Comcast and Charter lead as streaming disruption looms
Media companies from Forbes Global 2000 operates at a time of major upheaval in the industry, as consumers increasingly shift their viewing from broadcast and cable networks to streaming platforms.
“Netflix started streaming over 14 years ago and legacy media is finally realizing it’s the future,” says Rich Greenfield, general partner at media research firm LightShed Partners. “They’ve had well over a decade to get into streaming and, albeit late, are finally joining the party. The challenge is to try to balance their traditional business while figuring out how to go from linear TV to streaming TV and it’s not an easy process to navigate. “
The United States continues to be the main force in the global media with a stranglehold on nine of the top 10 spots, with the sole exception of South Africa-based No.504 Naspers, who owes much of their success to early investment in the Chinese multinational. tech company Tencent, owner of WeChat and investor in Fortnite.
Forbes compiles our Global 2000 list using data from FactSet Research to track the largest public companies by four metrics: sales, earnings, assets and market value. Our calculation of market value is as of April 16, 2021, closing price and includes all outstanding common shares.
The old guard still ranks high on the Forbes Global 2000 with Comcast
“Linear television is dying at an incredibly fast rate, both in terms of audiences and subscribers to the decades-old multi-channel offering,” says analyst Greenfield. “Everyone is suing Netflix now, whether they are cable companies or programmers. The future will be directly for the consumer. “
Old guard media companies are pivoting and investing heavily in subscription services. Comcast, which continues to rely on cable and broadcast revenues for the bulk of its business, participates in streaming through its ownership of NBCUniversal. He is also heavily invested in the last stronghold of live TV, sports, as the owner of Sky Sports and several Philadelphia-based pro teams.
Managing the decline of traditional wire harnesses and investing in digital platforms is a complex task. “The spending on streaming will come at the expense of their traditional services,” says Brian Wieser, senior media analyst, GroupM. “They’re going to deprive their legacy services of resources to find new business and they’re going to try to maintain profitability. For many, this will really constrain operations. “
Sports remain one of the last staples of the wiring harness, but even live events are going digital. Additionally, the importance of game streaming has skyrocketed licensing costs, making it a risky proposition.
The recent National Hockey League televised deal with ESPN and Turner Sports highlights the continuing rise in costs. Ten years ago, the league signed a 10-year contract with NBC sports worth $ 2 billion over its lifetime for an average of $ 200 million per season. His new deal with ESPN will require Disney to pay $ 400 million a year over the next seven years, with a separate deal with Turner Sports bringing in $ 225 million over the same period. The rise in the value of this NHL’s lineup, while strong, lags behind other professional leagues in terms of inflation.
However, a sign of things to come, these deals come with some big streaming components, including through HBO Max, ESPN +, and Hulu. The National Football League’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football is going digital, going exclusively on Amazon Prime in 2022.