Merger and acquisition activity in the media and telecommunication business is being spurred by content deals as the industry prepares for the streaming wars.
According to PwC, deals worth $30.3 billion were announced during the third quarter, up 69% from a year ago. The number of deals declined 29% to 184. The value of the deals was down 17% from Q2, but the total number of transactions was up 18%.
The total includes the combination of CBS and Viacom. Also in the broadcast sector, The Walt Disney Co. sold its share in the YES Network to a consortium that includes the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Yankees and Amazon.
“Q3 effectively marks the calm before the storm--the storm that is DTC OTT platforms, which will seismically shift the Entertainment & Media landscape,” said Bart Spiegel, U.S. technology, media & telecommunications partner at PwC.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and beyond, PwC said it expects to see M&A trend towards OTT-driven content and data and artificial-intelligence driven deals, while a consolidation of digital publishing platforms begins to take shape.