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Wall Street overreacted to Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. sports joint venture: EW Scripps CEO


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The owner of more than 60 local television stations that saw its shares hit after this week’s surprising news about a joint venture to create a sports package criticized Wall Street investors for overreacting.

EW Scripps CEO Adam Symson, who saw the company’s shares plunge more than 27% after Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced the standalone service on Wednesday, downplayed the impact it will have on affiliates. local.

“Affiliates will be compensated for getting carried away,” Symson told CNBC.

“It’s not the efficient package that Wall Street pretends to be.”

Scripps owns 18 ABC stations, in markets including Phoenix, Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa, and four Fox stations among its 66 outlets.

Symson told CNBC that ABC parent Disney has assured him that content from local channels will be included in the so-called slim package.

Other major local television station owners, including TEGNA and Sinclair, also saw their shares fall.

Sinclair, which operates about 200 stations nationwide, including the Tennis Channel, fell 12% on Wednesday and nearly 9% for the week.

TEGNA, owner of 68 TVs, including True Crime Network, is down almost 7% since the news broke.

Adam Symson, CEO of EW Scripps, said Wall Street overreacted to the upcoming sports venture between Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, telling CNBC: “It’s not the efficient package that Wall Street makes it out to be.” fake images

Symson said the reaction was overblown because investors seem to be forgetting that local affiliates of ABC and Fox will be part of the new, slimmer package of cable sports networks that will still include ESPN, TNT and Fox.

“Wall Street acted like this was a game changer,” Symson told CNBC.

“I don’t disagree with the opportunity or the idea that there is value here. But let’s take the case of March Madness. You will only have access to TBS and TNT, but not CBS.”

The yet-to-be-named service, which will launch in the fall, will work collaboratively with all local streaming affiliate partners similar to other multichannel digital packages, such as YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV, CNBC reported, citing a person familiar. with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

The upcoming venture also will not include NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” or NFL games broadcast by CBS, which will air the Super Bowl this year.

Symson said viewers won’t be satisfied with a partial offer.

“People don’t want to go to a buffet where half the steam trays are missing,” Symson said, according to CNBC.

Consumers planning to purchase the new package can expect to receive local news and sports from ABC and Fox, according to CNBC.

Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery revealed plans to combine their sports assets for a new streaming company earlier this week, sending shares of local TV station operators tumbling. fake images

Scripps representatives did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Although the new service will offer a host of sports content under one roof, including Disney-owned networks such as ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, BTN, ACCN and ESPNEWS, it will not offer access to CBS or NBC.
AP

The new package is expected to cost just over $40 a month, although it still won’t cover all the sports coverage available on cable.

Robert Thompson, trustee professor of television, radio and film at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, said the price could mean cable TV is not doomed.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the final nail in the coffin of pay TV,” Thompson told The Post on Thursday.

“If you start adding and you like sports, you will pay at least $40 for the service but you will still want to watch NFL games that are not on the platform,” he added. “You’ll want them one way or another.”




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