Legacy TV-Based Stocks Suffer Rough 2023 As Digital, Streaming Soar

Legacy TV-network-based media companies' stock market share took a beating for the most part in 2023 -- even amid a broad-based stock-market recovery late in the year.

This weak performance was largely due to streaming TV businesses still losing money, or at best, seeing stagnant growth.

For digital-first companies including Netflix, Roku and Amazon, the picture was brighter.

Paramount Global was down 15.64% for the year to $14.40 at end-of-day trading on Tuesday, January 2. The company also saw a boost late in the year due to rumored news of a possible merger with Warner Bros. Discovery.

Warner Bros. Discovery was up 22% to $11.66, also helped by the last two months' broad market gains in the Dow Jones Industrials, S&P 500, and Nasdaq. Without that overall market push, WDB would be flat on the year. 



Walt Disney ended the year barely in the plus column -- up 2% to $90.71. Without that end-of-year broad stock-market recovery, it would have been down 12%.

Fox Corp. was virtually unchanged for the year at $30.24.

More diversified TV and communications companies witnessed a different picture.

Comcast Corp. -- which includes NBCUniversal, mobile and broadband communications services, and a cable TV business -- was 23% higher for the year to $43.67. Charter Communications, another big cable TV/communications company, grew 15% to $391.51.

Mid-sized TV network/streaming platform company AMC Networks was another bright spot for investors -- up 21% to $19.19 -- but still down from its March 2021 heights when its stock price was $78.63.

Digital-first media companies -- with heavy streaming TV and video businesses -- continue to soar.

Netflix was up 60% for the year to $468.50. The highly diversified Amazon -- which also houses its Prime Video streamer -- grew 74.7% to $149.93.

Roku, the streaming app distributor/set-top-device company, posted some of the strongest results of any legacy media/digital media company -- 119% higher to end the year at $89.00.

Dish Network (now re-merged with Echostar) lost 59% of its share value ending the year at $5.77. TV station group owners also declined during the year.

Major TV station owner Nexstar Media Group was down 8% to $160.22, while Sinclair Inc. fell 12% to $13.50 and Gray Television dropped 18% to $9.13

Tegna sank 27% to $15.49, largely due to the FCC effectively killing a $5.4 billion deal by Standard General to buy the TV station group in the spring.

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