In keeping with the uncertainty affecting global markets following Trump’s appointment as President, as well as a number of other geopolitical events, media shares have experienced mixed fortunes. The media and its many professionals have repeatedly come under fire from Trump and his team since the inauguration in January. Over the same time period, the sector has underperformed the broader market.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, of 50 major media companies, 30 have either dropped in value or done less well than the market as a whole. In fact, in the first six months of this year, the S&P 500 increased 8.2% but five of the seven media conglomerates underperformed that benchmark.
Tuna Amobi of CFRA Research says:
“Negative sentiment due to the political environment has weighed on the media sector, and investors don’t know when the next catalyst will come.
Nevertheless, TheStreet is still confident in the value of a number of media stocks, including Time Warner, Cinemark Holdings and Disney. And the President’s rolling back of regulations and perceived liking for M&A means that there are reasons to be cheerful. But there’s less positivity when it comes to the Pay-TV sector.
Variety predicts that Pay-TV faces a rough earnings season, maybe its worst quarter to date. A selection of these companies are reported to have held discussions exploring possible mergers while future prospects for increasing cable and satellite subscriber numbers in the face of competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon (and soon from Facebook and others) are very poor. Similarly, theatre companies have not done well since the beginning of the year with some reporting double digit falls in share value. However, at the time of writing, the Dow Jones US Broadcasting & Entertainment Index had grown by 1%.
As far as TV is concerned, there’s a new player in the market: Trump TV. Earlier this month, the President’s Facebook page unveiled a video featuring Kayleigh McEnany, formerly of CNN. According to McEnany, she was delivering the “news of the week from Trump TV”, broadcast from Trump Tower in New York. Among the topics discussed were the President’s agenda, the economy and veterans. For the moment, Trump TV is confined to Facebook but rumours abound that the President is planning his own Trump TV network. In the meantime, Donald Trump’s personal Facebook page has more than 22 million followers.
As for tech-media firms, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not surprisingly, stocks in video games producers in particular have rocketed since January. For the moment at least, it looks like on-demand entertainment in its myriad of forms is at the top of its game.