Back to the Future: Why is EVERYONE Rushing to Get Back into Free TV?

Back in January 2019, just after Viacom acquired Pluto TV, we published The Rise of Free TV aka Cable TV Without The Bills, where we stated: “While trying to compete head-on with Netflix in SVOD is a fool’s errand, the shift to Internet-delivered television creates another opportunity to reach consumers: AVOD or advertising-supported video-on-demand.  While the value creation opportunity may pale in comparison to SVOD platforms such as Netflix, the cost of entry is dramatically lower.” Note: while we have historically used … Continue reading Back to the Future: Why is EVERYONE Rushing to Get Back into Free TV?

The (Many) Flaws in Professor Galloway's Streaming Wars Thesis: Focus Trumps Scale

We recently read Professor Scott Galloway’s take on the streaming wars called, “Bezosland,” which you can read here. After reading Galloway’s thought piece and conclusions, we conclude he does not really understand the streaming media world he wrote about. Honestly, it feels like he is working too hard to find a narrative to force regulators to break-up Amazon; but too much media industry “power” is a stretch, at best. Focus Trumps Scale Galloway starts off with the view that Amazon … Continue reading The (Many) Flaws in Professor Galloway's Streaming Wars Thesis: Focus Trumps Scale

A Rare Combination of Growth and Safety Makes Live Nation a Diamond in the TMT Rough: Initiating with BUY, $100 Target

We are initiating on Live Nation with a BUY rating and a $100 Price Target based on 19.5x 2021 AOI of $1.3bn. TMT investing is becoming more treacherous by the day, whether from rapidly changing consumer behavior, rising competition and/or increased regulatory scrutiny. However, Live Nation has become a safe haven, which has years of visible, strong double-digit EBITDA growth ahead, with consensus expectations simply too low. The underlying growth drivers for Live Nation have not changed over the past … Continue reading A Rare Combination of Growth and Safety Makes Live Nation a Diamond in the TMT Rough: Initiating with BUY, $100 Target

Five Questions for ViacomCBS' Inaugural Quarterly Conference Call

Tomorrow marks the first quarterly earnings conference call since Viacom and CBS recombined to create ViacomCBS. We thought it would be useful to lay out the five key questions management needs to address tomorrow. 1. Content Strategy: What Goes Where and Why? ViacomCBS has clarified/simplified its management/reporting structure with the early exit of CBS’ Joe Ianniello and appears to be ramping their direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming ambitions leveraging all the assets of the combined company. That said, we and investors are … Continue reading Five Questions for ViacomCBS' Inaugural Quarterly Conference Call

Will Comcast's Brian Roberts Do the Right Thing for Subscribers and Say NO to Sinclair's Marquee Sports?

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, grew up in the cable video distribution business, literally. Roberts has watched the industry climb from its infancy to over 100 million MVPD subscribers. He is now watching it disappear in front of his own eyes as consumer behavior shifts from large, inflexible bundles of channels to streaming services that enable consumers to pick and choose whatever they want. Even with the help of new lower cost bundles from vMVPDs (that have negative gross … Continue reading Will Comcast's Brian Roberts Do the Right Thing for Subscribers and Say NO to Sinclair's Marquee Sports?

Does Verizon Have A Spectrum Strategy Now That Sprint And Dish Are Not Sellers?

Verizon management will face investors tomorrow at a company hosted event in New York City and during a pivotal moment in the company’s history. The company plans to present a wide range of topics, but the focus of investors will be on the implications from the industry altering approval of T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint. Many of those questions will zero in on spectrum, in the aftermath of the approved deal and our Opensignal report that revealed how much spectrum Verizon … Continue reading Does Verizon Have A Spectrum Strategy Now That Sprint And Dish Are Not Sellers?

Podcast: The War for Time and Attention

Earlier this week, we were interviewed by Anthony Pompliano, host of the Off the Chain podcast. The audio version of the podcast is embedded to the right via Spotify, a video replay on YouTube is embedded at the bottom of this post and for Apple Podcast fans, you can listen here.

The nearly two-hour discussion covered a broad array of topics affecting the future of media, with the central theme being “The War for Consumer Time and Attention”. We have… Continue reading

Masa Speaks On Price Negotiation And Whether T-Mobile Is Strategic

We had the opportunity to ask SoftBank CEO and Chairman Masa Son about the T-Mobile deal this morning on a group investor call and some of his responses were surprising. Here’s a quick summary: Masa does not believe T-Mobile is a strategic asset and was not familiar with the details of the 4-year lock-up of T-Mobile’s stock. “There is no strategic reason that we have to hold on to that for many years.””If there are lockups, it’s not 100% lockup. … Continue reading Masa Speaks On Price Negotiation And Whether T-Mobile Is Strategic

Twitter is Simply a Better Product Now: Initiating with BUY and $45 Target

We are initiating coverage of Twitter with a BUY rating and a $45 one-year price target based on 25x estimated 2021 EV/EBITDA (shares are currently trading at 25x estimated 2020 EV/EBITDA).  Our BUY rating is driven by above consensus revenue and EBITDA growth underpinned by a fundamentally better product on which Twitter is iterating faster than at any point in its history. Through a combination of significant machine learning and AI investments, “tweets” are increasingly finding a Twitter user, versus … Continue reading Twitter is Simply a Better Product Now: Initiating with BUY and $45 Target

Big Win For T-Mobile And 5G. Is A Revised Price Coming?

Judge Marrero approved T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint this morning, despite widespread skepticism that had been driving Sprint’s stock lower on a daily basis. It does not appear that Judge Marrero has layered any additional deal conditions on the transaction. In fact, headlines indicate that Marrero was not compelled that prices would rise or that Sprint would be a viable stand-alone competitor. Many were singularly focused on the testimony of Dish CEO Charlie Ergen going into and during the trial. That … Continue reading Big Win For T-Mobile And 5G. Is A Revised Price Coming?