Discovery & BSkyB Poised To Acquire UK’s Channel 5: Report

channel5Back in February, word began to spread that longtime frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch were eyeing a joint acquisition of the UK’s Channel 5. Malone-backed Discovery Communications and BSkyB, majority owned by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, have now reportedly gone ahead and sewn up a deal. Broadcast reported that Discovery and BskyB are nearing an announcement they have acquired the broadcaster in a deal valued at £350M, which would give the former a 70% stake and the latter 30%. But media entrepreneur Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, owner of Channel 5, has said it received several bids and was still evaluating them, according to Bloomberg. The free-to-air broadcaster was thought to be seeking a buyer with about £700M to spend, but many were skeptical it would fetch such a price; Desmond paid about £103.5M for it in 2010. Other companies that have been said to have shown interest include Viacom, Turner Broadcasting, BT, NBCUniversal and Saban Capital.

Channel 5 is notably the home of Big Brother, although its contract for the show expires in 2015. The net also airs U.S. dramas like Under The Dome, CSI and Person Of Interest; weekly average ratings hover around 4%. Read More »

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Discovery, BSkyB Considering Joint Bid For Britain’s Channel 5: Report

murdoch maloneAre longtime frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch about to partner on a UK venture? That’s the word on the street according to The Financial Times which reports that the Malone-backed Discovery Read More »

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John Malone Gives Discovery Stock Voting And Purchase Rights To CEO David Zaslav

John MaloneThis should give the Discovery chief a little more job security at a time when the air is filled with deal talk following Comcast’s $42.5B agreement to buy Time Warner Cable. Liberty Media Chairman John Malone gave … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 60: The Games Yes Movies No Episode

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 7:08pm PST

Listen to (and share) episode 60 of our audio podcast “Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman.”

Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about Sony’s big investor meeting this week and the changes and cuts it’s promising to make to enhance the health of its “vital” entertainment unit; the race between Sony and Microsoft as each finally launches long-awaited next-generation videogame consoles; more big cuts at the long-suffering Tribune Co.’s newspapers; and John Malone and Charter Communications look like they’re about to go hunting for more cable companies.

Deadline Big Media Episode 60 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media Episode 60 (.M4A version)
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Netflix Shares Rise On Reports Of Talks With Cable Operators

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 7:34am PDT

The 3% jump in early trading stands out on a morning when most stocks are down. Investors are intrigued by weekend reports led by one in The Wall Street Journal that Netflix is talking to cable companies including Comcast about the possibility of making the streaming service available … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman, Episode 54

By | Friday October 11, 2013 @ 1:10pm PDT

Listen to (and share) episode 54 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s executive business editor talks with host David Bloom about John Malone’s call for more cable consolidation and cooperation in the face of an existential threat from Netflix and its ilk; broadcaster plans to go to the Supreme Court as they pursue injunctions against Aereo; a whole raft of news on Twitter as Comcast partners with it and Nielsen tracks it; and more stock machinations by 21st Century Fox as it tries to accommodate U.S. broadcast-ownership rules while fending off critics.

Deadline Big Media, Episode 54 (MP3 format)
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John Malone: Cable Companies Need To Merge And Cooperate To Combat Netflix

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 8:36am PDT

The chairman of Liberty Media compares the growing sense of bitterness in pay TV to the dysfunction in Washington: There’s so much tension lately between programmers and distributors — especially over pricing — because “like [in] the political system, the moderates have been driven out of the business,” John Malone told an investor gathering. Internet video services led by Netflix have become so popular that they’ve pressured traditional pay TV companies to focus on short term gains instead of deals that would create long term value. Netflix has an advantage using the Internet because it reaches the entire country and its “local distribution is incrementally free.” Hollywood programmers sell to Netflix because it’s “found money.” Yet cable operators are hamstrung. “As big as Comcast is, it has a 25% footprint. You can’t buy national programming when you have that kind of footprint.” Distributors also shot themselves in the foot by waiting so long to roll out their TV Everywhere streaming services. If they’d moved more quickly then ”we’d be looking at new revenue streams and the ability to manage ad skipping and so on.” Instead, they’ve “created this window of opportunity” for Netflix. Read More »

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Liberty Media Unveils Deals With Sirius XM and Comcast Ahead Of Investor Meeting

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 5:02am PDT

UPDATED: John Malone’s company will give Wall Street a lot to talk about today. Shares in Liberty-controlled Sirius XM are already up about 2% in pre-market trading after it said that it will add … Read More »

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Cable Or Satellite Mergers Would Have Little Impact On Programming Prices: Analyst

Liberty Media’s John Malone and other execs are pounding the drums for cable and satellite companies to merge — in part to help hold down their rising programming costs. You’d expect outlays to Read More »

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Liberty CEO Says He Would Only Make A Cable Deal With Charter

Don’t look for Liberty Media Chairman John Malone to add a cable company to his own portfolio. Although he believes the industry is ripe for consolidation, it’s “unlikely that we would participate in buying stakes in other cable companies Read More »

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Charter, Goldman Sachs Mulling Time Warner Cable Offer: Report

By | Friday July 19, 2013 @ 10:45am PDT

Talk of a possible merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable appears to be re-surfacing. John Malone-backed Charter reportedly is working with Goldman Sachs Group toRead More »

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John Malone To Charlie Ergen: Merge Dish With DirecTV For The Industry’s Sake

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 3:26pm PDT

John Malone is the largest individual investor in DirecTV and a former kingpin of pay TV, so why not offer advice to the satcaster’s lone rival? That’s just what he did Thursday at Allen & Co.’s … Read More »

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Three Mogul Enemies Will Face Off Friday On 2013 Camp Allen’s Big Media Panel

Allen & Co Allen & Co Investment ConferenceHollywood moguls are arriving at the 31st annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley starting today — and this time there’s something fun awaiting them. For years now the … Read More »

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Time Warner Cable Debt Holders Should Worry If Charter Comes Knocking: Moody’s

Debt holders shouldn’t be as enthusiastic as stock buyers seem to be about the talk of a possible marriage between Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications, Moody’s Investors Service warns today. Liberty Media’s John Malone fanned the … Read More »

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Cablevision Shares Pop On Growing Speculation About A Possible Deal

You can’t attribute the 9.4% increase in Cablevision‘s share price today — and 23% jump over the last five days — to the day’s only solid news: Charter just closed the deal announced in February to pay $1.63B for Cablevision’s systems in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. No, investors are more excited by new reports that the Dolan family — led by Cablevision founder Charles Dolan and his son, CEO Jim Dolan — may finally be willing to sell the company, and that Time Warner Cable as well as Charter want to kick the tires. TWC has long salivated to combine its crown jewel cable system in Manhattan with Cablevision’s franchises in New York’s outer boroughs and suburbs including Long Island. Up to now, the Dolans haven’t been interested. The family tried to take the company private in 2007, but shareholders rejected the offer. Cablevision’s stock took a roller-coaster ride as execs grappled with growing competition from phone companies led by Verizon’s FiOS and restructured operations — including spinoff deals in 2010 for Madison Square Garden, and in 2011 for AMC Networks. But Cablevision’s stock price has been virtually dormant since the beginning of 2012, at least until the latest speculation-fueled run-up. The change: Liberty Media’s John Malone recently paid $2.6B for a 27.3% stake in Charter — run by former Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge. They’re eager to snag Time Warner Cable. Read More »

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Would Time Warner Cable Rather Buy Systems Than Sell Itself To John Malone?

Apparently so, according to a Reuters report. The No. 2 cable operator has spoken to Cox and Cablevision about possible deals “in recent months” and continues to be interested in them, the news wire … Read More »

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Is John Malone Crafting A Cable Mega-Deal?

Shares in Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Cablevision popped this afternoon after Bloomberg reported that the one-time King of Cable is “exploring scenarios” to help Charter buy one of the other companies. Investors have speculated for weeks about a deal, seen as a real possibility since May when John Malone‘s Liberty Media paid $2.6B for a 27.3% stake in Charter. Today’s story took things further, citing unnamed sources who added details — including one who said that Malone and Charter “would like to get a friendly deal done [with Time Warner Cable] in the coming months.” Charter needs to show that it can afford to play; its $12.5B market value pales next to Time Warner Cable’s $31.7B. A buyer likely would have to pay much more: Evercore Partners’ Bryan Kraft says this week that TWC shareholders would want “a significant premium” to compensate them for giving up control, accepting additional risk, and creating most of the cost-saving synergies. Read More »

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Liberty Completes $2.6B Charter Purchase; John Malone Among Board Additions

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 5:01pm PDT

Related: Liberty To Pay $2.62B For 27.3% Of Charter

STAMFORD, Conn. & ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (May 1, 2013) –Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR) (“Charter”) and Liberty Media Corporation (Nasdaq: LMCA, LMCB) (“Liberty”) announced today that Liberty has completed its previously announced agreement with investment funds managed by, or affiliated with, Apollo Management, Oaktree Capital Management and Crestview Partners to acquire 26.9 million shares and 1.1 million warrants in Charter Communications, Inc. for $2.6 billion, which represents a 27.3% beneficial ownership in Charter using shares outstanding as of December 31, 2012, and a price per share of $95.50.

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Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei Made $57.2M In 2012, +1,693%

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 3:16pm PDT

No need to guess what accounted for the big increase. When Liberty Chairman John Malone calls the shots, big money decisions are almost always driven by a desire to minimize taxes. (One of SVP Albert Rosenthaler’s chief jobs … Read More »

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