Media Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs

Disney and Cablevision stock not hurt by retrans row
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Media stocks recorded big gains March 5 as Wall Street
finished the day up on news that jobless claims have declined. News Corp and
Disney both closed on 52-week highs, while CBS also recorded a new high before
falling back just slightly at the close.

The big gains come as Wall Street digested some positive
news, consumers are borrowing more than expected and jobless claims declined.
News Corp. rose 3.7% to close at $16.81 a new high, as did Disney which closed
at $33.22 up 2% on the previous day's finish. CBS meanwhile recorded a 2.46%
jump to $14.57; its high is just slightly higher at $14.71. Shares in Scripps
Networks Interactive was one of the biggest gains of the day, rising 3.53% to
$40.82.

CBS, News Corp., and Disney are all expected to be big
beneficiaries of new cash rolling in from cable operators which are being asked
to pay retransmission fees for the right to carry the broadcast signals of each
of the separate companies.

The battle between Cablevision and Walt Disney Co. over
retransmission dollars is having little negative affect on their respective
stock prices.  David Joyce, media analyst
at Miller Tabak + Co., reiterated his buy
rating on Cablevision today and said in a note: 
"We continue to like CVC shares due to the high penetration of advanced
services in its network that can generate various incremental revenue streams
(VOD, HD, DVR.)"

Barclays Capital entertainment analyst, Anthony DiClemente,
thinks that the retransmission brawls will do little to increase the
possibility of a la carte programming options in cable, a potential threat to
the cable operator's existing economic model. 
"While such public disputes appear troubling, we are of the view that
"the bundle" is not at heightened risk," he wrote in a note out March 5.
DiClemente argues that unbundling would be fought by cable network owners and
that the simplicity of the bundle appeals to the consumer. He also suggests
that unbundling cable content is of low priority to the current Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.

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