With the exception of deals started a couple of years previously, merger-and-acquisition activity only registered a total of $74.6 billion, a significant decline from prior periods, according to the research and consulting company.
A total of 1,000 deals were completed in 2008, down 17% from 1,202 in 2007. PricewaterhouseCoopers said this was a direct result of troubling market conditions.
For 2009, the company predicts that the entertainment and media activity will continue on a downward trend--and will be at significantly lower levels versus the last two or three years.
The consultancy says a rapid decline in advertising and consumer spending is expected to severely hurt business, not to mention harder-to-get credit markets supporting this activity.
For the entertainment and media industry, the actual dollar volume of deals completed was $150.8 billion--the highest level since 2001. But many of the major deals--about half that dollar volume--were started in 2006, in the midst of a still-thriving economy.
One glaring example is late-year "pending" deals: As of Dec. 31, 2008 this came to $6.7 billion, a significant drop from last year's pending total of $100.8 billion.
Breaking down 2008 by business segment:
* The biggest segment in terms of overall dollars was with broadcasting--$36 billion, climbing $18.9 million in 2007. Broadcasting value represents 24% of all entertainment and media deals in 2008.
* Casino and gaming climbed to $30.4 billion in 2008 from $8.5 billion in 2007 in overall value, from 14 completed deals.
* Cable business deals soared to $28.2 billion from $1.5 billion in 2007, from 32 deals that concluded.
* Internet business-to-business activity had the most number of deals in 2008: 305, up 31%. Internet deals were at $31.7 billion, second to broadcasting for the whole entertainment and media industry.
* The publishing segment continued its troubles: an 86% decline in value to $5.6 billion and 37% fewer deals to 128.