If the FCC announces a public market auction of C-Band spectrum this week, as many investors now expect, it is likely to complicate and materially delay the availability of spectrum that has been globally identified as a primary 5G spectrum band. In addition, if Chairman Pai makes the announcement of a public auction before auction legislation is enacted, it is unlikely that the proceeds could be used to pay for an offset in legislative spending. In that scenario, it would … Continue reading When Would An FCC Auction Make C-Band Spectrum Available For 5G And Who Gets The Money?
24 hours after launching Disney+, Disney issued a press release (link) indicating that they had already reached 10 million subscribers — a staggering number that illustrated the power of the Disney brand and a clear sign of pent-up demand for the product after the most aggressive marketing campaign we have witnessed in our 23 years covering The Walt Disney Company. Now, the far more important question is can Disney+ hold onto the huge number of early subscribers and continue to … Continue reading Burn and Churn: Why are Google Searches for Cancelling Disney Plus 4x Netflix?
Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana has been a vocal critic of a private auction of C-Band spectrum and has voiced those concerns to the President. That is not new. However, we believe the administration continues to be more interested in winning the Race To 5G and will support the determination of its appointee, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. We are also skeptical that Senator Kennedy can gain support from fellow members to sign a new Bill that would handicap a federal … Continue reading Will FCC Chairman Pai Allow The Race To 5G To Be Derailed By Politics?
While all eyes are on today’s launch of Disney+ (link), we are increasingly fixated on Disney’s decision last week to begin airing FX programming on Hulu in March 2020, just hours after it airs on linear television within the legacy multichannel bundle (with FX set to become the largest content supplier to Hulu, answering one of the key streaming strategy issues we had for Disney, see #3, link). Last week, Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger stated: “FX on Hulu … Continue reading Disney Acknowledges Legacy Bundle is Dead, and No, Not Talking Disney+
The Wall Street Journal reported that T-Mobile CEO John Legere is negotiating a job as CEO at WeWork. It was also confirmed by Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino. Nevertheless, this story makes little sense to us and we think T-Mobile and SoftBank should deny its veracity, immediately. Legere is certainly qualified to take the WeWork CEO position, perhaps over-qualified given his track record. There would also be significant financial incentive for Legere to accept, given its well heeled owner. However, it’s … Continue reading T-Mobile and SoftBank Should Immediately Deny That Legere Will Take WeWork CEO Spot
In the next few weeks and months, the FCC is likely to decide on key spectrum issues that could end up being pivotal for the success of 5G in the United States. Further delays or unfavorable decisions could trigger bankruptcies, stymie investment or, most importantly, materially delay or impair spectrum that is critical for the United States to win the Race to 5G. Unfortunately, the ongoing uncertainty about whether T-Mobile will be able to close the proposed acquisition of Sprint … Continue reading Three Spectrum Items FCC Chairman Pai Needs To Act on Now In #RaceTo5G
Yesterday afternoon, Netflix Founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, was interviewed by The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin at the 2019 Dealbook Conference. The entire 30-minute interview is embedded below (key moments of the interview pulled out below along with timestamps). We were able to ask Hastings a question during audience Q&A and took the opportunity to ask the #1 question we have been getting from investors: “There’s been several times throughout Netflix’s history where investors have feared that you … Continue reading Is Netflix Past Peak Global Net Adds or Can 2020 Hit a New High?
As we enter the #postbundle world with an increasing array of low-cost (or no incremental cost) direct-to-consumer streaming services, the legacy multichannel video bundle needs to move to an a la carte model or the price/value proposition will collapse on itself. We continue to believe that at best half of the current 85+ million US MVPD/vMVPD households have at least one diehard sports fan. With the overwhelming majority of non-sports fan households capable of being satisfied without a linear TV … Continue reading Dish Proves Dropping RSNs Can Be Very Profitable: “Stop Stuffing the Damn Bundle”
Disney is set to report fiscal Q4 (Sept) 2019 earnings tomorrow after the close, just four days before the launch of Disney+, with direct-to-consumer streaming now the company’s top priority. While investors will be eager to hear more about current theme park trends following Disney’s substantial investment in Star Wars lands at both domestic theme parks, as well as how ESPN is faring in the face of a dramatic acceleration in cord-cutting (total subs likely running down 4% year-over-year with calendar Q4 set to be down ~5%), everything is now secondary to the level of success across Disney’s streaming efforts. Continue reading
Masa Son remained optimistic about the rising value of SoftBank on his call with investors this morning. However, he didn’t have much to say on the sale of Sprint to T-Mobile, perhaps the biggest catalyst facing the stock this year. On the call, Masa highlighted the Vision Fund’s performance despite taking a $9 billion write down of asset value in that fund this quarter. He also restated his belief in WeWork, which he insists SoftBank did not “rescue” and expects to … Continue reading Masa Remains Bullish On WeWork And Vision Fund As Sprint Looms Large