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MGM To Double Content Spending In 2017 As TV Bolsters Q4 Financials

The specter of 2015’s successful James Bond film Spectre hovered over MGM’s financial results for Q4. But although film content revenue fell with no 2016 release that matched Bond, improvements in the TV business contributed to a lift in the bottom line. With the strong numbers, CEO Gary Barber told investors today that MGM plans to boost its content spending significantly this year to as much as $440 million, from $218 million in 2016. That will result in “meaningful… Read

Business

Tribune Media Shares Jump On Report That Sinclair Is Interested In A Deal

Tribune Media shares are up more than 9% in pre-market trading this morning after Reuters reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group is interested in a merger — and Tribune disclosed Q4 earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The news service describes the talks with Sinclair as “preliminary” and notes that they may just involve parts of Tribune. A straight combination would put the surviving company well above the FCC’s ownership caps — although many analysts… Read

Business

ITV Revenue Jumps Despite Ad Decline Amid Economic & Political Uncertainty

Reporting its full-year results for the period ended December 31, 2016, ITV said this morning that its overall group revenue grew by 3% to £3.064B ($3.8B). With a 3% drop in net advertising revenue across 2016 — and amid an uncertain economic and political background as Brexit hovers — the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster predicts a 6% ad dip in the first four months of 2017. Still, ITV expects to outperform the market and reported a slight increase in pre-tax profits… Read

Business

AMC Entertainment Cites Record Revenues Following Acquisitions

AMC Entertainment says today that it had a couple of firsts in 2016, the period when it became the world’s largest exhibition chain with acquisitions of Carmike Cinemas and Odeon and UCI Cinemas: It was the first year in which AMC’s admissions revenues topped $2 billion, and concession sales exceeded $1 billion. But most of the Q4 numbers were pretty much in line with Wall Street expectations. Net income fell 20.1% to $33.3 million, with $22.8 million of merger and… Read

Business

AMC Networks Shares Jump After Q4 Earnings Top Expectations – Update

UPDATE with stock trading info: AMC Networks shares soared about 13% this morning after the programmer reported Q4 earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. CEO Josh Sapan said in December that advertising in the year-end period looked lighter than he had anticipated. Some analysts followed by slashing their ad sales estimates, figuring that the number would be roughly flat with last year. But today’s report shows that domestic ad sales were up 3.1%, with price hikes… Read

Business

Dish Network CEO: Streaming Video Is Starting To Replace Traditional Pay TV

Providers of streaming services such as DirecTV Now and Sling TV typically try to calm the fears of programmers that like the lucrative traditional pay TV bundle by saying that they aim to supplement, not replace, it. But Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen doesn’t buy that anymore. The so-called over the top (OTT) services are “becoming a direct replacement for cable and satellite,” he said in a call to discuss his company’s Q4 performance. And programmers who want to keep… Read

Business

Univision: U.S. Is A “Primary” Market For Televisa Programming Following Deal

The U.S. will become “a primary place for distribution of content, not a secondary place” for Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa following last month’s agreement with Univision to blend their production operations, Univision CEO Randy Falco told his investors this morning. The agreement expanded the responsibilities for Univision’s Isaac Lee, making him Chief Content Officer of both Univision and Televisa. Falco says he’s optimistic about the change based in part on the… Read

Business

Charter Talks Up Mobile Plans As It Ends Time Warner Cable Video Discounts

Charter Communications is the No. 2 cable provider — but it’s starting to sound more like a wireless company based on CEO Tom Rutledge’s comments to analysts in this morning’s conference call to discuss Q4 earnings. Much of the talk involved Charter’s plan to introduce a mobile service in 2018 that blends its wifi services with Verizon’s cell network. “Our goal is to include wireless services in our packages and drive more customer relationship growth,” Rutledge says. In… Read

breakingBusiness

CBS Beat Q4 Earnings Expectations; Revenues Hit By Radio And NFL Changes

CBS appears to have come through its Q4 period relatively unscathed, despite a Thursday Night Football deal that left it with three fewer games than it had in 2015, and anemic ratings as some football fans turned to news channels to keep up with the unusual election. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.11, a penny ahead of analyst expectations. Revenues at $3.52 billion were down 2% as reported — but were scrambled a bit by its agreement this month to merge its radio division… Read

Business

Discovery Beats Q4 Expectations On Earnings, But Not On Revenues

Like a lot of media companies this earnings season, Discovery Communications just reported mixed results in its Q4 report with revenues falling short of analyst expectations, but with an earnings beat. The company reported net income of $304 million, up 38.8% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.67 billion, up 1.6%. The Street thought that revenues would hit $1.69 billion. But earnings, at 52 cents a share, exceeded expectations for 47 cents. "Discovery's… Read

breakingBusiness

Viacom Unveils Reorganization Plan Focusing on Flagships Brands

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish will focus on six “flagship brands” — BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and Paramount — as part of his long-awaited company reorganization, out this morning with its year-end earnings. The brands “will be the company’s highest priorities and will benefit from significant and increased resource commitments,” Viacom says in its release. Other brands “will be realigned to reinforce the six flagship brands,” it adds. The CEO says that… Read

Business

Lionsgate Year-End Revenues Fall Short Of Expectations As Earnings Adjust To Starz

Nobody knew what to expect from Lionsgate’s first earnings report after it bought Starz, and the release out this afternoon for the last three months of 2016 will leave many continuing to scratch their heads. The results include a $52 million restructuring cost, a $28 million loss from debt extinguishing, and a $20 million gain from Lionsgate’s investment in Starz stock. The net result was a $31 million loss, down from a $33 million profit in the period last year, on… Read