LYV Will Emerge Stronger From COVID-19 Fueled by Ticketmaster’s Globalization

No industry has been more affected by COVID-19 than live events.  Which is to say, Live Nation has not had a business for the past eight months.  They have simply been in the business of survival.  To that end, the company has made it work by fortifying its balance sheet with $1.6bn of fresh debt and a significant cost cutting program to keep cash burn in check. Finally, the other side is in sight with vaccines set for distribution.  In … Continue reading LYV Will Emerge Stronger From COVID-19 Fueled by Ticketmaster’s Globalization

The Sad Reality Of 5G In The United States In 2020

It’s Black Friday, 2020. At the start of the year, many thought the United States would be in the middle of a fierce 5G market share battle by this point in the year. Some even thought that it might deliver a new super-cycle for Apple. The Covid pandemic and the thinly built initial 5G networks have altered that outlook. Settle in because we hit a lot of topics. We outline what to expect from the ever-lengthening replacement cycle and what … Continue reading The Sad Reality Of 5G In The United States In 2020

Jason Kilar’s Wonder Woman Memo and the Future of the Film Industry

We have been advocating for studios with direct-to-consumer streaming platforms to use their best content (tentpole feature films) to drive SVOD — going “all-in” versus simply talking about embracing streaming. While PVOD is a step in the right direction, the evidence shows it only works for smaller films, with Trolls being a success and Mulan failing; not to mention, its unclear how well Trolls would work if we had not been in full lockdown mode. Disney saw real success bringing … Continue reading Jason Kilar’s Wonder Woman Memo and the Future of the Film Industry

Cutting Through The Dish Hysteria

When Paul Kirby from TR Daily broke the news yesterday morning that the FCC had finally made a ruling on the Dish Designated Entities, we thought the implications would have been obvious. Perhaps we have been too in the weeds on this topic over the past five years. The subsequent press coverage has clearly missed the mark, so we thought it would be helpful to quickly outline our views. Sorry for the delay. We also discuss the importance of Dish’s … Continue reading Cutting Through The Dish Hysteria

Why WarnerMedia & NBC Universal Should Merge, Even if They Are Not Ready Yet

We have always questioned the logic of vertical integration of content and distribution in media. History has supported our skepticism. AOL Time Warner created a lot of investment banking fees, but destroyed shareholder value. Time Warner was not helped by owning Time Warner Cable, nor did News Corp benefit from its ownership of DirecTV. There are two such vertically integrated media companies still standing: NBC Universal, which is part of Comcast, and WarnerMedia, which is part of AT&T. Comcast was … Continue reading Why WarnerMedia & NBC Universal Should Merge, Even if They Are Not Ready Yet

John Malone: Is Roku the Scaled, Global Gatekeeper to Streaming Video?

The “streaming wars” between an ever increasing array of direct-to-consumer streaming services (Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Peacock, Starz, Showtime, Pluto, Tubi, Roku Channel, Xumo, etc.), remain top of mind for investors. However, we remain far more focused on another set of streaming wars between TV OS platforms/devices and streaming apps/programmers, as we examined in our July 2020 War for the Living Room post (link).  At last week’s Paley International Council Summit, Liberty … Continue reading John Malone: Is Roku the Scaled, Global Gatekeeper to Streaming Video?

Ten Questions Heading into Disney’s Fiscal Q4 2020 Earnings Tonight

Heading into Disney’s fiscal September Q4 2020 earnings tonight, we have 10 key investor questions. The overwhelming investor focus remains on Disney’s transition to streaming, the company’s level of commitment and the actions it is taking to get there heading into a December 10th Investor Day. 1. Did the Reorg Empower Creatives or Strip Power from Creatives? You have talked about how the recent reorg will accelerate your move into streaming by centralizing distribution under Kareem Daniel. However, as we … Continue reading Ten Questions Heading into Disney’s Fiscal Q4 2020 Earnings Tonight

Last Chance: Media Companies Must Self-Cannibalize or Merge to Enable Full Pivot

Very few companies are able to re-capture growth once technology changes their future. The ones that have been able to reverse their fortunes have had to make hard decisions to pivot from their core. Apple has done it multiple times. When Steve Jobs returned and the iPod changed the direction of the company, they went beyond their personal computer roots. Then, Steve Jobs had the courage to take a sword to the iPod at the height of its popularity to … Continue reading Last Chance: Media Companies Must Self-Cannibalize or Merge to Enable Full Pivot

How Does the Sports TV Plunge Impact WWE and 3 Other Questions for New President Nick Khan

Vince McMahon has made one thing clear about WWE’s strategy since the departure of its co-Presidents in January: WWE is a content arms dealer.  George Barrios and Michelle Wilson worked to turn WWE into a modern, vertically-integrated media company, with direct-to-consumer relationships playing a vital role in the company’s future; McMahon immediately declared he was pursuing a transformative deal for the company’s DTC WWE Network when they left.  In turn, hiring Nick Khan as President and Chief Revenue Officer in … Continue reading How Does the Sports TV Plunge Impact WWE and 3 Other Questions for New President Nick Khan

The Sports TV Plunge – Secular Shifts Create Challenges for Networks and Leagues

When it comes to sports viewership, there is suddenly cause for concern.  As we awaited the return of sports, massive ratings were a foregone conclusion with people still spending more time at home, pent up demand, and the proliferation of sports betting.  It has been the opposite, capped by NBA Finals and Stanley Cup viewership down 49% and 61% respectively.  Meanwhile, engagement remains significantly elevated across video games and streaming platforms from Netflix to Twitch, even as lockdowns eased months … Continue reading The Sports TV Plunge – Secular Shifts Create Challenges for Networks and Leagues