Wall Street overreacts to Fox, Disney, Warner Bros’ joint sports: CEO EW Scripps


More than 60 local TV owners who have seen their stocks wiped out after this week’s dramatic news of a joint venture to create a sports franchise have hit Wall Street investors. Street for excessive behavior.

EW Scripps CEO Adam Symson, who saw the company’s stock sink more than 27% after Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced separate services on Wednesday, downplayed the impact. with local partners.

“Partners will be fined for their conduct,” Symson told CNBC.

“Not the effective package of Wall Street.”

Scripps owns 18 ABC stations, in markets such as Phoenix, Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa, and four Fox stations among its 66 outlets.

Symson told CNBC that he had been assured by ABC parent Disney that the local channel’s content would be included in the so-called blanket.

Other major local television owners such as TEGNA and Sinclair saw their stocks decline.

Sinclair – which operates about 200 stations across the country including the Tennis Channel – was down 12% on Wednesday, and down nearly 9% for the week.

TEGNA, which owns 68 television stations including the True Crime Network, is down nearly 7% since the news broke.

EW Scripps CEO Adam Symson said Wall Street was overreacting to the upcoming sports deal between Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, telling CNBC, “The package is not successful by Wall Street.” Getty Images

Symson said the overreaction is because investors seem to forget that local ABC and Fox will be part of a new, leaner network of sports networks that still includes ESPN, TNT and Fox.

“Wall Street acted like a product of a sea change,” Symson told CNBC.

“I don’t take issue with opportunity or the idea that there is value here. But take March Madness. You’ll only get TBS and TNT, not CBS.”

The as-yet-unnamed service, which will launch in the fall, will work with all of its local broadcast partners in the same way as other digital multichannel bundlers, like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV, CNBC said, citing people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

The upcoming event also will not include “Sunday Night Football” or NFL games on CBS, which will air the Super Bowl this year.

Symson says viewers won’t be satisfied with the partial giveaway.

“People don’t want to go to a buffet where half the steaming plate is missing,” Symson said, per CNBC.

Customers who plan to buy the new package can expect to receive local news and sports from ABC and Fox, according to CNBC.

Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to combine their sports assets into a new joint venture earlier this week, sending the TV operators’ share of the -collapsed place. Getty Images

A Scripps representative did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Although the new service will offer sports content under one roof – including Disney networks like ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, BTN, ACCN and ESPNEWS – it will not provide access it’s on CBS or NBC.

The new package is expected to be north of $40 per month, although it still lacks the sports coverage available on cable.

Robert Thompson, professor emeritus of television, radio and film at Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications, said the high cost may mean cable TV is not doomed. .

“I don’t think this will be the final nail in the coffin of pay TV,” Thompson told The Post on Thursday.

“If you start adding it and you like sports, you will pay at least $40 for the service but you still want to watch NFL games that are not on the platform,” he added. “You’re going to want them one way or another.”

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