The Stock market was momentous for media and entertainment throughout 2016. Talks of merger and re-merger, possibility of wearing of traditional TV advertising, concerns about reduction of cable channel subscribers and switching to the World Wide Web influenced the media and entertainment stocks.
With an $85.4 billion worth merger with AT&T, Time Warner had a significant boost of 49%. CBS also made profit at the end of the year despite the damage it took earlier with a speculation surrounding the fate of Sumner Redstone and a possibility of the re-merger with its troubling sister concern Viacom. Nasdaq gained 7.5% and Dow 13.4% for the year keeping S&P 500 to 9.5% in 2016. Majority of the core conglomerate in the showbiz ended the year with an up-note in the stock exchange except AMC Network, Viacom and Lionsgate.
Despite AMC network dramas being one of the highest rated TV series, the stock price fell in the Wall Street after the show lost its appeal among the audience. AMC Networks dependency on its “The Walking Dead” franchise had a massive impact on its stocks. Viewers of this popular TV series kept decreasing after continuing for several seasons over the years. Also “Fear the Walking Dead” got lower ratings for its season 2, which hit AMC Network.
The shares of Viacom went down more than 20% in February. This was primarily affected by the chaos surrounding the management and the stress related to Redstone beginning to get hotter. The stocks fell throughout the summer but it kept steady for the time being since late September.
Unexpected box office outcome of Lionsgate’s ho-hum had significantly affected the stocks, but the acquisition of Starz helped Lionsgate to cut its loss down from 19% in early December to around 14% till December 30.
After “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made it to the halls in the second half of the year 2015, Disney had an uncomfortable year. The escalating cost and fears of subscriber losses at ESPN chased the stocks for most of the summer and fell. But as the release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” came closer, shares of Disney jumped significantly in early December and managed to stay leveled for the year.
With the exception of the short depression after the Time Warner-AT&T merger, most of the other Entertainment houses did well. Comcast delivered positive news for its cable unit with the acquisition of Dream Works Animation and growth at NBC Universal which maintained a steady growth in stocks for most of the year.