3 Media Stocks in Focus: Disney Drops Bruckheimer, Fox Sees More Mergers, Viacom Takes Back MTV Russia
Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): Disney has announced that it will be ending its long-time partnership with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, by not renewing a “first-look” contract in 2014. Disney maintains that the decison was not due to the poor box office performance of The Lone Ranger, and “will continue to focus on its branded properties including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and now Lucasfilm, while Bruckheimer is looking to produce more mature films outside the scope of the Disney brand,” Hollywood Reporter says.
Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA): Fox COO James Murdoch predicts that there will be more mergers in the Pay TV industry as he sees consolidation in both upstream and downstream operations as companies align strategically to allow for growth around the world. Latin America and India are two of Fox’s biggest prospects, according to Murdoch.
Viacom (NYSE:VIAB): Viacom has taken back control of the MTV network in Russia after years of franchising the brand off to local license holders. Viacom will relaunch the channel on October 1st, regaining direct control after the previous license holder — Russia’s ProfMedia — declined to extend its agreement. Elena Balmont, general manager of Viacom International Media Networks Russia and CIS told The Hollywood Reporter that MTV Russia would now be “much more closely aligned with the MTV brand globally.”