☀️WGA Strike will be a long game on Wall Street & Madison Ave
NETFLIX has lowest Films view week in 2+ months / WBD passes on DtoC in CAN / NBA & NHL Playoff ratings boom
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY May 3, 2023.
Where… well, one day down. According to Variety, several TV series have stopped writing their next seasons (although notably the next House of the Dragons season for HBO is all written). Plus a few series apparently set a very optimistic May 1 start date for the rooms on their new seasons.
I mean ya gotta love the optimism but… not sure Yellowjackets will keep on its usual schedule for 2024.
ALSO: Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner are splitting up after 18 years of marriage.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
NETFLIX has its worst Film view weeks in at least 2 months, as a French action pic leads the way globally. And the #1 pic in the US last week is… nowhere to be seen this week.
Understanding Wall Street’s “reaction” to the strike, and some insight into what Madison Avenue is thinking.
NHL and NBA Playoffs are on ratings fire so far this year.
WWE reports solid Q1 in advance of UFC deal.
WBD goes the exclusive deal route in another country, vs. launching DtoC with MAX, and much more.
AGAIN: Tomorrow’s newsletter will be a bit later than usual so I can include the PARAMOUNT Q1 Earnings analysis.
And to see if anyone asks them on the Earnings Call if any upcoming Taylor Sheridan PAR+ shows can be versioned to work/air on CBS this Fall.
🪧 STRIKE UPDATES
Of note - Kelly Clarkson is said to have a WGA staff… but has a sizable backload of episodes so this probably won’t be affected til Fall, same for Drew Barrymore which has wrapped for the season. /THR
The View is continuing without the writers they have on staff, so as Whoopi said: “So you’re gonna hear how it would be when it’s not, you know, slicked up.” 😳🤐
CBS put a pin in their event next Tues, May 9 to announce their Fall schedule… and will likely just send out a press release instead. /Variety
TBA how Upfronts will go talent appearance-wise. I’d say it’d be a surprise if Kimmel or Meyers showed up… and I doubt either Studio would want Advertisers to hear what they would deliver anyway. But, still officially TBA.
📝IN OTHER WORDS…
“The strike is not a stressor for Advertisers.
If consumers stop watching Late Night reruns, Advertisers can easily reach them on TIKTOK or YOUTUBE.”
- Kelsey Chickering, principal analyst at FORRESTERS in a Digiday piece looking at a handful of reactions in the Ad buying community thus far to any strike-induced effects.
As expected, most aren’t too concerned about the Summer… and unlike in 1988 or 2008, there are now many other ways to make video ad buys. Either way, it’s definitely a #longgame here too.
As for WALL STREET…
Yes, all Studio & Streamer stocks were down yesterday:
note: I’m leaving APPLE & AMAZON out because in reality their business fundamentals have nothing to do with the strike/their Streaming divisions.
AMC NETWORKS -3.75%
and fwiw strike-adjacent company ENDEAVOR was also -2%.
BUT: The market overall was -1.1%, and these drops are not large (with the slight exception of WBD & LGF being an above-average day fluctuation). But again, these numbers are not wholly unusual, especially on an overall down day for the market.
Right now, WALL STREET is much more concerned with:
What the Fed says today on interest rates for May (note: this will drive any changes you see today, not the Strike).
The US Debt Limit conversations, which may have less than a 7 day timeline on them.
The stability of Regional Banks crashing due to increased exposure from our new reality of high interest rates.
SO: Until there is material hit to Studios Revenue (or projected Revenue), or Streaming service subscriber counts materially begin to dip (which given the stockpile of content - one wouldn’t think this would be seen until at least late Oct/early Nov reports at minimum)… I wouldn’t expect Wall Street to care much.
As I mentioned yesterday, it could even have an opposite effect in the near term if Studios/Streamers are able to free up some of the cash they would have otherwise spent on TV production this Summer, and put it toward Free Cash Flow etc.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX Films Weekly Global Viewership Chart
usual caveats: back of the napkin math, assumes everyone finished the movie (including the credits), no one watched twice, or that a bunch of folks didn’t rewind certain parts, etc. so consider these minimum numbers. and it’s based on NETFLIX’s self-reported numbers.