S&P Equity Research Issues Media Predictions For 2011
5. We expect further progress in the used car segment to finally start moving the needle on Sirius XM's (NNM: SIRI 2 ****) automotive OEM-driven subscriber growth, while the advent of "Sirius 2.0" will likely act as a catalyst to rekindle customer awareness and herald a new era of likely impressive next-gen features and offerings for the satellite radio provider.
6. We believe a formal announcement of a news gathering partnership between Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX 33 ****) CNN and either CBS (NYSE: CBS 19 ****) or one of the three other major broadcast networks could finally evolve - in what should be seen as a ground-breaking deal that could mark an unprecedented level of cost-driven collaboration between traditional competitors.
7. We look for North America concert attendance to recover somewhat, and be up possibly in the low single-digits after last year's sharp decline that we estimate was over 10% - thanks in part to resumed touring by several headline acts and an improving outlook on consumer discretionary spending. However, continued experimentation with dynamic pricing by Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV 11 ***) and others could pose a lingering dilemma for the industry.
8. In our view, DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA 29 *****) and Viacom's (NYSE: VIA.B 40 ***) Paramount Pictures will likely announce a new, multi-year distribution agreement (beyond the 2012 end of their current pact) - likely contemplating new facets for TV collaboration with Viacom's Nickelodeon - on incrementally favorable terms for the CGI animation studio.9. Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG 6 ****) could finally be poised to make a successful bid for the recorded music operations of EMI Group - capping several aborted attempts in recent years. 10. With heightened focus on international expansion, we think at least one media conglomerate may make a sizable financial commitment in the higher-growth emerging markets of Asia, Latin America, or Eastern Europe - to the notable exclusion of China. 11. We anticipate some initial steps in Washington toward new regulations (or potential legislation) aimed at mitigating increasingly disruptive consequences of the current regime of retransmission consent negotiations between local TV stations and cable operators. 12. Comcast's deal for GE's (NYSE: GE 19 ****) NBC Universal should pass regulatory muster with a few unusual conditions, in our view. "Cord-cutting" will likely accelerate, as over-the-top video services should lure a relatively small portion of pay-TV subscribers - with DIRECTV (NYSE: DTV 41 ***) a net gainer. Finally, Discovery's (NNM: DISCA 41 *****) Oprah Winfrey Network will likely make a real splash in its first year.
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