☀️What the First 5 Months of 2023 will reveal
PLUS: Zero 'looking back' at 2022! 🥳 Instead, what actually is on the calendar thru May, and things to keep an eye on
Mornin! Uh, to my… Australia readers (hi guys 👋). This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), a good afternoon to the American contingent, and welcome to 2023.
Where I’ll start the year on a note of pure sincerity (don’t worry, that’s not a 2023 resolution) with a heartfelt thank you all for reading this thing, and for those of you who took time from your day to send me an email note in 2022 (firstname.lastname@example.org) - whether reaching out with question to better explain something, sending an additional perspective to consider, just to say hi 👋, or to tell me I spelled your name wrong.
All were very appreciated (yes, including yours Timotheé Chalamet). Also a sincere thanks to Janice & Richard for inviting The Wakeup and I over here to The Ankler universe in 2022 - certainly was not remotely any career prediction I made a year ago… and while I had no expectations coming in, it’s certainly exceeded any I could have imagined - it continues to be awesome to work with you both. Assuming you read this thing.
PLUS: How HBOMAX didn’t get a carve-out to stream, and make a bigger event out of the NHL Winter Classic today as part of their NHL deal (their annual outdoor NEW YEARS game - this year in Fenway Park) is a big missed opportunity. #Bundle-onlyTNT🙄.
HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: Tomorrow’s Wakeup will once again arrive early afternoon NYC time, to allow for a full Box Office breakdown including today’s holiday/4-day weekend updates.
The usual morning Wakeup cadence will return on Wednesday.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
Thankfully HOLLYWOOD mostly kept to a news drought over the holidays (with condolences going out to the family of pioneering journalist Barbara Walters, and keeping a steady recovery thought for Jeremy Renner).
So as you’re likely on the tail end of a barrage of 2023 prediction emails… very, very few of which were accompanied by a breakdown of the 2022 predictions from said experts... ahem, I think we can all agree there’s no need for another one (or arguably, the previous ones). After all, a correct Media Biz prediction and $2.75 will get you on the subway.
Certainties, not predictions:
Yes, there will be a LIONSGATE deal. They told us that themselves in November. Yes they told us the same thing about STARZ in September… but it’d be bad if this one didn’t hold.
Yes, AMC Networks is in real trouble. The odds of this company looking the same way a year from now are zero to slim.
HBOMAX will be going through a major transformation in about 4-ish months, something most 2023 prediction pieces neglected to even mention.
A definite Top 2023 deal will be the multi-billion one for HULU - again, this is just something that contractually will need to happen, not a prediction.
APPLE-DISNEY conspiracy theorists - does APPLE want to own (and run) the US-only business of HULU?
Also - Bob Iger didn’t return in a ‘2 year’ contract to sell DISNEY in year 1, so I’ll see you all in about a year.
Overall 2024 is much more likely to be the bigger year of change. Likely.
The reported ‘tax reasons’ stopping any major WBD deal will have disappeared.
It’s year 2 of Iger 2.0 (ish).
Most Streaming biz promises to Wall Street were “… by 2024” so the chickens will be coming home to roost.
We’ll have a strong handle on whether Ad Tiers are a real new growth business, or niche at best.
Potentially a new regulatory atmosphere on the horizon in Washington depending how the election is looking.
Interest rates will hopefully be back at/on their way to more deal-friendly ranges.
I thought what may be useful at this point is a granular look at what’s actually ahead. Not at the whole year (you only need to look at any stock price a year ago to know no one knows anything 12 months out), but rather a look at things that will happen in the next 5 months.
If you want to predict beyond a potential WGA strike deadline in May - the floor is yours, and yes I’ll ‘reprint’ your solid prediction again come Memorial Day.
The goal, if anything, is an attempt to provide a road map of how and where the sense of WTF-ness that engulfed us this year, may begin to abate.
A newsletter Xanax if you will. Or a reason to take an actual one depending what you take away from it.
The next 5 months in LaLa Land
FIRST: The big 2023 themes I’ll be watching (besides any odd Covid news coming out of China):