifications like “college ended” to explain why pay-TV signups fell. Netflix hasn’t attained that level of assumed ubiquity.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-18  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, language, executive, latest, media, company, youd, hbo, hear, think, sleep, companys, results, killer, netflixs, netflix, kind, paytv, comments


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Disney and Charter are talking about carriage fees, and the outcome could affect how much you pay for cable in the streaming era

But this particular Disney deal has widespread implications for how future TV carriage deals will be crafted. The outcome could lead to more contentious battles between TV providers and content creators, and perhaps stem the tide of rising cable TV bills. But the advent of direct-to-consumer streaming products could lead to blowout public fights over the declining value of linear TV networks. ESPN is the most important cable network in the cable bundle. There’s no impetus for Disney to change th


But this particular Disney deal has widespread implications for how future TV carriage deals will be crafted. The outcome could lead to more contentious battles between TV providers and content creators, and perhaps stem the tide of rising cable TV bills. But the advent of direct-to-consumer streaming products could lead to blowout public fights over the declining value of linear TV networks. ESPN is the most important cable network in the cable bundle. There’s no impetus for Disney to change th
Disney and Charter are talking about carriage fees, and the outcome could affect how much you pay for cable in the streaming era Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fees, cable, content, era, pay, disney, paytv, espn, network, talking, tv, networks, charter, streaming, carriage, outcome, valuable


Disney and Charter are talking about carriage fees, and the outcome could affect how much you pay for cable in the streaming era

The Walt Disney Company CEO, Robert Iger arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. VALERIE MACON | AFP | Getty Images

Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider, at the beginning of August, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, there are no signs the two sides will have a testy public renegotiation. That is par for the course for Disney, which usually hammers out a deal without fanfare. After all, pay-TV providers have never had the stomach to black out ESPN, Disney’s most valuable cable channel and by far the most expensive network in the pay-TV bundle. But this particular Disney deal has widespread implications for how future TV carriage deals will be crafted. The outcome could lead to more contentious battles between TV providers and content creators, and perhaps stem the tide of rising cable TV bills. That’s because Disney is about to transition to a new era of direct-to-consumer streaming. AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Comcast’s NBC Universal, the next largest media companies, will follow in its footsteps in early 2020. In the past, carriage disagreements almost always stemmed over the same thing: the network that makes or licenses the content wants the pay-TV operator — your cable or satellite company — to pay more money for that programming. The fee negotiations sometimes result in networks being blacked out on a pay-TV service for a period of time. Viacom has had a few extended carriage conflicts in recent years. Univision recently settled one with Dish. Jeremy Lin’s insane three-week stretch of National Basketball Association games while on the New York Knicks helped convince Time Warner Cable to reach a deal with MSG Network a few years ago. The distributor and the content company usually reach an agreement, because the traditional pay-TV ecosystem has long been symbiotic — operators need material for customers to watch, and the programmers need people to see their programs. But the advent of direct-to-consumer streaming products could lead to blowout public fights over the declining value of linear TV networks. Content providers who have long pushed for higher carriage fees could face severe pushback from pay-TV providers who say that linear networks aren’t as valuable because so much content is available online — not only at Netflix and Amazon, but now within the content companies’ own streaming products. Moreover, if customers do flee the pay-TV bundle for streaming services, pay-TV providers may want to cut content spending even more to keep costs down.

Saving the bundle

In November, Disney will start selling Disney+, a family-friend entertainment product, for $6.99 a month. This will include Disney movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox. Disney is also planning on bundling Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+, its direct-to-consumer streaming service focused on sports, to make the suite of products more appealing to consumers. no current season As Disney makes its content available outside of the pay-TV ecosystem, the value of its pay-TV channels should decrease. In other words, if the only way your child can watch “The Lion Guard” is on the Disney Channel, which requires a pay-TV subscription, the Disney Channel is a valuable asset to the pay-TV bundle. But if your child can now get that show on Disney+, which doesn’t require a pay-TV subscription, the value of the Disney Channel should decrease. The more stuff that’s available outside the network, the less that network is worth. Disney is trying to store some of the value of Disney Channel by prohibiting current seasons of all Disney Channel shows from being available on Disney+, according to a person familiar with the matter.

ESPN vs. ESPN+

The Disney-Charter negotiations probably won’t get too contentious because more than any other programmer, Disney wants to protect the pay-TV ecosystem. ESPN is the most important cable network in the cable bundle. It earns more than $9 for its suite of networks for every single customer that signs up for pay-TV, regardless of who is actually watching the networks. A lot of people watch “Monday Night Football” — it was the most-watched series on cable in 2018 for the second straight year. Pay TV customers would revolt if ESPN weren’t included in a standard cable package. So far, ESPN+ has only been an add-on product to ESPN. It hasn’t touched the network’s most valuable sports assets, which include “Monday Night Football,” NBA games, prime time college football, several tennis and golf grand slams and so on. There’s no impetus for Disney to change this arrangement because ESPN has successfully kept raising its carriage fee, unlike, say, Viacom’s cable networks. Still, Disney will almost certainly push for more flexibility in its renewal deal with Charter. Disney will want the option to make certain sports or games available for ESPN+ if consumers drastically change their viewing habits in the next few years, or if Wall Street starts valuing legacy media companies based on streaming customer growth, as they do with Netflix. Moreover, Disney wants pay-TV providers to integrate ESPN+ into their user interfaces, just as Comcast has done for Amazon and Netflix content, according to a person familiar with the matter. Then, a pay-TV operator could sell ESPN and ESPN+ together for an additional fee, and a consumer could watch all ESPN+ content as a network, just like ESPN. At this point, Disney isn’t asking to remove valuable assets from ESPN and shift them to ESPN+, two of the people said. That’s key. Charter isn’t going to want to lock in a rate increase for ESPN if the linear network could lose its exclusivity value in the coming years as Disney makes some events available to ESPN+. But Disney will likely want the ability to place particular games on ESPN+ and add other sweeteners to entice more consumers to sign up for the digital service. And those games probably would have lived on ESPN or one of its companion networks. Spokespeople for Disney and Charter declined to comment on specifics of the carriage talks between the companies. Terms in carriage fees are often applicable across pay-TV platforms thanks to so-called “most favored nation ” clauses. So the word will get out in the media ecosystem how Disney has structured its deal, and it will be held as a standard when WarnerMedia’s and NBC Universal’s big contracts come up for renewal. And while Disney may not want to rock the pay-TV bundle, WarnerMedia doesn’t have nearly the same incentive, because it doesn’t own particularly valuable linear networks (TBS, TNT and CNN are its strongest). Then again, AT&T owns DirecTV and WarnerMedia, and Comcast owns NBC Universal. So both media companies may decide to hedge their asks for the benefit of their parent companies, keeping the bundle alive and (relatively) well.

Does video even matter?


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fees, cable, content, era, pay, disney, paytv, espn, network, talking, tv, networks, charter, streaming, carriage, outcome, valuable


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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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NBC to launch free streaming service in 2020

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a free, ad-supported streaming service to anyone that subscribes to a traditional pay-TV service, including competitors such as Charter, AT&T, Cox and Dish, in the first quarter of 2020, the company announced Monday. NBC will air between three and five minutes of ads per hour of programming, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told CNBC. The company sees an opening because there is no long-form, ad-supported streaming service, the person said. Since it will launch


Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a free, ad-supported streaming service to anyone that subscribes to a traditional pay-TV service, including competitors such as Charter, AT&T, Cox and Dish, in the first quarter of 2020, the company announced Monday. NBC will air between three and five minutes of ads per hour of programming, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told CNBC. The company sees an opening because there is no long-form, ad-supported streaming service, the person said. Since it will launch
NBC to launch free streaming service in 2020 Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-14  Authors: alex sherman, julia boorstin, peter kramer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, company, nbc, free, paytv, person, content, 2020, service, launch, nbcuniversal, streaming


NBC to launch free streaming service in 2020

NBC is doing a solid for the traditional pay-TV industry.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a free, ad-supported streaming service to anyone that subscribes to a traditional pay-TV service, including competitors such as Charter, AT&T, Cox and Dish, in the first quarter of 2020, the company announced Monday.

For those that don’t subscribe to a pay-TV service, the streaming product, which will include 1,500 hours of NBC TV shows, such as SNL and Parks and Recreation, and hundreds of hours of Universal movies, will cost somewhere around $12 a month, a person familiar with the company’s plans told CNBC. The service will be run by Bonnie Hammer, the company announced Monday.

NBC’s plans are contingent on striking deals with the largest pay-TV providers, which it hasn’t yet done, the person said. Still, the product will be free for customers of those providers, so NBC doesn’t plan on any challenges when it comes to inking those agreements.

Because the service will be free for the millions of people that already subscribe to pay-TV, NBC is banking on quickly growing to 30 million or 40 million users with its service, as opposed to slowly growing a paid service and starting at zero subscribers, the person said.

NBC will air between three and five minutes of ads per hour of programming, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told CNBC. NBC expects to make $5 per month from every user on the service from advertising, he said. NBC’s research showed subscribers prefer free services with low ad load, Burke said.

“One of the interesting things about this that makes it different and innovative is that we’ll have a big emphasis on free-to-consumer,” Burke said. “We want to create a platform that has significant scale and can scale quickly. The best way to do that, is make it free to consumers and leverage the fact that NBCUniversal’s sister company is a cable company and now owns Sky.”

The company sees an opening because there is no long-form, ad-supported streaming service, the person said. For example, Hulu costs $7.99, but has regular ad breaks. Netflix has long-form content, but costs a monthly fee. And YouTube is primarily short-form, user-generated content and supported by ads. NBCUniversal does not plan on aggressively pulling back shows and movies it has licensed to other streaming services, the person said.

Burke told CNBC the service will include live TV like news and sports, in addition to on-demand programming. Since it will launch in early 2020, it’s likely there will be content around the 2020 Summer Olympics to draw more people to the platform. Burke also said the service will bring in content from other companies like Sony, Discovery and Warner Bros.

NBCUniversal will be throwing its hat into an expensive and competitive ring. Streaming incumbents Netflix, HBO and Hulu are upping content spend and doubling down on original programming to stave off market share threats from new entrants like Apple, AT&T and Disney, which are set to launch its streaming service later this year.

Also Monday, NBCUniversal announced a reorganization of senior leadership. Mark Lazarus, currently chairman of NBC broadcasting and sports, will take on a larger role and oversee the company’s cable and news divisions as well. Jeff Shell, currently chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, has been named chairman of NBCUniversal film and entertainment. Donna Langley will take over as the sole chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-14  Authors: alex sherman, julia boorstin, peter kramer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, company, nbc, free, paytv, person, content, 2020, service, launch, nbcuniversal, streaming


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Higher-than-expected viewership of ‘The Match’ between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson forces refunds, WSJ reports

Viewer interest in “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson far surpassed AT&T’s expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal. The $19.99 pay-per-view subscription fee was dropped due to technical glitches from the high volume of viewers. AT&T and other major pay-TV providers including Comcast, Dish and Charter Communications said they would refund or credit customers who paid to watch Friday’s golf showdown. Initial estimates for viewers of “The Match” were only as high as 150,0


Viewer interest in “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson far surpassed AT&T’s expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal. The $19.99 pay-per-view subscription fee was dropped due to technical glitches from the high volume of viewers. AT&T and other major pay-TV providers including Comcast, Dish and Charter Communications said they would refund or credit customers who paid to watch Friday’s golf showdown. Initial estimates for viewers of “The Match” were only as high as 150,0
Higher-than-expected viewership of ‘The Match’ between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson forces refunds, WSJ reports Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-27  Authors: laura galligan, harry how, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, journal, paytv, higherthanexpected, woods, providers, viewers, refunds, told, phil, match, wsj, subscription, tiger, payperview, mickelson, video, viewership, levy, reports


Higher-than-expected viewership of 'The Match' between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson forces refunds, WSJ reports

Viewer interest in “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson far surpassed AT&T’s expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The $19.99 pay-per-view subscription fee was dropped due to technical glitches from the high volume of viewers. AT&T and other major pay-TV providers including Comcast, Dish and Charter Communications said they would refund or credit customers who paid to watch Friday’s golf showdown.

AT&T was entitled to have the subscription revenue generated by other pay-TV providers, but the company will not seek out the fees, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Initial estimates for viewers of “The Match” were only as high as 150,000, an official told the Journal. But about 750,000 people alone watched the contest just on the video service B/R live, part of the Bleacher Report’s digital platform. The total number of sign-ups and views, including those from other pay-TV providers, has not yet been released.

AT&T’s Turner Media President David Levy said B/R never had a problem streaming video, but its system to collect payment information did not have the capacity to collect so much credit card information, blocking people from purchasing the event, the Journal reported.

Despite the refunds, Levy told the Journal the event was successful, and bodes well for the future of pay-per-view, noting that every advertiser involved in “The Match” wants to come back.

Read the full Journal report here.

Disclosure: Comcast is parent of NBCUniversal and CNBC.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-27  Authors: laura galligan, harry how, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, journal, paytv, higherthanexpected, woods, providers, viewers, refunds, told, phil, match, wsj, subscription, tiger, payperview, mickelson, video, viewership, levy, reports


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Rupert Murdoch may buy back Fox Sports Networks from Disney

First, while the DOJ forced Disney to sell the RSNs to get the larger deal done, the networks were never a crown jewel asset for Fox, Disney or Comcast. Disney took them because it wanted other assets from Fox (its studio, its stake in Hulu, Star India). About a decade ago, the networks began to hike carriage fees, knowing cable providers would agree to the higher prices rather than risk alienating customers by blacking out the networks. In recent years, pay-TV providers, which have seen million


First, while the DOJ forced Disney to sell the RSNs to get the larger deal done, the networks were never a crown jewel asset for Fox, Disney or Comcast. Disney took them because it wanted other assets from Fox (its studio, its stake in Hulu, Star India). About a decade ago, the networks began to hike carriage fees, knowing cable providers would agree to the higher prices rather than risk alienating customers by blacking out the networks. In recent years, pay-TV providers, which have seen million
Rupert Murdoch may buy back Fox Sports Networks from Disney Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-10-26  Authors: alex sherman, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fees, providers, fox, sell, willing, paytv, networks, rsns, buy, rupert, murdoch, disney, cable


Rupert Murdoch may buy back Fox Sports Networks from Disney

There are several ironies here.

First, while the DOJ forced Disney to sell the RSNs to get the larger deal done, the networks were never a crown jewel asset for Fox, Disney or Comcast. Fox was willing to sell them (and did). Disney took them because it wanted other assets from Fox (its studio, its stake in Hulu, Star India).

Meanwhile, Comcast saw the RSNs as an albatross and was equally willing to divest them, according to people familiar with the companies’ thinking.

Regional sports networks used to be huge value-adds for the cable industry. They carry exclusive broadcasting rights to local games, which come with devoted fan bases. About a decade ago, the networks began to hike carriage fees, knowing cable providers would agree to the higher prices rather than risk alienating customers by blacking out the networks. That led to a steady rise in the cost of cable for consumers. Residents of markets like New York or Los Angeles, which have multiple teams and a handful of RSNs, were paying fees up to $10 a month (baked into their monthly cable bill) whether or not they were watching the games.

In recent years, pay-TV providers, which have seen millions of customers cut the cord, have started to see RSNs differently. Providers have pushed to tier them onto packages that appeal just to sports fans while keeping costs lower for everyone else. This has decreased the value of the networks, which are no longer automatically part of everyone’s basic cable packages.

Several pay-TV providers have dropped regional sports networks, refusing to pay their high programming fees. For instance, SportsNet LA, which broadcasts L.A. Dodgers games, which hasn’t been carried by DirecTV for five straight years.

If Fox ends up with the sports networks again, part of the reason will be that no other large pay-TV distributor — Charter, AT&T, Comcast or Dish — saw value in owning the networks. While Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley has discussed making an offer for the networks with private equity support, it would need quite a bit of help. Sinclair’s market capitalization is just $2.8 billion. The regional sports networks were valued at more than $20 billion, according to a Guggenheim Securities analysis.

It’s still unclear how much New Fox is willing to spend on the networks — or what Disney values them at. What is clear is that Disney needs to sell them.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-10-26  Authors: alex sherman, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fees, providers, fox, sell, willing, paytv, networks, rsns, buy, rupert, murdoch, disney, cable


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The government just gave its explanation for appealing the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger

The U.S. Department of Justice released its written argument explaining why it’s appealing AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, a deal that was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in June. The government argues Judge Leon ignored “mainstream economics” in his decision because he refused to see a deal as having “an appreciable danger” of raising prices on consumers in the future. The government said Judge Leon ignored economic theory by claiming Time Warner wouldn’t have


The U.S. Department of Justice released its written argument explaining why it’s appealing AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, a deal that was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in June. The government argues Judge Leon ignored “mainstream economics” in his decision because he refused to see a deal as having “an appreciable danger” of raising prices on consumers in the future. The government said Judge Leon ignored economic theory by claiming Time Warner wouldn’t have
The government just gave its explanation for appealing the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-08-06  Authors: alex sherman, lucas jackson, stephanie keith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, gave, leon, merger, appealing, billion, warner, economics, atttime, explanation, 85, directv, judge, ignored, att, district, refused, paytv


The government just gave its explanation for appealing the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger

The U.S. Department of Justice released its written argument explaining why it’s appealing AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, a deal that was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in June.

The government argues Judge Leon ignored “mainstream economics” in his decision because he refused to see a deal as having “an appreciable danger” of raising prices on consumers in the future.

The government said Judge Leon ignored economic theory by claiming Time Warner wouldn’t have increased bargaining power over pay-TV distributors by linking up with AT&T. This was one of the DOJ’s primary arguments during the initial case to the District Court — that AT&T could charge companies such as Comcast, Charter and Dish more money for Time Warner with the fallback of blacking out networks such as CNN, TNT and TBS and offering them on DirecTV, which AT&T owns. If pay-TV operators refused to pay more, customers could switch their service to DirecTV, setting up a “win-win” for AT&T.

AT&T successfully defended against this charge, arguing that the economics behind buying Time Warner only made sense if the company made programming available to as many people as possible.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-08-06  Authors: alex sherman, lucas jackson, stephanie keith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, gave, leon, merger, appealing, billion, warner, economics, atttime, explanation, 85, directv, judge, ignored, att, district, refused, paytv


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Disney could avoid a bidding war with Comcast if it’s willing to shed these Fox assets

(Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.) Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch already agreed to take less money from Disney than Comcast, a sign that he sees a higher future value in Disney shares. Could Disney strike a deal with Comcast, where it effectively splits up Fox’s assets, in lieu of an all-out bidding war? Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and is attempting to acquire the rest (currently a publicly-traded entity). The Fox deal would give Disney a controlling stake, thus tipp


(Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.) Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch already agreed to take less money from Disney than Comcast, a sign that he sees a higher future value in Disney shares. Could Disney strike a deal with Comcast, where it effectively splits up Fox’s assets, in lieu of an all-out bidding war? Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and is attempting to acquire the rest (currently a publicly-traded entity). The Fox deal would give Disney a controlling stake, thus tipp
Disney could avoid a bidding war with Comcast if it’s willing to shed these Fox assets Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-05-08  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, avoid, foxs, bidding, disney, stake, fox, rights, war, assets, owns, hulu, paytv, shed, willing, comcast, deal


Disney could avoid a bidding war with Comcast if it's willing to shed these Fox assets

Comcast’s plan to outbid Disney for Fox’s assets is evidence that CEO Brian Roberts believes the deal is too unique for Comcast to pass up without a fight. (Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.)

Pushing away Disney won’t be easy. Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch already agreed to take less money from Disney than Comcast, a sign that he sees a higher future value in Disney shares. While Disney is paying in stock, Comcast is talking to banks to raise about $60 billion for an all-cash counterbid. That would top Disney’s December offer, valued at the time at $52.4 billion.

Murdoch owns 17 percent of Fox’s outstanding shares, so it’s possible Comcast could convince enough Fox shareholders to take an all-cash offer even if Murdoch resists.

If that doesn’t work, Comcast would still prefer a consolation prize to nothing.

Could Disney strike a deal with Comcast, where it effectively splits up Fox’s assets, in lieu of an all-out bidding war? Here are the Fox assets Comcast covets:

Sky UK. Comcast generates nearly all of its revenue from within the United States. International growth has long been viewed as the next horizon for the largest U.S. cable provider, which also owns NBC Universal. Sky owns billions of dollars worth of original and exclusive content, including Premier League soccer rights. It’s also a U.K. pay-TV and Internet provider — the same business that Comcast has dominated for more than a decade. Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and is attempting to acquire the rest (currently a publicly-traded entity). Comcast also wants the entire business, having already topped Fox’s bid for the outstanding 61 percent with a $31 billion offer.

Star India. Comcast would love to have a foothold in India, where entertainment consumption growth is massive. Netflix, too, is trying to crack the country, which analysts suggest could be a huge growth engine. Star India, which operates about 70 different entertainment channels, reaches more than 720 million viewers a month in more than 100 countries. Star also owns sports rights, including a $940 million deal for India’s most popular sport, cricket, signed just last month. Sports rights are seen as the lifeblood of the traditional pay-TV ecosystem (Comcast’s core business) because consumers watch games live rather than on demand.

Hulu. Speaking of on-demand, Comcast has a hedge against the decline of pay-TV: its stake in Hulu. Comcast’s NBCUniversal owns 30 percent of the platform. The remainder is split among Disney (30 percent), Fox (30 percent,) and Time Warner (10 percent), which may soon be part of AT&T if the government fails to block the deal. The Fox deal would give Disney a controlling stake, thus tipping the balance of power around Hulu to Iger. This would lead to an unstable situation for Comcast, likely forcing a sale of its stake to Disney. But if Comcast could wrestle away Fox’s stake in Hulu, it would become the controlling owner of Hulu and could use it as a defense against Netflix and Disney’s new streaming service, which will debut next year.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-05-08  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, avoid, foxs, bidding, disney, stake, fox, rights, war, assets, owns, hulu, paytv, shed, willing, comcast, deal


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AT&T court fight with the US Justice Department heads into closing arguments

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and AT&T will give closing arguments on Monday in a trial to determine if the wireless giant, owner of pay-TV provider DirecTV, will be allowed to buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner. The Justice Department sued to block the $85 billion deal, saying it would lead to higher prices for rival pay-TV companies. Two key witnesses at the trial were AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who is retiring if the transaction goe


Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and AT&T will give closing arguments on Monday in a trial to determine if the wireless giant, owner of pay-TV provider DirecTV, will be allowed to buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner. The Justice Department sued to block the $85 billion deal, saying it would lead to higher prices for rival pay-TV companies. Two key witnesses at the trial were AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who is retiring if the transaction goe
AT&T court fight with the US Justice Department heads into closing arguments Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-30  Authors: joshua roberts
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fight, tv, justice, heads, warners, paytv, witnesses, argued, warner, court, closing, arguments, trial, video, department, att, vertical


AT&T court fight with the US Justice Department heads into closing arguments

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and AT&T will give closing arguments on Monday in a trial to determine if the wireless giant, owner of pay-TV provider DirecTV, will be allowed to buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner.

The Justice Department sued to block the $85 billion deal, saying it would lead to higher prices for rival pay-TV companies.

The government has argued that AT&T viewed the merger as a way to convince viewers to stick with pay-TV instead of moving to cheaper online providers, at one point quoting from a report in which an AT&T executive said that buying Time Warner would allow AT&T to slow the decline of pay-TV subscriptions, which was described as a “cash cow.”

AT&T’s satellite television service DirecTV lost 187,000 traditional U.S. video customers in the first quarter of 2018.

The judge’s decision, which is expected in several weeks, will guide dealmakers on how aggressive they can be in buying suppliers, what is known among antitrust people as a vertical merger. Until this tie-up, vertical deals were largely considered approvable by regulators.

Two key witnesses at the trial were AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who is retiring if the transaction goes through.

The two executives argued that marrying AT&T’s granular information about customers with Time Warner’s ability to create compelling video would allow them to advertise more effectively, giving the merged company a fighting chance to compete with internet advertising titans like Facebook and Google.

They also denied as “ridiculous” and “absurd” the notion AT&T would be reluctant to license Time Warner content like CNN or March Madness basketball to other pay-TV rivals or to cheaper online video companies — a key government argument.

In hopes of preventing a court fight, AT&T proposed that for seven years it would submit to third-party arbitration any disagreement with distributors over the pricing for Time Warner’s networks and promise not to black out programming during arbitration.

But smaller pay-TV rivals called as government witnesses argued that this was inadequate. Warren Schlichting, group president of Dish Network’s Sling TV, argued AT&T’s offer was inadequate because it was limited to seven years and HBO is not part of the proposal.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-30  Authors: joshua roberts
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fight, tv, justice, heads, warners, paytv, witnesses, argued, warner, court, closing, arguments, trial, video, department, att, vertical


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Murdoch’s Fox could separate Sky News to satisfy UK regulator on takeover

Twenty-First Century Fox said it could legally separate Sky News within the wider Sky group to allay the concerns of a British regulator about the news service’s continuing independence under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership. Fox agreed to buy all of the European pay-TV group in December 2016, but the deal has been repeatedly delayed by the British government and regulators. Fox, which already owns 39 percent of the European pay-TV group, had already put forward steps it would take to guarantee the in


Twenty-First Century Fox said it could legally separate Sky News within the wider Sky group to allay the concerns of a British regulator about the news service’s continuing independence under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership. Fox agreed to buy all of the European pay-TV group in December 2016, but the deal has been repeatedly delayed by the British government and regulators. Fox, which already owns 39 percent of the European pay-TV group, had already put forward steps it would take to guarantee the in
Murdoch’s Fox could separate Sky News to satisfy UK regulator on takeover Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-03  Authors: scott mlyn
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, proposed, foxs, sky, twentyfirst, satisfy, fox, independence, uk, group, takeover, european, murdochs, paytv, pounds, regulator, separate


Murdoch's Fox could separate Sky News to satisfy UK regulator on takeover

Twenty-First Century Fox said it could legally separate Sky News within the wider Sky group to allay the concerns of a British regulator about the news service’s continuing independence under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership.

It also said it could sell the 24-hour news channel to Walt Disney if its bid to acquire the 61 percent of the company it does not already own is approved, regardless of whether Disney’s proposed acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets proceeds.

Fox agreed to buy all of the European pay-TV group in December 2016, but the deal has been repeatedly delayed by the British government and regulators. U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp gatecrashed the deal in February when it said it would offer 12.50 pounds a share to buy Sky, compared to Fox’s 10.75 pounds, although it has not yet made a formal bid.

Fox, which already owns 39 percent of the European pay-TV group, had already put forward steps it would take to guarantee the independence of Sky News, such as funding it for 10 years and creating an independent board of directors.

“We have worked diligently with the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) throughout its extensive review,” Fox said on Tuesday.

“In fact, we believe that the enhanced firewall remedies we proposed to safeguard the editorial independence of Sky News addressed comprehensively and constructively the CMA’s provisional concerns.”

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


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-03  Authors: scott mlyn
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, proposed, foxs, sky, twentyfirst, satisfy, fox, independence, uk, group, takeover, european, murdochs, paytv, pounds, regulator, separate


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