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“Robust Pace” Seen for Media M&A Activity


PwC’s latest Deals Insights report for the U.S. entertainment, media and communications sector expects merger and acquisition activity to remain robust, despite regulatory uncertainties and a tightening of investment from China.

In Q1, there were 256 M&A deals in the sector, up 32 percent on the previous quarter, representing the highest level of quarterly volume for the last two years. Deal value, however, dropped to $10.4 billion due to fewer mega deals (those valued at $1 billion or more).

There were nine broadcasting deals in the period, with a total value of $1.65 billion; two cable deals, valued at $735 million; and 17 film and content deals, valued at $97 million. Advertising and marketing generated the highest number of deals (69), followed by the internet and information sector (65).

“Despite certain regulatory uncertainties, we remain optimistic that M&A activity in the EMC sector will continue on a robust pace for the foreseeable future,” commented Bart Spiegel, partner for entertainment, media and communications deals at PwC.

Those regulatory uncertainties come with a new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who is considering a reversal of net neutrality rules. “The upheaval of net neutrality rules could have a far-reaching impact on internet service providers, content providers and, ultimately, consumers,” PwC said. “From a deals perspective, such actions could accelerate the continued consolidation of content providers with distributors, among other things.”

About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on



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