Political Ads And Pay TV Fees Will Fuel TV Station Mergers: Report

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 9:20am PST

Broadcast companies spent about $10B last year for TV stations — and the acquisition spree will continue in 2014 with help from the two big rivers of cash, Moody’s Investors Service says in a report out this morning. merger acquisition handshake“Larger … Read More »

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Cable Operators Will Consolidate To Grab Commercial Customers: Moody’s

If you think cable companies already have too much power, just wait. Over the next five years or so the industry “will consolidate to around 3-4 dominant cable operators, which will have sizeable footprints,” Moody’s Investors ServiceRead More »

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‘Hunger Games’ Profits Lead Moody’s To Upgrade Lionsgate Debt

By | Thursday September 6, 2012 @ 2:03pm PDT

Lionsgate Debt Rating UpgradeThe rating service followed through today on the path it hinted it would take in March when it put Lionsgate‘s debt under review. It only delivered a small bump: Lionsgate’s corporate family went to … Read More »

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Moody’s Puts Dick Clark Productions Debt Under Review For Possible Downgrade

By | Thursday September 6, 2012 @ 12:37pm PDT

About $165M worth of debt could be affected by the review, which follows this week’s agreement by a group led by Guggenheim Partners to buy the production company. Moody’s Investors Service says that it’s watching to … Read More »

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Media Companies Can Afford Stock Re-Buys, For Now: Moody’s

Owners of media company bonds shouldn’t worry when they hear executives talk about returning cash to stockholders. The industry is no longer obsessed with mergers and big investments, much of which used to be paid for with debt. As a result, … Read More »

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Moody’s: News Corp Debt Unaffected By “Politicized Hyperbole” About Murdoch

The debt rating service says that bond holders have no need to fear the fallout from a parliamentary report yesterday that says Rupert Murdoch’s handling of the UK hacking scandal made him “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.” The media and entertainment giant’s “significant cash balance and strong free cash flow generation mitigates the uncertainty of additional financial fallout from the phone hacking scandal,” Moody’s Investors Service concluded today. News Corp has a strong Baa1 senior unsecured rating; it generates about $2.5B a year in cash and had $9.4B in its coffers at the end of 2011, equal to more than 60% of its $15.5B in debt. Moody’s says that after “cutting through the highly politicized hyperbole” it concluded that News Corp can “mitigate potential costs” from the scandal. The report  from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee “represents an opinion without any direct regulatory implications.” Read More »

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Booming Auto Ads Could Drive Record Upfront TV Sales: Moody’s

Actually the debt ratings service projects an “advertising windfall” for virtually all traditional media in a report this morning that says auto makers will sell 14M vehicles this year, up 9.3% vs 2011. That should especially delight TV … Read More »

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‘Hunger Games’ Success Positions Lionsgate For Debt Upgrade: Moody’s

Moody's Lionsgate The Hunger GamesThe debt rating firm strongly hinted that it will upgrade Lionsgate’s B2 debt rating, which would mean that the company could pay lower interest rates on the cash it borrows: The $150+M domestic opening for The Hunger Read More »

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Aereo Is “Unlikely” To Survive Broadcaster Suit: Moody’s

By | Friday March 16, 2012 @ 3:43pm PDT

The debt rating company says that several broadcasters who have taken Aereo to court probably will defeat its new effort to sell customers a streaming service for over-the-air signals. The courts will agree with the plaintiffs who say that the effort violates their copyrights. Aereo says that it’s just offering remote access to the kinds of services consumers can already get at home using an antenna, DVR, and a Slingbox. If Aereo were to prevail, Moody’s Investors Service says, then it would be a serious blow to some of the media business’ largest companies. It could undermine broadcasters’ ability to demand retransmission consent payments from pay TV providers. (Why should they pay if Aereo can retransmit local station signals for free?) And if lots of people liked Aereo’s $12 a month service — which also offers the ability to record up to 40 hours of programming and replay it on demand, much like a DVR — then “it would also jeopardize (broadcasters’) advertising revenue.” Ratings services including Nielsen ”do not currently have the capability of capturing online viewing accurately.” Cable has less to fear Read More »

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Report: Premium VOD Likely To Fizzle As Movie Industry Regroups

Movie theaters face a lot of problems but competition from premium VOD probably won’t be one of them, Moody’s Investors Service says in an industry report today. The debt rating company says that studios probably will continue to wait … Read More »

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Report: TV Will See “An Unprecedented Frenzy” Of Political Ads In 2012

The 2012 election campaign has barely begun, but broadcasters can expect to see “an unprecedented frenzy of political advertising,” with total sales running as much as 18% higher than the $2.3 billion spent in 2010, Moody’s Investors Service says in a report today. The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed out spending caps for corporations and unions, making this the first presidential election in more than a decade without such limits, the research firm says. “The campaign frenzy will get some of its oxygen from high-visibility headline issues, including a weak domestic economy, high unemployment and a continued slump in real estate,” Moody’s says. “Control of Congress is also in close contention.” Republicans “may possibly view the Senate to be within their reach in 2012.” Read More »

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