The tie-up of AT&T Inc T.N and Time Warner Inc TWX.N, bringing together one of the country’s largest wireless and pay TV providers and cable networks like HBO, CNN and TBS, could kick off a new round of industry consolidation amid massive changes in how people watch TV.

Stocks of some programmers that could attract interest rose sharply on Friday as the deal of the year came together. Discovery Communications Inc DISCA.O gained 3.6 percent, AMC Networks Inc AMCX.O rose 3.9 percent and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc SNI.O jumped 5.6 percent.

Media content companies are having an increasingly difficult time as standalone entities, creating an opportunity for telecom, satellite and cable providers to make acquisitions, analysts say.

Media firms face pressure to access distribution as more younger viewers cut their cable cords and watch their favorite shows on mobile devices. Distribution companies, meanwhile, see acquiring content as a way to diversify revenue.

“The industry needs to consolidate,” said Salvatore Muoio, whose firm invests in a number of

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Time For Truth: (Reuters) – AT&T-Time Warner may signal start of new media industry consolidation

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