Mega Media Mergers to fight against Netflix

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  • AT&T And Dish Network Stocks Gain On DirecTV Merger Speculation

    Rumblings are getting louder about a potential merger of leading satellite TV distributors DirecTV and Dish, with stocks in both services’ parent companies gaining ground in Friday trading.

    Like in the UK, traditional pay tv companies in the States are haemorrhaging subscribers to streaming services like Netflix and these satellite companies are no different.


    Since AT&T bought Timer Warner last year, is has a terrifying amount of debt on its books, so if it were able to sell DirecTV to Dish, that would at least improve their balance sheet a bit.


    There is a important side story here which is the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, America's 3rd and 4th biggest mobile companies, that I mentioned in this post last year.


    T-Mobile's boss has been heavily critical of Dish for a long time because Dish has been hoarding tons of mobile spectrum which it has not been using and many pundits have speculated that Dish wants to buy Sprint and create a massive 5G network to rival the likes of Verizon and in effect knock out T-Mobile If Dish also owns DirecTV, it has the potential to become the dominant force in wireless in the future.

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  • Just a quick update, the boards of CBS and Viacom (owners of our Channel 5) are meeting today and a formal merger between the two should be finalised over the next few weeks or so.


    Other merger news, American state regulators are suing to block the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

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  • For three days every July, the big action in the world of media Opens a New Window. and technology Opens a New Window. is supposed to move to the small resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, where CEOs and other business leaders Opens a New Window. gather to attend Allen & Company’s annual conference, also known as the “Summer Camp for Billionaires.”

    All the American billionaires are having their annual shin dig this week and I would expect news of the CBS/Viacom merger and the Sprint/T-Mobile merger shortly afterwards, perhaps as soon as next week.


    Disney's boss Bob Iger will be attending as will Apple boss, Tim Cook. Iger also sits on the Apple Board... the real mega mergers are still to happen.

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  • The T-Mobile and Sprint merger was reportedly supposed to be a done deal weeks ago after much of their total spectrum assets were set to be allocated to Dish to spur the creation of another major carrier. But according to The Wall Street Journal, talks have slowed, and it’s unclear when the two parties will come to an agreement.

    T-Mobile and Sprint announced their $26 billion merger over a year ago, and the Journal reports that it will once again push past another deadline, July 29th, before closing the deal. This will be the second such extension since the initial announcement that has struggled to receive approval from the Justice Department.

    The Sprint/T-Mobile is delayed, because Dish (a American satellite tv company which owns a lot of mobile spectrum) is trying to buy some of the asses that have to be divested if the merger is cleared. The American regulators are very keen on there still being a 4th mobile network which would be lost when T-Mobile and Sprint merge, so it all hinges on the deal done with Dish.


    The CBS/Viacom merger announcement is imminent. Reminder: Viacom owns our Ch5 and lots of satellite channels.


    Why is this of any relevance to us? Because the mergers will not stop and these telcos will continue to merge with content companies including the CBS/Viacom remerged company and then the tech companies like Apple, Amazon etc will gobble them all up in the end, in my opinion. So, it will effect us all in one way or another eventually.

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  • CBS’ plan to acquire Viacom for up to $15.4 billion could be announced Aug 8, giving its controlling shareholder the ability to leverage IP like 'Star Trek' across film and TV to better compete with Disney, Netflix and the rest.

    In 2005, the parents of Star Trek divorced, with CBS winning custody of the TV shows while Viacom got the film franchise, courtesy of its Paramount Pictures. It's all but certain, though, that a reconciliation is in the works and an announcement of their intended reunification, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, is due Aug. 8, the day each is set to report quarterly earnings.

    Star Trek is a major brand and something the merged company needs as it takes on Netflix and other streamers, but as I've said before, these two companies combined are still not big enough to compete with Netflix, the Disney/Fox juggernaut, Comcast/Sky and the others.


    More consolidation is coming and soon.

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  • One week to the CBS/Viacom remerger, which I then expect will set off the next wave of mergers over the next year.


    Who's next, Discovery??

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  • CBS, Viacom Reach Tentative Management Structure for Combined Company

    CBS and Viacom moved one step closer to a highly anticipated reunification after the companies agreed upon an executive structure, the latest signal that the two media conglomerates, controlled by the Redstone family, were heading toward a new merger.

    The agreement remains fluid, according to people familiar with the situation, but calls for Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to take the reins of a combined Viacom and CBS, with Joe Ianniello, acting CEO of CBS Corp. being offered a position overseeing all of the CBS-branded assets at a newly merged concern. Christina Spade, CBS’ chief financial officer, could become the CFO of the new company, these people said.

    Well, it looks like they're almost ready to merge with Vicom's current boss set to be in charge of the merged company.


    Will our Ch 5 owned by Viacom get renamed to CBS at some point?

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  • Still waiting on the CBS/Viacom merger announcement. It was meant to be yesterday when both companies reported their latest earnings, but it's now expected to come on Monday or soon afterwards.


    And as I keep saying, this will then trigger further media consolidation, as if the media industry is not consolidated enough!:rolleyes:


    And there's lots of speculation around Dish too, apart from its yearnings to become a mobile player. Some pundits believe AT&T is about to offload DirectTV (their satellite tv operation) and allow that to merge with Dish creating one massive satellite tv company in the States.

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  • Still waiting for the CBS/Viacom announcement, but here's a little graphic on this article from Recode illustrating how all these companies are coming together.

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  • CBS and Viacom to Combine


    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 13, 2019-- CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), two of the world’s leading entertainment companies, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger, creating a combined company with more than $28 billion in revenue.


    .(Source: ViacomCBS Inc.)

    The combined company, ViacomCBS Inc., will be a leading global, multiplatform, premium content company, with the assets, capabilities and scale to be one of the most important content producers and providers in the world.

    That's it. That's the merger announcement and our Channel 5 will be owned by this merged company.


    The merger will probably be complete by the end of the year and then I expect it will then merge again with either Discovery, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate or even all of them.

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  • Lions Gate Entertainment is higher premarket (LGF.A +9.3%, LGF.B +0.1%) after John Malone entered a trading plan with Fidelity to sell up to 1.8M class A shares, and Imperial Capital upgraded the stock on a potential Starz sale.

    I think Malone (ultimate owner of Virgin Media) is beginning to sell all of his assets as he prepares for retirement.


    Could this specific move enable ViacomCBS to buy up Lionsgate and Starz?

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  • CBS and Viacom complete their merger next Wednesday and then I expect attention will move onto Lionsgate, Discovery, AMC and what's left of the smaller media companies which are still left.

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  • CBS, Viacom complete merger in a win for Shari Redstone

    (Reuters) - CBS Corp and Viacom Inc completed their merger on Wednesday, reuniting media mogul Sumner Redstone’s U.S. entertainment empire.

    The combined entity, ViacomCBS Inc VIACA.O VIAC.O, is controlled by National Amusements Inc, the holding company owned by billionaire Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari.

    The third attempt at a merger since 2016 is a decisive win for Shari Redstone, whose father built the companies through a series of mergers and then broke them apart 13 years ago.

    The CBS Viacom remerger is now complete and the merged company now owns our Ch5, along with the CBS TV network in America, Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon and a whole more besides. The Redstone family also own the UCI and Showcase cinema chains making them a powerful force not just in American media, but here too and globally.


    This merger also unites the tv and film franchises of such things such as Star Trek and Mission Impossible.

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  • ViacomCBS to Acquire 49 Percent Stake in Miramax for $375 Million


    The L.A.-based company, which has been owned by Doha-based BeIN Media Group and run by CEO Bill Block, has a library with 700-plus titles, including such Oscar winners as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Chicago.'

    ViacomCBS has agreed to acquire a 49 percent stake in Miramax, which has a library of 700-plus titles, including Oscar winners like Pulp Fiction, Chicago, Scream, Good Will Hunting and No Country for Old Men, for $375 million in a deal with BeIN Media Group.

    Hot off the heals of the CBS/Viacom re-merger and the company is already on a buying spree.


    Clearly the Arabs didn't want to sell all of Miramax otherwise ViacomCBS would've no doubt have bought the whole company, but what's next on their shopping list, taking over Lionsgate, Starz, Discovery, AMC or MGM? Place your bets!


    Here's my media merger predictions for the next year or so:

    • Apple will buy Disney (I see this as a when not if)
    • Amazon will buy ViacomCBS
    • Charter, Discovery. Lionsgate and Starz wll merge (thus bringing together most of John Malone's American assets) perhaps Patrick Drahi's Altice will then swoop down and gobble the lot with a sea of debt. That would make Malone proud.
    • Sony will sell off its entertainment division to someone including the Columbia studio. Microsoft?? ViacomCBS?
    • Disney/Apple will purchase our ITV. John Malone has owned a chunk for ages now, but clearly he's not interested in having the whole lot. I think BT will make a play for ITV too.
    • Netflix will remain Netflix.

    And I've said before and I'll say it again, now that Comcast (the American cable company which owns NBC Universal) has bought Sky, they will want to go back to their cable routes but in the UK this time. At some point, I believe Sky and Virgin Media will come together. Perhaps not a formal merger to begin with, they are working together on a separate fibre infrastructure company, but the planets will come into alignment. John Malone (the owner of Virgin Media) is old and will want to sell and Comcast will be happy to oblige him, pending regulatory approval.


    One final thought, if the government goes ahead with decriminalising non-payments of the licence fee, this will almost certainly lead to the privatisation of the BBC, so place your bets on who might swoop down on them. Perhaps BT to begin with, but probably someone much bigger.

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  • Although this might be an attractive option business-wise, I can't see the authorities here allowing that as such a merger would create a virtual monopoly.

  • Why I'm coming around to this view OB is that with Comcast entering the UK market has materially changed things, I believe. Comcast is and always will, be a cable co at heart and I think they will be interested in taking on VM.


    The recent announcement that VM and Sky are teaming up to form this fibre joint company, I believe is the first step towards a full tie up. I know it sounds implausible now, but give it perhaps five years when VM has lost more tv customers and Sky is losing tv customers to the streamers and I reckon the planets will come into alignment.


    Don't forget Malone is the kind of avoiding tax, so this JV company could be a sneaky way to merge the two together eventually.

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