Category Archives: Liberty Companies

Notes: 2017 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference Liberty Media Corporation – Mark Carleton

  • CHARTER
  • They like their position but would not say never to looking at acquisition offers.
  • Charter assets are complete and well positioned. They have fire power if opportunities come up.
  • Broadband and bundle offers are tough to compete with.
  • Merger with Comcast is probably more feasible than in the past today but not probable.
  • Wireless is a tough business with a difficult competitive position. The Verizon MVNO is good.
  • 5G is an opportunity for Spectrum.
  • There is attrition in cable bundle but the market is still huge: 94 million.
  • There is still must see content, such as sports.
  • Altice has strong margins (margin maximization). Charter is watching. If Altice can maintain the high margins it may lead to either other cable companies getting better or Altice acquiring them. If not they (Altice) will be acquired. This will probably play out over the next couple years.
  • FORMULA 1
  • There was no formal sponsorship group. No soft drink, telecom, professional services, oil & gas, banking sponsors.
  • CAA helped put feet on the ground all over the world.
  • Results should start to come in next year.
  • Packages and bundled offers are being made.
  • Looking to maximize value and benefits with the right profitable mix of races. A U.S. presence is important but they also need U.S. driver and content to keep U.S. fans engaged.
  • Direct to consumer is an opportunity. They also have tons of data on the cars that are not being sent out.
  • Live Nation has been helpful in discussions about opportunities.
  • Broadcast contracts (renewal) is an opportunity.
  • SIRIUSXM
  • Liberty now owns 70% and growing.
  • Business has performed beautifully.
  • They will continue to back stock if it looks attractive.
  • At 80% ownership, dividends would be non-taxable.
  • Liberty Sirius sells at a discount. They might take actions in the future when they may want to close the gap, perhaps to use the equity.
  • They like Pandora as an advertising supported service. Could allow for a good, better, best offering.
  • There are challenges in the pure streaming business.
  • Sirius can help Pandora with curated content.
  • Can it help Sirius migrate users to its service?
  • Can Pandora light up “zombie” radios in used cars (Sirius radios not turned on).
  • There will be more pop up channels to allow Live Nation and Sirius to support each other.
  • ATLANTA BRAVES
  • Stadium and Battery have “been awesome”.
  • Minor league system has been improved.
  • OTHER
  • Charter has big opportunities as does Formula 1.
  • QVC and HSN should have opportunities and synergies.
  • They are not operators, they are investors.
  • They have great managers. Incentives are well aligned.

Greg Maffei at Morgan Stanley TMT Conference Notes $LBDRK, $FWONK, $LSXMK, $BATRK, $QVCA, $LVNTA

  • Formula 1: great international sports franchise; 400 million+ TV audience; many parts of the business are under-exploited such as sponsorships.
  • Chase Carey is a great manager who has brought on some top-tier talent to round out the management team.
  • Race calendar is locked in for 2017 and probably 2018. Sponsorship has the most potential for near-term improvements.
  • The races need to be more interesting. This will take some time.
  • They think the opportunity is bigger than they first thought.
  • Teams have an interest in a more balanced league will make the product more compelling.
  • Best TV deal is in the U.K. There is a lot of potential to improve the TV deal in the U.S.
  • Liberty Sirius XM.
  • Pandora is way under monetized. The subscription streaming business does not have very good economics. The free radio market is still a $16 billion market. Perhaps Pandora could help Sirius to go after some of that money.
  • Future of connected car. In some ways, this will threaten Sirius because there will be more options in the car. But the two-way connectivity can help Sirius provide a better service.
  • The Agero platform has signed up a number of car manufacturers.
  • Liberty Broadband.
  • Lots of M&A discussion. The current administration is positive for more consolidation. There are not many cable targets left. Charter is very bullish on future prospects. They have a great management team and the comp structure is well aligned.
  • Charter is confident on the mobile offering. There is upside here.
  • QVC
  • Has grown for the past 30 years. Only a couple periods of no-growth. There were distractions around the election which persist. There are some green shoots. Some positive trends.
  • Liberty Broadband sells at discount. That will go away when Broadband is merged into Charter or Charter is sold. They have borrowing capacity to take advantage of the discount to juice the returns.
  • Howard is locked up for quite awhile. No other content provider stands out as a big threat.