Commentary

Media Mergers Are In Flux

Traditional media mergers are in an uneasy state: pause, stagnation or maybe just DOA.

By one count -- which includes all types of current media transactions in progress -- there is CBS-Viacom, AT&T-Time Warner, Sinclair-Tribune Media and Walt Disney (or Comcast)-Fox.

Why now? The issue is value -- for shareholders, consumers and the leverage to develop new media businesses.

Amping this up, the media business may be in a state of heightened panic.

From what we can analyze, CBS doesn’t think Viacom works as a future media company. And if CBS is forced to make a deal -- via its majority owner -- it wants to do it its way — at a discounted price and with the executives it wants in charge.

Other deals: Federal regulators worry that perhaps both the Sinclair-Tribune Media and AT&T-Time Warner deals are not in the best interest of consumers. 

Another type of deal: Selling major parts of a company: Disney (or Comcast) buying Fox. That’s a look forward for shareholder value and marketplace leverage when it comes to TV-film content. Is this move driven by frantic changes in the media industry, looking to satisfy non-content producing digital media platforms? Or is it just sound business strategy?

Traditional TV-based media remains solid, in terms of mass and immediate reach. It has a strong marketplace position in developing content. But what about the long term? The writing is on the wall with Netflix spending $8 billion a year on its own TV-film productions -- with more billions ramping up at Amazon, Hulu and Apple.

Perhaps keen media executives in TV and media are looking into the future for other content -- beyond premium TV-film entertainment, social media and user-generated content.

If these mergers go through, the hard work begins. And if they don’t work, look for even more consolidation -- as well as some second-guessing over those deals.

More disruption, more panic. Sound likes a TV show -- but one without an uplifting ending.

Next story loading loading..