Last week’s media sector meltdown is prompting merger talk anew — but several industry players said Monday that if there are get-togethers on the horizon, they’ll just as likely be between tech firms and TV programmers.
“You’re going to see some traditional players making some unusual moves in the next six months,” said Jimmy Schaeffler, a pay-TV consultant at the Carmel Group.
“There is a rumor that a big player is going to make Netflix an offer they can’t refuse,” Schaeffler said. “Dire times call for significant maneuvers.”
The whispers were made all the more loud after the media-stock plunge last week in the wake of disappointing news from ESPN and Viacom.
Also bringing the chatter to an audible pitch was a report from MoffettNathanson last week on a tough second quarter for the industry.
In the second quarter, pay-TV distributors suffered the ninth quarter out of 11 of declining subscribers, dropping a worse-than-expected 0.7 percent of their universe, or 236,000 households.
That’s the most abysmal figure on record and a steeper decline from last year’s comparable period, when the industry fell by 199,000 subscribers.
The report also suggests the ad market in the second-quarter period fell by 2.7 percent, to $9.221 billion.
“Advertising — the weakest quarter in a non-recession year ever,” the boutique research firm noted.
Ad-tech expert Dave Morgan, co-founder of Simulmedia, told The Post: “Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook: I don’t know how they don’t own video content production and distribution over the next few years.”