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Digital, Media & Technology Industry Report: Expecting A Bounce In TV Stocks As The Dust Settles

Media and Entertainment
0 min read

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Michael Kupinski, Director of Research, Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Jacob Mutchler, Research Associate, Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Refer to the bottom of the report for important disclosures

A proposed new sports streaming service. The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation, and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that it plans to launch a new live sports streaming service in the fall 2024. The new service is expected to be offered directly to consumers through an app on a subscription basis. 

A lot to work out. There are a number of variables that need to be worked out, including the pricing of the new services. Recent media reports have the streaming service priced at a hefty $40 per month. The app will not include all sports programming and is expected to target sports fans that do not subscribe to a pay-TV package. As such, there will be a limited audience and could even help to expand the reach of local TV stations. 

An over-reaction? Television stocks, including our current covered companies, E.W. Scripps (SSP) and Gray Television (GTN) dropped 24% and 15%, respectively. Investors seem to expect that the new service will be a threat to the companies’ retransmission revenue. And, in the case of Scripps, investors may believe that the new potential service will be in competition of Scripps’ Sports strategy.

Impact on Retrans revenue? The service could accelerate cable subscriber declines, but cord cutters likely will subscribe to a virtual service or connected TV for local channels. Such a move would be neutral to TV broadcasters given that broadcasters are paid Retrans on these platforms as well.  In terms of Scripps Sports, we believe that it likely will not affect its local sports strategy and that it could offer opportunities for partnerships on it national sports strategy. 

 Compelling opportunity. We believe that the sell-off in TV stocks is over done. There appears to be a favorable risk/reward relationship for an industry cycling into an improving fundamental story in 2024, with the influx of high margin Political advertising, a swing toward favorable Retrans revenue growth, lowered debt leverage, and compelling stock valuations. Our favorites are E.W. Scripps and Gray Television. Please see our recent reports on SSP and GTN for stock valuations, ratings, price targets and important disclosure information. 

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ANALYST CREDENTIALS, PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATIONS, AND EXPERIENCE

Senior Equity Analyst focusing on Basic Materials & Mining. 20 years of experience in equity research. BA in Business Administration from Westminster College. MBA with a Finance concentration from the University of Missouri. MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis.
Named WSJ ‘Best on the Street’ Analyst and Forbes/StarMine’s “Best Brokerage Analyst.”
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All views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers.

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Ownership and Material Conflicts of Interest
Neither I nor anybody in my household has a financial interest in the securities of the subject company or any other company mentioned in this report.

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