|Bid||0.00 x 800|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's range||22.76 - 24.31|
|52-week range||19.13 - 38.91|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||8.01|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.46 (1.94%)|
|Ex-dividend date||02 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The coronavirus has upended sporting franchises from the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League to Formula 1. While basketball and soccer fans may be cursing as they twiddle their thumbs, their distress is likely to pale beside the loss felt by followers of the pandemic’s next victim. Cricket in India is as much a religion as a pastime to its legions of fans in this one-sport demographic colossus.The Indian Premier League is almost certain to delay further or cancel its season, originally scheduled to start Sunday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a three-week lockdown on the country of 1.3 billion. Sealing India’s borders would prevent key international players from flying in to honor their contracts with what has become the game’s most lucrative platform.Cricket occupies a special place in India’s psyche. Introduced by British colonialists, it inspires fanatical devotion among hundreds of millions of adherents. The IPL plays to packed crowds of at least 40,000 people a time; 462 million viewers watched matches in 2019. When U.S. President Donald Trump visited India last month, he inaugurated the world’s largest cricket stadium — a 110,000-capacity arena in Ahmedabad, in Modi’s home state of Gujarat. No other sport comes close in this part of the world.Described by the late comedian Robin Williams as “basically baseball on valium,” cricket conjures images of Englishmen wearing whites and breaking for tea on the village green. The Indian professional variety is anything but: a high-octane, shortened version of the game (which lasts five days in its longest form) where batters in multi-colored uniforms swing for the boundaries without restraint. The IPL’s introduction in 2008 helped India wrest control of the cricket-industrial complex from traditional powers England and Australia, and symbolizes the country’s economic rise. The league’s growth has been explosive: The IPL’s valuation was estimated at $6.8 billion by consultants Duff & Phelps in 2019, having risen by more than half since 2016. Investors in the league’s eight team franchises include Fox Corp. Chairman Lachlan Murdoch.“Cricket is no longer a sport in India, it is a career,” M. Senthilnathan, chief coach of the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, told me when I paid him a visit last month after wrapping up a four-day tour with the Singapore Cricket Club. Backed by giant tire maker MRF Ltd., the foundation is dedicated to developing fast bowlers, an area of cricket in which India has been relatively deficient.In light of how cricket’s commercial potential has blossomed, it’s tempting to question the sport’s future trajectory as India’s lockdown adds pressure on an economy that had already lost its high-growth sheen. There’s no question that India has come back to earth. Gross domestic product may rise as little as 3% in the first quarter, down from 4.7% in the final three months of last year and 8%-plus in early 2018.Big-money cricket won’t go the same way, though. The IPL has unleashed a new approach to the game akin to that depicted in Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball.” The book (and subsequent movie) chronicled how the Oakland Athletics’ then-general manager, Billy Beane, employed data analytics to identify undervalued players and better compete against richer teams in baseball. This economic approach to cricket has bred innovation and upward class mobility.The MRF foundation typifies that mindset. India’s problem is that it historically lacked a stable of top-line fast bowlers, Senthilnathan told me as his students honed lightning bolts in nearby nets. The country dominated spin-bowling, a slower, more artful form of delivery that’s perfect for local conditions but not as suited to the muscular tone of the modern game. MRF recruited Australian speed great Dennis Lillee to help design the foundation, which grooms players and seeks to eke out that extra few percent.The drive to find the best young players has opened up opportunities for India’s rural population, long shut out of top-level cricket. The money that IPL has brought to the game has enabled a level of granular talent scouting and district organization that was often wanting outside the biggest cities.Attention to detail and wringing every morsel of talent was also evident at the Center for Sports Science at the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research in Chennai. Indoor nets had sensors planted into the floor to gauge how a player distributes their weight, how much tension is in each arm and leg and how to utilize that asset or minimize the drag. I counted a dozen cameras along the pitch. Up a flight of stairs, officials and data scientists sat behind a dark screen assessing information.I came away much more optimistic about India’s cricketing future than my own (even if I did claim a few wickets on our recreational tour). Modern sport, like India itself, is too big to be knocked permanently off its stride by a virus, even one as dangerous as Covid-19. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Daniel Moss is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian economies. Previously he was executive editor of Bloomberg News for global economics, and has led teams in Asia, Europe and North America.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vince McMahon was once tossed into a grave and almost buried alive by the Undertaker. But that’s nowhere near as bad as the year he’s having now. The burial, of course, was staged, while the agony of 2020 is very real. The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily taken down the business of live sports — both real and fake. That’s left McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. to hold matches in empty arenas, making the spectacle feel even more theatrical than sports-like, with dramatic monologues delivered directly to the camera instead of to the shouting fans that normally line the stands. Meanwhile, McMahon’s XFL football league, which he rebooted earlier this year, had to cancel the rest of its season. XFL is privately held by McMahon; however, shares of WWE have plunged more than 40% since December.McMahon, the 74-year-old chairman and CEO of WWE, is now looking to free up funds without relinquishing his control over the wrestling empire. On Tuesday, the company disclosed that McMahon entered into a prepaid variable forward contract, which essentially functions as a cash advance from a bank. The way it works is, McMahon agrees to eventually sell some of his shares at some future date — March 2024, in this case — receiving the money now, but without having to actually turn over the stock or pay taxes on the sale yet.According to Bloomberg News’s Drew Singer, the bank was Morgan Stanley and the deal priced 2.26 million shares at $38 apiece, representing more than $80 million in freed-up liquidity. In the meantime, McMahon gets to collect the usual dividends on those shares, and he can keep the holdings by settling the contract for cash. The agreement also doesn’t affect McMahon’s other 25 million or so class B shares, which represent just over 70% of the company’s total voting power.Even before the coronavirus began sweeping through the U.S., WWE was having a tough year, amid a shrinking number of subscribers to its streaming-TV service, WWE Network, and setbacks with international distribution deals. After the latest earnings disappointment, McMahon fired co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, citing “different views” on how to achieve the company’s strategic goals, in what came as a disconcerting sign to investors. McMahon, as revered as he is by wrestling fans — his own ring persona, Mr. McMahon, is based on the real him — he has faced some criticism lately for not keeping the franchise fresh enough. He also came under fire last year following John Oliver’s scathing “Last Week Tonight” segment on the health and treatment of WWE’s wrestlers. Notably, while other sports leagues aren’t having their teams play to protect them from the spread of the virus, WWE’s cast is still having to work — and in close contact, too. WrestleMania, the company’s biggest annual event, is still being held April 4-5 — though without any fans allowed to attend in person, it will lose out on important ticket and merchandise sales. Viewers can watch on the $10-a-month WWE Network app or on pay-per-view. (Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, struggling to fill its own programming schedule, has been airing WrestleMania classics.)In bringing back the XFL, which played just one season in 2001, McMahon was hoping to inject some of the WWE flavor into a sport that he sees as dull under the National Football League’s rules and style. When he announced the XFL would return in February 2020, news stories questioned whether it would work this time, giving McMahon something to prove. Now both his babies are hurting, and his wealth is tied up in them. For years, WWE has been considered an attractive takeover candidate for media giants and live-events companies. It holds a ton of valuable intellectual property in its characters and story lines, which in theory leaves open a realm of possibilities for a buyer with Disney-like ingenuity, building on WWE the way Disney has with the Marvel comic books. Likewise, WWE might appeal to those looking to invest more in sports, as Fox Corp. has stated it’s doing. Media companies are also paying big sums for content with which to stock their new streaming services, such as the Peacock app being introduced next month by Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal. McMahon has long been opposed to selling the company, wanting it to stay in the family. His daughter Stephanie McMahon manages the brand, and her husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque oversees talent and live events — both are wrestlers. The PVF contract helps protect that ownership. It may also help to have Donald Trump connections: McMahon's wife, Linda McMahon, runs the pro-Trump super PAC called America First Action, after stepping down as the president's head of the Small Business Administration last year.That said, with money tight, the outlook for traditional cable networks souring and McMahon’s XFL passion project meeting an untimely finish once again, now may be the time for any interested buyers to take their shot. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, although Amazon.com...
Fox Corp., the broadcast news and entertainment company holding what remains of the Murdoch Family's television and cable sports and media assets after the sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney, has agreed to acquire the streaming service Tubi TV for $440 million. Tubi, once of a now-dwindling number of free ad-supported streaming services, will bring a new digitally native consumer offering to Fox with younger-skewing audience that consumes roughly 160 million hours of entertainment on the platform, according to a statement. Available on over 25 digital platforms in the U.S. and featuring 20,000 titles and 56,000 hours of film and television from 250 content partners -- including major studios -- will now be able to pull from Fox's stable of news and sports programming in addition to all that licensed television and film.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What a day for the Walt Disney Co. to let out its biggest secret.Just as investors were engrossed by news updates on the worsening coronavirus and its convulsive effect on global financial markets, Disney delivered another jolt by announcing longtime CEO Bob Iger was stepping down. Huh? It was the last thing shareholders saw coming. The company’s choice wasn’t even who most people expected. Bob Chapek, the head of Disney’s theme parks business, is taking over, effective immediately. Iger will remain chairman through to the end of 2021.It’s the most significant change to happen to the entertainment giant in more than a decade. Iger had become almost as much the face of the company as Walt Disney was himself, and was responsible for building it into the globally admired brand and content powerhouse that it is now. While Iger, at 69 years old, had been inching closer to retirement, it wasn’t supposed to come until next year. Shares of Disney fell 6% in after-hours trading, as investors tried to pick their jaws up off the floor. Anyone who read Iger’s memoir, “The Ride of a Lifetime,” which was released last year, might have been led to believe that another top Disney executive, Kevin Mayer, was next in line for the keys to the Magic Kingdom. Mayer oversees Disney’s new streaming-TV operations — the very business at the center of the new Disney. It’s become the focus of attention both inside and outside the company in recent months as Disney entered the industry’s streaming wars with the wildly successful launch of Disney+. Iger made repeated mentions of Mayer in the book, and few of Chapek. Mayer is “a master strategist and dealmaker,” Iger wrote. “A CEO couldn’t ask for a better strategic partner.” Partner. The question now is, will Mayer stay, after being passed over for what might be the most enviable job in corporate America? Even though Iger, during a conference call held for investors and analysts Tuesday, tried to soothe concerns about the seemingly abrupt move, it’s hard not to wonder about a larger backstory, one where there’s potentially some internal friction. As Iger kept putting off retirement over the years, other successor candidates seemed to get sick of waiting and left.Not choosing Mayer does raise an even bigger question: How do Iger and the company view the future of Disney? If only for their respective roles, Chapek in some ways represents Disney’s past, while Mayer represents the new Disney. All that being said, Chapek is a widely respected leader, and this certainly wasn’t a decision anyone at Disney would make lightly. From one Bob to another, Iger said Tuesday that it was the right time to transition to a new CEO and that Chapek “is absolutely the right person.” There’s little reason to question that. And it should be remembered, when Iger was first named CEO, investors weren't so sure about him, either.There is one telling nugget from Iger’s book that could be seen as presaging today’s turn of events. Passing over all his transformative dealmaking — buying Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and then the big one, Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox — Iger instead highlights opening Disney’s Shanghai park as one of the defining moments of his career. Chapek played a big role in that. Chapek “oversaw the largest capital expansion in the history of our parks,” Iger said Tuesday, highlighting the Shanghai opening, as well as the “Star Wars” Galaxy Edge attraction at its U.S. parks and the company’s large fleet of cruise ships. Iger added that he and the board had identified Chapek as his likely successor “quite some time ago.”Iger isn’t saying goodbye just yet. He explained that part of the reason for stepping aside now is so that he can focus more on the creative side of Disney. What he wants to accomplish more than anything before he leaves is “getting everything right creatively.” Content is more important than ever as Disney almost single-handedly props up the box office and tries to lure fans to its streaming services, all the while integrating the Fox assets and keeping alive its traditional media networks that still drive the bulk of its profits. But that’s still only part of the reason for choosing to step down now. Whatever the case, it’s the end of an era for Disney; Iger has left an indelible mark, and left Disney better than it was before him. Chapek has big shoes to fill. To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of Roku tumbled 7% on Friday after the streaming video company told customers it was removing Fox channels from its platform ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast. "On January 31, 2020, all standalone FOX channels will no longer be available on Roku streaming devices," Roku wrote in an email to customers on Thursday. It added that its viewers could watch Fox channels on other companies' services, including Hulu and Alphabet's YouTube.
The College Football Playoff is a money-making machine, regardless how many teams — four or eight — go to the finals.
Verizon (VZ) introduces an avant-garde hassle-free pricing model, Mix & Match, allowing users to combine TV with Internet plans minus any hidden charges and annual contracts.
Cincinnati Bell (CBB) is likely to lose FOX TV stations in 2020 due to a contract conflict with Fox Corporation, which may result in a dearth of customers.
(Bloomberg) -- Fox Corp. is turning to Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud to route video to the broadcaster’s cable and streaming customers, the latest Digital Age tie-up between the high-tech newcomer and big media companies.Under the multiyear deal, announced at Amazon Web Services’ re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, AWS Media Services will transmit Fox sports, news and entertainment content to television customers and streaming services. Amazon’s tools will also help power Fox production facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Tempe, Arizona, and Charlotte, North Carolina.Fox will use Amazon to replace a video infrastructure built mostly in the 1990s, before the emergence of online streaming or cloud computing, Paul Cheesbrough, Fox’s chief technology officer, said by email. “At a technical level, we’ll have a more agile infrastructure that can grow and adapt with our business,” he said, enabling capabilities like quicker launch of new channels or products.Amazon is the largest seller of cloud infrastructure services such as rented data storage and networking services. The unit’s growing scale in corporate technology circles has been a source of tension for potential customers in industries like retail that go head to head with other Amazon groups. Fox isn’t immune to that and competes with Amazon in original TV content and the right to broadcast live sports.“I think to some degree that this is the new reality, but we’ve had a long-standing set of partnerships with Amazon on many fronts,” Cheesbrough said. “It’s something that we continuously monitor and review though, and as a buyer of cloud services, it’s a space where plenty of competition and options exist if we need them.”Fox is taking advantage of Amazon’s move in the last few years to build decentralized infrastructure closer to big customers, an effort to appeal to businesses that need quicker response time from AWS services.Most cloud-computing software is beamed to customers from massive, and sometimes distant, server farms. AWS last year announced a server rack product called Outpost that is designed to bring some AWS services inside a customer’s own data center. Outpost went on sale on Tuesday.Fox will place Outpost in some of its production facilities. The broadcaster will also use the first AWS Local Zone, a new type of AWS infrastructure that places major services closer to customers. Those local options made relying on AWS for Fox’s video work less risky, Cheesbrough said.Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Day in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Fox is attempting to trademark the famous Gen-Z retort 'OK Boomer' for use as the title of a television show. That might not go over well.
Bob Iger’s new book is packaged like a standard businessperson success story, but it contains a lot of surprisingly candid reflections, and quite a few news nuggets.