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Disney, Comcast to account for c. 40% of US programming spend

According to a report by Ampere Analysis, following the sale of 21st Century Fox’s (Fox’s) major assets, The Walt Disney Co. (Disney) and Comcast will be the two media giants dominating the home entertainment landscape and outspending Netflix. Disney’s $71bn deal to acquire Fox’s film and television divisions and Comcast’s agreement to buy pay-TV operator, Sky PLC will create companies that together control c. 40% of all programming spending in the US. Meanwhile, globally, the two firms will account for 20% of such spending. Following the mergers, $2 of every $10 spent on content worldwide and $4 of every $10 in the US will be accounted for by Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox. Together, the two merged companies will account for $43bn spent on content this year—with Disney/Fox spending $22bnn on originated and acquired content and Comcast/Sky spending $21bn.

Proportion of total content spent globally and in the US, %

Source: Ampere Analysis

The report goes on to say that Netflix was on course to overtake the top Hollywood studios by content spend. However, “ … in light of the two new combined entities, Netflix would now need to triple spend to achieve this feat.”

Ampere also notes that the mergers strengthen the positions of both Disney/Fox and Comcast/Sky in the global market and protects them against the rising power of online video. By executing the mergers, both have increased their libraries of original content, “which they can exploit as part of their direct-to-consumer strategies.”



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