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Beware the Attack Basset
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It seems to me that this could only be acceptable from a regulatory standpoint if this includes Comcast divesting itself of NBC Universal.

I would at least hope that there would be serious headwinds given how lax Comcast was about following the terms of the NBC Universal merger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nothing happening until at least 2024. Probably would be 2025 by the time they have to deal with regulators and they will probably have a more favorable administration (to them) to deal with.
 

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It seems to me that this could only be acceptable from a regulatory standpoint if this includes Comcast divesting itself of NBC Universal.
DOJ should probably never have allowed Disney to buy the Fox studios and content library. Maybe that was allowed because of the (in retrospect) over-estimated threat of Netflix? But now that DOJ has allowed one Hollywood mega-merger to happen, it's hard to see how they would stop a Universal/Warner merger to create a counterweight to Disney. Universal/Warner would probably be required to divest a few cable networks (as Disney had to do with the Fox Sports RSNs due to them already having ESPN) but, as long as Comcast offered to spin off the entire thing (which net neutrality advocates would applaud), I suspect it would pass under the Biden admin. And I do think that would be the plan.

Comcast is guaranteed to receive at least $27.5 billion from Disney when they sell them their stake in Hulu. Meanwhile, WBD's market cap has fallen nearly 50% since the merger this spring and is now down to only $31 billion. The Fed's ongoing interest rate hikes to subdue inflation will likely usher in a transitory 2023 recession, causing a further downturn in stock values. And WBD, of course, has a huge debt burden, so interest rate hikes are the last thing they want to see. So it isn't hard at all to see how Comcast would be in a position to use their proceeds from a 2023 sale of Hulu to buy WBD lock, stock and barrel in 2024. And then Universal, at that point containing the assets of WBD, would be spun off and floated as a new separate stock, with Comcast shareholders getting X shares of Universal for each share of Comcast they own (i.e. a stock split). A cash buyout of WBD would have the benefit of getting major WBD shareholder John Malone (the power behind Zas's throne, and probably the reason for WBD's attempt to turn CNN rightward) out of the picture.

[CORRECTION: The total minimum valuation for Hulu is guaranteed to be $27.5 billion, so Comcast's 1/3 stake would have a minimum valuation of only about $9.17 billion. Although Comcast reportedly believes that Hulu will be valued at significantly more than $27.5 billion given its size and profitability.]

I imagine Zas and most of the Discovery brass would be shown the door while of course the entirety of Casey Bloys's HBO team would be kept. (That'll be about all of the Warner team that'll still be intact and have much value by then.) DeLuca and Abdy, the former MGM honchos whom Zas is bringing in to run the WB film studio, will probably be gone. It'll be the Universal team running the show overall. (Pour one out for WB, which used to be seen as Hollywood's crowning studio, reduced to a shadow of its former self and living on only as an imprint label under Universal Studios.) WBD's forthcoming FAST would probably just be folded into Peacock, which itself would be completely free and ad-supported (no more subscription tier), while HBO Discovery or whatever it's called gets turned into the unified SVOD, "Universal+" or whatever, which would contain all the stuff currently in Peacock's premium SVOD tier. It would contain all the live sports and news from across their many broadcast and cable nets and probably have new episodes from those networks available same-day (i.e. this would be a full replacement for their part of the basic cable bundle). Would also include recent theatrical films plus a line of Universal Originals. HBO (at this point just its library of originals plus some additional older Hollywood films) would probably be an optional ad-free add-on for an extra $5-7/month.
 

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It seems to me that this could only be acceptable from a regulatory standpoint if this includes Comcast divesting itself of NBC Universal.

I would at least hope that there would be serious headwinds given how lax Comcast was about following the terms of the NBC Universal merger.
and comcast is not allowd to have any caps + they must let you use your own router with any plan / can't lock content as part renting there router.
 

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and comcast is not allowd to have any caps + they must let you use your own router with any plan / can't lock content as part renting there router.
Yeah, hopefully if the DOJ approved a deal for Comcast to acquire and spin off WBD, they would impose some concessions with regard to their core broadband business. That's what happened when Charter got permission to acquire Time Warner Cable and BrightHouse Cable. That's why Charter still has no data caps.
 

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I thought NBC/Universal was interested in buying Viacom/CBS and merging Peacock with Paramount+? If not, where would that leave Paramount+? If not, who would want to buy Viacom/CBS? Could that be too much if they bought Warner Bros/Discovery and Viacom/CBS? Imagine an all in APP like that?
 

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I thought NBC/Universal was interested in buying Viacom/CBS and merging Peacock with Paramount+? If not, where would that leave Paramount+? If not, who would want to buy Viacom/CBS? Could that be too much if they bought Warner Bros/Discovery and Viacom/CBS? Imagine an all in APP like that?
If Comcast bought Paramount, they would have to get rid of NBC or CBS, no way the Government will let them keep both.

Warner does not have a broadcast channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, hopefully if the DOJ approved a deal for Comcast to acquire and spin off WBD, they would impose some concessions with regard to their core broadband business. That's what happened when Charter got permission to acquire Time Warner Cable and BrightHouse Cable. That's why Charter still has no data caps.
Charter/Spectrum data caps can can end in May 2023 if they decide they want to do that.
 

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I thought NBC/Universal was interested in buying Viacom/CBS and merging Peacock with Paramount+? If not, where would that leave Paramount+? If not, who would want to buy Viacom/CBS? Could that be too much if they bought Warner Bros/Discovery and Viacom/CBS? Imagine an all in APP like that?
I've speculated that a merger of NBCU and Paramount might be a good idea but I haven't read any rumors lately about that being a possibility. If you're NBCU, I think you would definitely see WBD as the stronger merger partner given that they have HBO, DC, and a huge library of movies, classic TV, and all that reality/lifestyle stuff.

If NBCU and WBD merge, I imagine it will mean that Paramount ends up remaining solo. I doubt Paramount+ would survive long-term. Paramount just isn't big enough to compete against the giants, so they'd probably drop out of the streaming wars and just license their content out to other services like Sony does.
 

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I've speculated that a merger of NBCU and Paramount might be a good idea but I haven't read any rumors lately about that being a possibility. If you're NBCU, I think you would definitely see WBD as the stronger merger partner given that they have HBO, DC, and a huge library of movies, classic TV, and all that reality/lifestyle stuff.

If NBCU and WBD merge, I imagine it will mean that Paramount ends up remaining solo. I doubt Paramount+ would survive long-term. Paramount just isn't big enough to compete against the giants, so they'd probably drop out of the streaming wars and just license their content out to other services like Sony does.
How much longer do you think Paramount+ has? Could they also just have their first run streaming series be on the Paramount Network if Paramount+ went under?
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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DOJ should probably never have allowed Disney to buy the Fox studios and content library.
That may have actually started when Sony was buying up studios.

My objection is that content delivery companies shouldn't be allowed to buy the content companies (much as Sinclair tried to do).
 

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How much longer do you think Paramount+ has? Could they also just have their first run streaming series be on the Paramount Network if Paramount+ went under?
A few more years, probably. Paramount+ is still very much in expansion mode right now, launching in major European markets like the UK and Italy. I don't think we see what the streaming wars (and cable TV) endgame looks like until maybe 2026 or so. Assuming Paramount doesn't get swallowed by a bigger fish, then by that point I'd expect them to pull the plug on Paramount+, at least internationally but probably also in the US. They may very well continue to operate Pluto TV but wouldn't compete in subscription streaming. Instead they'd just license out the higher value content from their library, plus same-day or next-day access to new content on their dying linear channels, to the surviving SVODs: Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Universal+, and Apple TV+ (although I doubt that Apple will ever be interested in showing anyone else's "reruns"). Likewise, Paramount's studio operations will continue to create new originals for those SVODs, as they already do (e.g. HBO Max's Station Eleven was made by Paramount Studios).
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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How much longer do you think Paramount+ has?
I can't imagine it has anywhere to go but up.

As more of the contracts with carriers and syndication expire, more content can be moved to the streaming product.
 
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