2017 Media Deals Up, But Total Dollar Volume Sinks

Total U.S. media and communications deals in 2017 were up 29% to 876 with total dollar volume down 31% to $138.8 billion, according to a PwC report.

The largest deal came in the film/TV content subcategory -- Walt Disney’s announced $68.4 billion deal for about half of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment businesses.

Advertising/marketing mergers and acquisition deals, which remained the biggest subcategory with a 32% share, rose 40% in 2017. There were 279 deals with a total value of $2.3 billion.

The second-largest subcategory -- internet/information -- was flat at 189 deals, with a total value of $9.4 billion.

Deals at $100 million or less represent 64% of U.S. media/communications transactions. There were 18 deals at $1 billion or more in 2017, 9% of all deals announced, amounting for 84% of total deal volume.

After Disney/Fox, the next biggest deal was Discovery Communications announced acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive for $11.8 billion. That was followed by Crown Castle International Corp.'s deal for Lightower Fiber Networks, in the telecommunications subcategory, for $7.1 billion.

In broadcasting, there was Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.8 billion deal for Tribune Media. In publishing, Meredith Corp announced a $1.8 billion deal for Time Inc.                                                

In theatrical distribution, British cinema company Cineworld’s announced a $3.6 billion deal for Regal Entertainment to create the world’s second-largest movie theater operator in 10 countries.

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