The return of the National Football League to normal operation was becoming a matter of time, according to one analyst, so broadcast interests that were most exposed to damage from a cancelled season will experience relief that the nightmare is actually over, if not experience a big bounce from the announcement. Another analyst sees other benefits as well.
Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo believes that the fact that a settlement has been expected for awhile now means that there will be no particular mood swing among investors who may have been considering buying or selling stock in a company with a slate of NFL games on the schedule.
She believes that the company that stands to benefit the most is DirecTV, since it is trying to sell subscriptions – and can now undertake to do that with certainty. The satcaster will join NBC, ESPN, Fox and CBS in celebrating an end to the impasse.
Anthony DiClemente of Barclays Capital noted that the companies carrying a schedule had protection from loss of games, so getting them back is not a huge change.
However, they are getting a prime advertising sales opportunity at a time when ad sales are bouncing back, and believes there may be $3B on the table for rights holders to vie for.
Additionally, the games give each network a captive audience they can use to promote the remainder of their Fall schedule.
Like Ryvicker, he did not believe the end of the lockout would have a significant impact on any stock prices.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ll add beneficiaries that aren’t mentioned here – all of the radio stations and local TV stations that live and die with their local team – and run all kinds of programming built around football. That source of programming and income was irreplaceable, and we welcome news that it will go forward as per usual.