Television

PwC report: content value, retransmission fees to boost E&M deals

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MUMBAI: If the new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) comes true, the media and entertainment sector could witness increasingly lucrative retransmission fees and high value for content having key influences on deal activity in the sector.

The value of deals in the US entertainment, media and communications sector in 2013 more than doubled, driven by several “megadeals,” according to PwC’s year-end update.

The deal volume year-to-year was relatively stable, the company reveals in its US Entertainment, Media & Communications Deal Insights report, rising by just three per cent to 866, while deal value soared from $96.2 billion to $222.7 billion.

In broadcasting, deal volume rose from 71 to 87, with deal value soaring from $5.8 billion to $26.3 billion, driven by Comcast’s acquisition of GE’s interest in NBCUniversal. Going forward, deal activity in broadcasting is likely to be influenced by the increasing importance of retransmission revenues, as companies look to broaden their geographic reach.

“PwC is beginning to see increased activity from US government regulators around anti-trust, intra-market media ownership and foreign media ownership regulations, which will likely be another market factor influencing deal volume,” the report says in its broadcasting 2014 outlook.

Cable deal volume was stable at 16, but the value of deals fell year-to-year from $9 billion to $5 billion.

Last year also saw 46 deals in film/content, up from 40, with a value of $0.5 billion, down from $9 billion in 2012. The previous year included Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm.

On the 2014 outlook for deals in film and content, PwC says, “The rising value of content has started an industry-wide race to acquire it. Buyers continue to look for ways to bridge the value gap and meet the premiums demanded by content providers through attractive deal structures, beneficial tax structuring and contingent consideration. Recent years have seen several major acquisitions of content assets, and despite the drop in deal value in 2013, the ongoing deal activity is likely to continue. Geographic location will hold no bar as U.S. participants look abroad and foreign players look to the United States for a means to acquire and monetize content.”

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