PwC: Media M&A Activity Continues to Increase


Deal volume in the U.S. media and telco sector reached a new high in Q1 2018 as companies clamor for premium content or technological capabilities, PwC said in a new report.

PwC’s U.S. Media and Telecommunications Deals Insights says this activity is taking place against a backdrop of uncertainty surrounding the political and regulatory environment.

Deal volume reached a two-year high at 244 in Q1, a 33-percent increase on the previous quarter. Deal value decreased 53 percent from the previous quarter to $37.6 billion (a 288-percent increase on Q1 2017). The quarter included four deals valued at $1 billion or more and two at $5 billion or more.

“We expect that the recent trend in large media and telecom deals focused on gaining access to content and other IP will continue to make headlines well into 2018,” PwC said. “We see both telecom and traditional media players continuing to make big bets on content and exclusive rights to IP remain competitive within the ever-changing landscape, which includes not only the likes of traditional media giants but also the ‘newcomers’ from Silicon Valley.”

Other areas of M&A activity will be in big data and tech and infrastructure enhancements, PwC noted.

The company also said that the quarter marked a two-year high in cross-border deal activity, with 37 inbound agreements and 56 outbound. Investment in the U.K. led the outbound.

By sector, there were 4 cable deals, 14 broadcasting agreements and 15 film and content deals.