Big Media Storms To Come: Paramount Global Moving Through Rough Seas

TV network disruption is now waiting for the next big wave. 

One of the potentially eye-opening moves by legacy TV network groups and legacy pay TV distributors revolves around issues for their seemingly much maligned, smaller cable TV networks.

A year ago, Charter Communications effectively put a stake in the ground with those companies: Allow us to sell your modern streaming services -- like Disney+, ESPN+ -- along with your linear cable TV networks, or perhaps we just might drop your cable TV networks altogether.

That would have caused an implosion of sorts for the entire industry. Both Charter and Disney are still profitable from carrying and owning TV networks. But that it won't last long. 

Paramount Global's upcoming negotiations might be a tester.

What will Paramount offer up somewhat akin to ESPN for Charter to sell? Is Paramount+ enough of a lure?



If not, perhaps Charter will force Paramount to drop demands to include all or most of the cable TV networks in its renewal distribution deal-making.

Even then, Disney had do to that with eight channels: In its deal with Charter, dropped channels included: Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo.

What if it goes further for Paramount -- and it needs to scale back on its branded channels and spinoffs including MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET and others? The business will surely hurt.

Maybe that is why Paramount is now rushing ahead find new buyers or some of all of its businesses -- with Skydance Media for a possible deal of Disney's TV/movie studio operations and/or with Apollo Management Fund in a reported $26 billion deal for all of the company.

Robert Fishman, media analyst for MoffettNathanson Research, wrote this week in a note:

“The new Disney/Charter template could have a meaningful impact on the company should Charter choose to either drop Paramount's long-tail cable networks and/or force Paramount+ to be bundled at a heavily discounted wholesale price to Charter subscribers.”

Legacy TV-movie companies know what to do with drama on big and small screens. How does this drama reveal itself off-screen with sensitive creative types and hard-working executives?

2 comments about "Big Media Storms To Come: Paramount Global Moving Through Rough Seas".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 8, 2024 at 10:48 a.m.

    Wayne, the most likely components of both Disney and Paramount that will be up for sale are those cable channels that they own that are seen as not long term viable and subject to major losses in retransmission incomes. Of course, ESPN is an exception and some other cable channels seem, at this point, fairly secure---but not so much at Disney or Paramount. Does this carry over to the broadcast TV networks, themselves--or their very profitable O&O stations---I tend to doubt that. Does it apply to the movie companies--- or, to be specific, to Paramount? Perhaps.

    The main point is that the TV networks are determined to follow their viewers as they shift slowly to streamintg. With this in mind there are important sysnergies between their linear TV and their streaming operations as relates to shared content and merged ad time sales potentials. Once they figure this out and stop tyring to capture more subscribers than Netflix---no matter what the cost and negative ROI---they will come to understand the true importance of the inherent synergies within their portfolios. Without them, they will be in even bigger trouble.

  2. Ben B from Retired, April 8, 2024 at 7:57 p.m.

    I think the spinoffs shut down when Charter Spectrum & Paramount reach a new deal TeenNick goes as that is a zoombie channel along with NickToons, NickMusic, MTVU, BET spinoffs, maybe MTV Classic stays and maybe MTV Live as well. I could see Pop TV going and a few others etc. Kinda surprised that Paramunt hasn't shutdown the smaller networks what NBCU did for a few years ago.

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