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General

Last week in media: Disney dominates; broadcasters ITV, ProSieben and Viacom update on streaming video services

Monday 13 May 2019 | 07:00 CET | News

Walt Disney once more dominated the news in the global media market. The Telecompaper Stock Index (TPSI) Global Consumer Media performed in line (-2.1%) with the S&P 500 index (-2.2%) in week 19. Other news was mostly earnings and streaming video related. ITV, Snap and McClathcy all lost 11 percent, whereas Sinclair Broadcast was the week's biggest winner with a gain of no less than 38 percent. This puts Sinclair easily on top in the year-to-date view, gaining 135 percent. Snap, winning 90 percent, nearly doubled from the end of 2018.

Earnings reports last week included:

Walt Disney

Walt Disney (-0.2%) agreed to sell the former 21st Century Fox regional sports networks (excluding the YES Network) to Sinclair Broadcast, for USD 10.6 billion. Disney further reported its Q2 results, heavily impacted by the Fox takeover. Investments in the streaming video business generated severe losses. Its investment in Vice proved unfortunate and led to a large write-down. Disney is discussing with Comcast to buy the latter's minority shareholding in Hulu. And Disney's studio business published the release schedule for three more Star Wars and three more Avatar movies, running all the way into 2027.

Streaming

In other streaming video news, Netflix (-6.2%) acquired a children focused company. The Scandinavian NENT Group (-3.3%), recently split off from the Modern Times Group (MTG), reported earnings, as did MTG (-0.6%).

Several broadcasters provided the market with updates on their streaming video activities:

  • ProSieben's new service Joyn, a joint venture with Discovery (-3.0%), will launch in June.
  • ITV said that its upcoming BritBox service, a joint venture with the BBC, was on track for a launch in H2 2019.
  • Viacom was bullish on its recent Pluto TV acquisition.

The streaming music segment was rattled by a new EU investigation of Apple's App Store business, after Spotify (+1.2%) accused Apple of monopolistic behaviour.

In other platform related news, Alphabet's (-1.8%) Google held its annual I/O developer conference, with a heavy focus on privacy, but with product related news from the AI, Android, AR, devices and search groups too.

M&A

Finally, some more M&A news:

  • Mediaset (-3.0%) is reported to be preparing for a cross-border merger. Candidates could include ITV and TF1 (-1.3%).
  • Also, Mediaset could be picking up Sony's (-4.9%) DTT channels.
  • Zee Entertainment's (-9.9%) shareholder the Essel Group is selling half of its 39 percent stake.


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Categories: General
Companies: 21st Century Fox / Alphabet / Apple / Axel Springer / BBC / Comcast / Disney / Electronic Arts / Google / Hulu / ITV / Modern Times Group / Netflix / ProSieben / Snap / Spotify / Viacom
Countries: World
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