UPDATE: We believe multiple MVPDs informed ESPN that affiliate fees should not be paid starting in April 2020 because sports content is not being delivered as specified in their affiliation agreements. The MVPDs correspondence with Disney/ESPN have apparently been completely rebuffed, even though the MVPDs indicated that all fees not paid to ESPN would be rebated directly to subscribers; helping US consumers who are hurting financially. While the next steps are unclear, it’s evident that Disney/ESPN expect to collect their … Continue reading Enough is Enough, Distributors Want to Rebate Subs for Sports That Did Not Happen
2020 was supposed to mark a new era for WWE, as the company completed its Raw and SmackDown licensing agreements and was set with a “transformative” cash flow profile that would allow for both reinvestment to power the company’s international growth and significant capital return. Instead, it has been a year of turmoil marked by a string of disappointments, highlighted by down international television licensing deals and declining engagement figures. The turmoil inside the company was punctuated by the dismissal … Continue reading Is WWE a Test Case for the Return of Major Sports? And 4 Other Questions for Tonight
When Snapchat reports tonight, all eyes will likely be focused on how the company is faring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Snapchat usage is clearly surging with consumers sheltering-in-place, although Q2 ad revenue is likely being pressured from a pull-back in global ad-spend as the recession takes hold. That said, Snapchat appears far better positioned than its peers to withstand the challenges ahead, given no meaningful small-business exposure (think about Facebook/Instagram’s 8 million advertisers vs. maybe a couple hundred thousand at … Continue reading Is Snapchat Ready to Start Taking TV Ad Dollars in Size?
As the COVID-19 global pandemic became “real” in the US and we all learned what sheltering-in-place meant, we utilized data from iSpotTV to showcase the top 60 brands advertising on TV over the prior 12 months (March 15, 2019-March 16, 2020) and highlighted the sectors that were most impacted during the 2008-2009 recession (link). With just over a month of sheltering-in-place, the TV advertising landscape has shifted dramatically. We compared the aforementioned last 12 months ending March 16, 2020 to … Continue reading Look What Happened to TV Advertising in the Past Month; One Word: S-C-A-R-Y
Last month, we detailed why we believe Netflix is uniquely positioned to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic (link). Everyone is stuck sheltering at home with no sports on TV and with fresh entertainment content on linear TV running thin. The result should be more Netflix subs in every region around the world, at higher ARPU as subscribers upgrade to higher tier plans to enable more streams/account. Combine revenue outperformance with costs coming down due to a global production stoppage and … Continue reading Nine Questions for Netflix’s Q1 2020 Earnings Interview Tonight
On Wednesday, April 15th, we kicked off the inaugural episode of Sport Hiatus’ Office Hours interview series with John Kosner interviewing LightShed Partner’s Rich Greenfield. Kosner is the Co-Founder of Micromanagement Ventures with former NBA Commissioner David Stern, and Sports Digital Media Consultancy, Kosner Media. Prior to Micromanagment Ventures and Kosner Media, John was a long-time ESPN executive who led the creation of most of what is today ESPN’s digital operations. You can learn more about Sport Hiatus here, along … Continue reading Watch: LightShed’s Rich Greenfield Interviewed by Micromanagement Ventures Co-Founder John Kosner on Sport Hiatus
T-Mobile has already started signing multi-year lease agreements with certain 600 MHz spectrum holders. This is occurring before the FCC inspired 60 day free loan period for this spectrum has expired. Could Dish be next and can the Boost purchase be renegotiated? What happened? T-Mobile entered into a 3-year spectrum lease agreement for low-band 600 MHz spectrum with entities controlled by Columbia Capital. The agreement includes spectrum in 17 markets representing 100 million POPs. It includes key markets like Los … Continue reading T-Mobile Quietly Inks Deal. Is Dish Next?
It has been nearly a month since the broader live entertainment business shuttered, including every aspect of MSG’s business. The future of live entertainment, including both sports and concerts, is a series of open questions. We do not have the answers. Like everyone else, we can only guess at when we return to group activities and especially events. Even then, how many will feel comfortable with a return to “normalcy” and how long will we feel COVID-19’s economic impact? All … Continue reading The Garden May Be Dark, but MSGE is Undervalued; Initiating with BUY and $120 Target
Verizon could have a critical 5G marketing advantage when the iPhone launches later this year thanks to the combination of two key wireless technologies developed by Qualcomm. We still have concerns about the limited amount of spectrum Verizon has available to fuel the persistent growth in wireless data. However, we recognize that the stars are aligning for it to once again lean heavily on its reputation as a superior network just as the Covid-induced, pent-up demand for smartphones is about … Continue reading Here’s How Verizon Could Win 5G This Fall
Disney stock reached an all-time high of $151.58 on November 27, 2019, following the incredibly successful launch of Disney+ earlier that month. At that moment, Disney’s consensus EPS expectations for fiscal (Sept) 2020-2022 were $5.49, $6.12 and $6.87, respectively. While Disney waited far too long to disrupt their cash cow legacy businesses, when they finally leaned into the future, the early success of Disney+ enabled investors to see a Netflix-like way for Disney to monetize their incredible array of content. … Continue reading Disney’s Unique Vulnerability to COVID-19 Should Keep Investors Away; Initiating at Neutral