Media/Entertainment Deals Show Dramatic Q4 Decline

A slowing economy contributed to the last three months of 2014 as “one of the slowest media and entertainment merger and acquisition quarters in recent history,” according to a new report.

For fourth-quarter 2015, PwC, in its U.S. Entertainment, Media & Communications report, says there were 172 deals -- well below the total of 211 announced in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Looking at the last seven quarterly periods — before the fourth quarter of 2015 — there has been, on average, 216 announced media deals per quarter.

For the full-year 2015, there were 7% fewer deals versus 2014 -- at 818 versus 886.

Still, because of two major cable industry deals in 2015 -- Charter Communications for $56 billion offer for Time Warner Cable and Charter’s $11 billion for Bright House Communications -- overall announced value of media/entertainment/communications deals rose 13% to $149 billion.



PwC, the former PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the slowdown deal could be attributed to an overall wait-and-see approach for deals seeking regulatory approval; a tightening of access to debt markets; and overall uncertainty around the broader macroeconomic environment.

Although the number of advertising and marketing deals climbed to 228 from 202 -- remaining the biggest category overall -- the next six categories, publishing; Internet/information; communications; broadcasting, recreation & leisure; and film/content, witnesses lower deal volume versus 2014.

Charter Communications’ deals aside, the number of cable industry deals dropped overall to 12 from 22 from the year before.

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