How Ticketmaster's Sworn Enemy, Pearl Jam, Became Its New Best Friend

For those of us old enough to be music fans and attending concerts in the mid-1990s, Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster will forever be inextricably linked. Pearl Jam became synonymous with anti-Ticketmaster venom from both artists and consumers during that period, who saw the ticketing company as a monopoly (even in the pre-Live Nation merger days) that charged egregious fees to the detriment of both parties.  Beyond creating its own fan ticketing, inspired by the Grateful Dead, the band tried to … Continue reading How Ticketmaster's Sworn Enemy, Pearl Jam, Became Its New Best Friend

The Spectrum Story Verizon Doesn't Want You To Hear

Verizon’s spectrum position has been a nagging concern for investors and it’s likely to persist in 2020. Verizon’s current network strategy leans heavily on small cell densification and mmWave spectrum. However, the early performance of mmWave spectrum has been worse than promised and the pace of small cell deployments is slower than expected. So the reality is that Verizon continues to convert existing spectrum to LTE from CDMA to maintain and improve its network performance. But how much spectrum does … Continue reading The Spectrum Story Verizon Doesn't Want You To Hear

Strong Wireless Subscriber Growth By Comcast In Q4. Maybe MVNOs Can Compete After All

Comcast’s reported its largest ever quarterly wireless net additions of 261,000, which increased by 15% y/y and reversed three consecutive quarters of y/y declines >10%. This was handily above our estimate of 225,000 and the 223,000 consensus estimate in the T-Mobile IR poll. Comcast also surpassed the critical 2.0 million subscriber milestone. Charter claims it can break-even at that level, but we estimate that Comcast will have to grow to 3.0 million subs to hit that next and very important … Continue reading Strong Wireless Subscriber Growth By Comcast In Q4. Maybe MVNOs Can Compete After All

The Single Most Important Question Investors Need to Ask Legacy Media Execs

As we talked about in our LightShed Day One launch post, “technology-led changes in the industry have been a focal point for our research.” We are truly excited by the explosion of streaming services offering consumers vastly better user interfaces, cross-platform access no longer tied to antiquated in-home hardware, breadth and depth of content, easy sign-up and cancellation without having to wait on hold or take a day off from work for an installer to come to your house, far … Continue reading The Single Most Important Question Investors Need to Ask Legacy Media Execs

Peacock Reveals Comcast Sees a Future Without a Video Bundle

Heading into Comcast/NBC Universal’s Peacock Investor Day, we laid out 13 questions for management (link), with the vast majority of our questions addressed during the presentation and the Q&A session. Our key takeaway from the Peacock Investor Day was just how far Comcast’s view of the video ecosystem has evolved in the past few years: Early 2017: Viewed multichannel video bundle as a growth business driven by Xfinity platform investment (link)Q3 2018: Shifted focus to only acquiring profitable Xfinity video … Continue reading Peacock Reveals Comcast Sees a Future Without a Video Bundle

Peacock Investor Day Handbook: 13 Questions You Need to Ask NBC

Tomorrow afternoon in NYC, we will be attending the NBCU investor day where management will unveil details and strategy for the coming launch of “Peacock” and how it fits into the larger roadmap for Comcast and NBC Universal. Legacy media companies face two major problems that Peacock seeks to address. First, cable network reach is collapsing with fully-distributed cable networks set to fall below 80 million subscribers in 2020, a level they have not seen since 2000 (as we… Continue reading

Another Setback In T-Mobile’s Attempt To Buy Sprint

T-Mobile’s attempt to purchase Sprint faced another setback on Friday when Judge Timothy Kelly extended his Tunney Act review of the DOJ settlement into mid-February. We had initially expected this routine review to end in mid-November. (Link) Now it might not conclude until after Judge Victor Marrero’s decision in the State AG case, thereby delaying T-Mobile’s ability to close the deal. This generates additional uncertainty for investors and could further widen the ratio between T-Mobile and Sprint’s stock.   What happened? … Continue reading Another Setback In T-Mobile’s Attempt To Buy Sprint

LightShed's Top 20 TMT Predictions and Events to Watch for in 2020 #Top20for20

Happy New Year!  As always, we are kicking off TMT coverage in the new year by laying out our top predictions and events to watch for in 2020 – what we call our #Top20for20. To see what we got right and wrong in last year’s Top 19 list for 2019, it can be found here. The TMT landscape is rapidly evolving with meaningful changes to how people communicate, consume content, play games and travel, with scale and focus increasingly important factors for success. … Continue reading LightShed's Top 20 TMT Predictions and Events to Watch for in 2020 #Top20for20

Why Apple and Amazon May Want Local/Regional Sports More than National

Yesterday reports surfaced that Apple may have interest in Pac-12 conference sports rights (link), while earlier this year, Amazon was part of the team-led investor group that acquired the YES Network (link). So why are the large tech platforms increasingly interested in local/regional sports rights, while we have yet to see them acquire high-profile national rights? We believe the answer ties back to the thesis of our Legacy Media Jenga blog from last year: “If you are watching YES Network … Continue reading Why Apple and Amazon May Want Local/Regional Sports More than National

Has Ergen Delivered A Win For Masa and T-Mobile?

Our optimism continues to grow about T-Mobile’s ability to prevail in the State AG lawsuit challenging its acquisition of Sprint. We have no experience in these matters, have sought no legal advice, and have no idea what Judge Marrero deems relevant in making his decision. Yet, we have sat through eight days of testimony and we believe the State AGs have failed to make a compelling enough case that justifies a District Court Judge effectively overruling the decisions of two … Continue reading Has Ergen Delivered A Win For Masa and T-Mobile?