Mega Media Mergers to fight against Netflix

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  • Time's up for Time Warner!

    AT&T has renamed their Time Warner acquisition to WarnerMedia and Warner is now a full business unit of AT&T.

    All the media pundits are talking about the Disney/Comcast war for Murdoch's Fox and Sky companies, but what about the others?

    Now that the AT&T/Time Warner merger has completed, could AT&T bid for Fox and Sky? AT&T wants international expansion and as the world's largest telco and now a large media company too, it has the cash to do it.

    I've spoken about Sony earlier in this thread, still a huge media company with a studio and a record company, but unlike the Hollywood companies, Sony has a massive international presence being Japanese owned. They have a considerable presence in the UK and own more sat/cable channels than anyone else. Could Sony join the bidding war for Fox and Sky? Or, perhaps Sony might consider joining up with the loser of the bid to form another behemoth media company.

    Netfllix's share price has surged to well over $400 again today with some analysts putting the SP at over $500. Netflix, by market cap, is officially the world's largest media company now. That's what all these media mergers are about.

    Will anyone catch Netflix?

  • The battle for Sky increases!

    Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has increased its offer for UK broadcaster Sky to £24.5bn.

    This tops a previous offer from rival bidder Comcast and is part of an escalating battle between media giants, including Disney.

    Fox is expecting to obtain regulatory approval in the UK for the deal this week.

    The battle for Sky intensified on Wednesday night as Comcast raised its bid for Sky, valuing the pay TV giant at £26bn.

    The move by the NBC owner came less than 24 hours after 21st Century Fox increased its offer to £24.5bn.

    That topped Comcast's previous £22bn offer and is part of an escalating war between media giants including Disney.

    It was now offering £14.75 a share for Sky compared with £14 from Fox. Shares in Sky closed 0.5% lower at £14.94 in London on Wednesday.

    Sometimes a bit like buses, multibillion bids for companies can come along all at once!

    Murdoch upped his bid yesterday morning for Sky, which if successful will enable him to take full control of Sky, so that he can then sell it to Disney. And then yesterday evening, Comcast came back with a fast counter bid trumping Murdoch's bid again.

    Some analysts are suggesting that this has now reached a climax, I beg to differ. This is only just getting going. Both Bog Iger of Disney and Brian Roberts of Comcast, who are engaged in a bidding war for most of Murdoch's assets in the States, are fierce rivals and both want Sky with its 20m customers, tech and brand name.

    I expect more buses to come!:)

  • Is the battle for Sky over??

    Comcast is unlikely to make another bid for Twenty-First Century Fox's movie and television assets, focusing on a bid for Britain's Sky television, sources told CNBC's David Faber.

    Well, this bidding war for Sky may be over, but first some context.

    CNBC (owned by Comcast..) reported citing "sources" that Comcast is highly unlikely to put in another bid for Fox. The Fox shareholder vote to decide the bids is next week and if Comcast were to put in a higher bid for Fox than Disney, it needs to do it this week. As Murdoch has clearly stated that he wants to sell to Disney, it looks like Comcast has decided to pull out of the race for Fox.

    Onto Sky, on Friday, Disney filed a financial statement that said if Fox wanted to put in a higher bid for Sky, then Fox would need its (Disney's) permission and that permission may not be given.

    What seems to have happened is that either Comcast and Disney has spoken directly to each other, or, at least made signals to each other, that they don't want to tear themselves apart bidding for Murdoch's assets. They would have to take on too much debt, which neither company wants to do.

    So, it looks like Murdoch's companies will be split between the two of them with Disney getting the Fox film studio and Comcast getting Sky.

  • Disney wins Fox Battle

    Comcast has ended its pursuit of 21st Century Fox, ceding a major bidding war to Disney.

    Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) today issued the following statement regarding its pursuit of the assets Twenty


    First Century Fox has agreed to sell to The Walt Disney Company: “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”

    Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation, said,“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney

    and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company."

    I already posted the CNBC story on Tuesday, but Comcast today confirms that it is pulling out of the race for Fox and concentrating on Sky.

    As I said before, I believe Comcast and Disney have spoken with each and agreed that Murdoch's assets will be split between them with Comcast getting Sky. We just need to hear whether Murdoch and Disney will pull out of the bidding race for Sky now. I believe they will.

    CNBC is reporting that Disney and Comcast will do some kind of deal that will include Murdoch's share of Sky and Comcast's share of Hulu. Possibly some kind of exchange, thus giving Disney full control of Hulu and giving Comcast full control of Sky.

  • Okey-dokey, there's been a lot going on in the media mergers world, so I'll try and summarize the main things below:

    1. Disney and Fox have had their shareholder last week and their merger has been approved. Disney will now swallow up the 20th Century film and tv studios, FX Networks, National Geographic channels and a host of other stuff. The merger will be completed by the first half of next year.

    The newly enlarged Disney will become the largest Hollywood studio by far and will make approximately a third of all content that comes out of Hollywood.

    2. Directly related to the Disney/Fox deal is the subject of Sky.

    Since Comcast's higher bid for Sky, neither Fox or Disney have come back with a higher bid. Due to takeover regs, they need to make a higher bid for Sky (if they wish) by the 9th August. City analysts don't expect this to happen, neither do I. I sold my shares as soon as I saw the CNBC report, although I wouldn't have complained if the share price had continued to climb, but I cannot complain with how things turned out.;)

    3. The battle between sister companies CBS and Viacom (Paramount) continue as controlling shareholder Shari Redstone seeks to reassert her control over both companies, but is being thwarted by CBS boss Les Moonves. This was going to court, until the news broke last week of sexual harassment allegations made against Moonves. Interesting timing...

    The CBS board has hired independent investigators to check out the allegations, but it looks like either way, Moonves is toast.

    At some point, Redstone will gain control of both companies again, merge them and is then expected to sell the combined entity to someone like the mobile operator Verizon or perhaps even Amazon.…ion-1202435025/

  • As per my above comments, Fox had to say what it was going to do in regards to its bid for Sky by this Thursday. On Tuesday, it formalised its existing bid for Sky which basically gives Fox and Disney additional time to decide whether they will put in a higher bid and they have until the end of September to decide now.

    I thought as Disney submitted papers last month stating that Fox needed Disney's permission for a higher bid and the CNBC report on this, it was all over and done with and Comcast had won Sky. I've now completely changed my mind on this for this reason:

    Tonight, Disney released its latest earnings report and Bob Iger (Disney's boss) at the beginning of his webcast gushed about Fox's assets he was buying including Sky. The best bit, though, came at the end of the webcast, when in reply to a question about whether Iger was going to pursue Sky or not, he said "since it's a fluid situation and open matter, we're really not going to comment any further about it. "

    Open and fluid, does not mean closed and given up. Expect either a higher Fox offer for Sky in the next six weeks, or a direct bid from Disney.

    A few months ago, Iger remarked abut Sky calling it the "crown jewel" in Murdoch's empire.

    I don't know who will ultimately get Sky, but if Sky is a crown jewel, it will be fought over viscously by these companies bidding for it. This ain't over yet by a long shot, in my opinion.

  • I don't know who will ultimately get Sky, but if Sky is a crown jewel, it will be fought over viscously by these companies bidding for it. This ain't over yet by a long shot, in my opinion.

    Do you think Sky is a crown jewel to any of its prospective bidders and, if so, why?

    Do you think any of these media mergers or acquisitions, in the direction they might be heading, has any plusses or minuses to the viewing public and, if so, what

    I only raise the second question because so far in this thread you seem to be talking to yourself! This is most certainly not a criticism; it's just that some implications and opinions from you, the expert, could stimulate my interest to learn more; and maybe even take a punt.

  • If you look at many threads from last year, I was only talking to myself. It's up to other members whether they wish to comment on a subject or not and this happens to be one of my favourites, so I shall keeping talking about it regardless. Actually, I have lots of favourite subjects, but diminishing time these days to talk about them all. As for being a expert, I claim no expertise in anything.

    In answer to your questions, yes, Sky is indeed a crown jewel and the reason the American companies are bidding for it are mainly for the following reasons:

    1. It's making a lot of money and will make more, something Disney's boss has recognised.

    2. It has over 20 million European customers, something a mainly American company like Disney or Comcast is very interested in, as they wish to expand overseas.

    3. It has the bulk of the premiership rights.

    4. It already has a streaming product and the best pay tv service and tv box in the UK. It will also launch a full IPTV service next year over broadband.

    5 . Lastly and probably most important of all, it's brand. Easy and simple and I think the reason why these big American companies are bidding for it, three letters: S K Y. Think of a future where there is only tv apps and no or few tv channels left. Having a simple to remember name for your app, could make all the difference. I'm convinced that Disney or Comcast may use the Sky name for their streaming app and why I was up until 4am last night going through their latest earnings reports.

    As for taking a punt, that's up to you. The share price is currently above Comcast's offer of £14.75, which as I said a few weeks ago, I thought that was it and Comcast would get Sky. As of 14 hours ago, I changed my mind based on Iger's comments and you can guess what I was doing at 8am this morning.:) But as you say, its purely a punt and nothing else. Don't gamble on what you can't afford to lose, he says not taking his own advice... It may simply be too late for you now, though. I've made my money on this and the worst that can happen is that the shares fall back to £14.75 from their current level and I take a small loss on today's repurchase while sitting on the profits from the previous purchase. If I were buying the shares for the first time purely in anticipation of a higher bid, I think I would consider it too risky, bearing in mind stamp duty and broker fees.

    As an aside, and if you read my earlier comments and news stories in this thread, there will be further M&A activity in the media field soon in my opinion and I was seriously looking at Lionsgate, Viacom, CBS and Discovery as potential bid targets. But with a falling pound and Brexit uncertainly, I think the risk/reward ratio is negative now, especially if the pound falls further. Far too risky.

    I am seriously looking at Disney for the future though. They will have on their app in the future a third of all current Hollywood content. That's got to be of interest to a "few" consumers and their hellish theme parks still make money too.

    Do you think any of these media mergers or acquisitions, in the direction they might be heading, has any plusses or minuses to the viewing public and, if so, what

    As that's directly related to streaming and the future of television, I'll pick that up later in the streaming thread and answer your earlier post too from that thread.

    Now the weather is cooler, it's more bearable spending time in front of a computer again, especially forums... especially this forum.:)

  • The head of US media giant CBS, Les Moonves, has resigned with immediate effect after allegations of sexual misconduct.

    CBS had been investigating Mr Moonves since allegations appeared in the New Yorker in July - and fresh accusations from six more women appeared on Sunday.

    This has made front page of the BBC's website this morning. Of course, for readers of this thread, they will be familiar with the story already.

    Although Shari Redstone has reportedly agreed with CBS that she will not now seek to remerge CBS and Viacom for two years, as the BBC item goes on to say, several CBS directors have stepped down from the Board and I suggest that their replacement's are all Redstone loyalists.

    I expect this merger to now go ahead and a lot sooner than in two years time.

  • The battle for Sky nears endgame

    Fox extends offer for Sky as Comcast showdown looms

    Fox and Sky have until this weekend to table a higher offer for Sky, otherwise the battle goes into a sealed auction.

    Investors have not shown any interest in either bid from Fox or Comcast for Sky in the expectations that a higher offer will materialise. The Takeover Panel has ruled that if no higher offer is made this week, then there will be a five day auction period next week to settle the matter. After that, investors have a couple more weeks to accept or reject whatever offer is made.

    Whoever wins the auction, what is 100% certain is that very soon Sky will be a fully owned American company.

  • Amost a couple of weeks ago there was another reminder why all the "old" Hollywood media comanches are merging with each other and it was this:

    Amazon becomes second $1 trillion company

    Amazon has briefly become the second US-listed firm to have a market value of more than $1 trillion (£779bn).

    Shares in the e-commerce giant rose nearly 2% to a high of $2,050.50 in morning trade before slipping back.

    Apple reached the same milestone in early August.

    Founded in 1994, Amazon is now the world's largest online retailer. Its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is the world's richest man, with a net worth of more than $160bn.

    All the old media moguls like Murdoch cannot compete with $1 trillion companies like Apple and Amazon and that is why these mega media mergers are happening.

    Although the tech stocks are taking a battering today, it won't be long before Microsoft and Google join the one trillion club. The question is whether these and the other tech giants will get involved in the media business too, changing yet more nameplates across Hollywood.

  • Sky battle to be settled by Saturday evening

    The takeover of broadcaster Sky will be settled by an auction, the UK's Takeover Panel has announced.

    The broadcaster has been subject to rival bids from Rupert Murdoch's Fox and US conglomerate Comcast.

    The Takeover Panel said that the auction would start at 17:00 London time on Friday and end on Saturday evening.

    It said all parties had agreed to the process, which will have a maximum of three rounds.

    So, we'll know who gets Sky by Saturday evening or early Sunday morning.

    Place your bets now! I reckon Fox will win it.

  • Comcast wins the battle for Sky

    On 20 September 2018, the Panel Executive announced that, in accordance with Rule 32.5 of the Takeover Code, it had established an agreed auction procedure (the “Auction Procedure”) for the resolution of the competitive situation in relation to Sky. The Auction Procedure has ended and the offers of Comcast and Fox following its conclusion are as follows:

    Comcast: £17.28 per Sky ordinary share

    Fox: £15.67 per Sky ordinary share

    The UK now has two cable companies.

    BBC article on the Comcast takeover of Sky

  • Goodbye Rupert! Murdoch to sell his Sky stake to Comcast

    Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox will sell its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast, ending the media mogul's association with the satellite broadcaster after almost three decades.

    It had been unclear whether Fox would retain its stake in Sky after Comcast won a £30bn bidding war for the satellite broadcaster on Saturday.

    Rupert Murdoch single handedly created multi channel television in the UK almost thirty years ago and with Comcast winning the bidding battle for Sky at the weekend, rather than drawing things out, Murdoch is selling his beloved Sky stake.

    Good article here from the BBC about what next for Murdoch.

    As I said over on Cable Forum several months ago, if its a fight between a fox or a mouse, the fox will always win. Rupert Murdoch becomes the largest shareholder of Disney and thanks to Comcast's high bid for Sky, has made Murdoch all the richer. Will Murdoch now increase his shareholding in Disney? Will he ultimately control the company?

    Rupert may be coming to the end of his days, but the Murdoch family involvement in media is going nowhere, far from it.

  • With a purchase of Fox's (FOX, FOXA) stake in Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY), Comcast (CMCSA +0.1%) has disclosed it's taken a 76.8% interest in the UK broadcaster.

    That's it. Murdoch has sold his Sky stake to Comcast. Comcast is now in full control of Sky and is just buying up the small shareholders now. This time next week, it should own 100% of Sky and if it doesn't, it can force the stragglers to sell.

    Murdoch must be feeling sick in some ways. Although he has made billions out of this deal, he always coveted control of Sky, but couldn't quite do it.

  • That's it. Murdoch has sold his Sky stake to Comcast. Comcast is now in full control of Sky and is just buying up the small shareholders now. This time next week, it should own 100% of Sky and if it doesn't, it can force the stragglers to sell.

    Murdoch must be feeling sick in some ways. Although he has made billions out of this deal, he always coveted control of Sky, but couldn't quite do it.

    I'm sure you're right that Rupert Murdoch always coveted full ownership control of Sky but I wouldn't be surprised if deep down he came to realise it had become a small-time ambition in this world of mega giant corporations (once permitted, Comcast swallowed Sky in one easy gulp). This was a world in which Rupert Murdoch was unable or disinclined to keep up with for reasons of age and/or an emotional bond and familiarity with news media.

    It must be tough for a great pioneering successful entrepreneur (a once modern day Hearst/Citizen Kane) who has reached the last phase of his life and might be thinking about legacy. Tougher still when that legacy means preserving the company's original identity and core reason for being in a predatory world of rapid change. It is quite a juggling act of conflicting emotions in trying to hold onto that core identity while adapting to change and having to dump those once treasured parts that have outlived their earning power and become dead weight.

    Often the founder's feeling is that legacy means keeping it in the family, hoping they will keep faith with the founder's view of what the company must continue to be all about (and I daresay that wasn't easy to figure out with founder's tendency for serendipitous wheeling & dealing acquisition to fuel a conglomerate-style expansion, which conflicted with an emotional attachment with news media.

    The family dynasty model carries the risk of commercial inbreeding, evidenced from the company having failed to embrace and keep pace with change. From what I've read, Richard Murdoch meddled too much with the plans or decisions of his two sons, Lachland and James, who themselves had opposing visions for the Murdoch Empire. It must have been extremely difficult for Rupert Murdoch to let go of the reins when the two sons were trying to pull the Murdoch empire in opposite directions. Son James struck me as a bit of a motor-mouth lightweight and has gone off to do his own thing. Lachland walked out because of too much palace intrigue and meddling but has returned as the Prodigal Son to look after the not-inconsiderable remains of the Murdoch empire.

    You Horizon know far more than I do about all of this. Am I even partly right in my assessment?

  • Yes. Family legacy is part of it, but its the first bit that is more relevant and the reason why he is selling most of his empire to Disney. As Murdoch put it himself in a Sky News interview a few months ago, he was the disrupter once shaking up old media with his new Sky and Star satellite platforms, then Netflix came along...

    Amazon and Apple are trillion dollar companies. Microsoft, Google and the other tech players won't be far behind. Netflix is spending several billion dollars on new content each and every year. Murdoch couldn't compete with that and so sold out to Disney to make that company a much stronger competitor to the tech companies. So, rather rather than owning 100% of something which will ultimately be worthless, he will become the largest shareholder in Disney. Who knows, in time that may even turn into a controlling share.

    Murdoch believes his new "Fox" company which will retain ownership of America's Fox Network and Fox News channel, is the future and he will concentrate on news (his roots) and sports. Problem with that theory is that Amazon has already started to show sports and if it so chooses, can outbid anyone, except Apple, for sporting rights. Also, the tv production and film production units are being sold to Disney, so Murdoch will be left with a network channel which does not have its own programming arm. A recipe for disaster, but it does help the legacy issue as son Lachlan controls this bit while son James concentrates on his outside interests like Tesla and eventually may become the next Disney CEO.

    If they continue to dish up what the punters want is it really such a bad thing? Competition sharpens the breed.

    True, but as I just said in answer to Rob, I don't think Murdoch's new "Fox" company has much of a future, but being a large shareholder in Disney, is another matter entirely.

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