What is the world’s most valuable media property?

by on November 10, 2012 at 8:18 am in Sports, Television | Permalink

Arguably it is ESPN, which is now valued at about $40 billion:

The reality is that there is not another media property in the world worth as much as ESPN because no media asset delivering content generates close to as much money. Wunderlich pegs the value of the Disney Channel, which is one of the most valuable channels and has the third highest affiliate fees, at $10 billion. It is even uglier in print. The current market value of the New York Times is $1.3 billion. The only media companies in the world worth more than $40 billion are News Corp. ($58 billion) and Comcast ($96 billion). The value of News Corp. is spread out among dozens of media assets, while Comcast derives most of its value from being a cable provider.

prior_approval November 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

How does one measure value?

Some people place a much higher value on reaching decision makers than in pure revenue in a mass market. Sadly, I couldn’t find the link anyone longer, probably to the City Paper, explaining why a company like Lockheed will spend huge amounts of money on ads at places like Metro stations and on thing like WTOP, to try to reach one of three people in the DC area involved in a specific federal decision.

Fox News is another exrtremely public example – based on explicit political expedience in support of the Republican Party, Fox is not about profit, at least in the eyes of its current chief – the man who just happened to write the memo –

‘The memo—called, simply enough, “A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News”— is included in a 318-page cache of documents detailing Ailes’ work for both the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations that we obtained from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries. Through his firms REA Productions and Ailes Communications, Inc., Ailes served as paid consultant to both presidents in the 1970s and 1990s, offering detailed and shrewd advice ranging from what ties to wear to how to keep the pressure up on Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the first Gulf War.

The documents—drawn mostly from the papers of Nixon chief of staff and felon H.R. Haldeman and Bush chief of staff John Sununu—reveal Ailes to be a tireless television producer and joyful propagandist. He was a forceful advocate for the power of television to shape the political narrative, and he reveled in the minutiae constructing political spectacles—stage-managing, for instance, the lighting of the White House Christmas tree with painstaking care. He frequently floated ideas for creating staged events and strategies for manipulating the mainstream media into favorable coverage, and used his contacts at the networks to sniff out the emergence of threatening narratives and offer advice on how to snuff them out—warning Bush, for example, to lay off the golf as war in the Middle East approached because journalists were starting to talk. There are also occasional references to dirty political tricks, as well as some positions that seem at odds with the Tea Party politics of present-day Fox News: Ailes supported government regulation of political campaign ads on television, including strict limits on spending. He also advised Nixon to address high school students, a move that caused his network to shriek about “indoctrination” when Obama did it more than 30 years later.’

http://gawker.com/5814150

Some people aren’t interested in media revenue – they just see the media as a tool to be wielded.

celestus November 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

Take that, Hanna Rosin!

Rahul November 10, 2012 at 9:03 am

To me this begs the question why isn’t there more telivision piracy?

prior_approval November 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

I’d provide some links, but they would probably be filtered.

However, here is an Internet pro tip – the Swiss government does not care about copyright in regards to the Internet, and spends no money enforcing it.

Dan Weber November 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

There is a lot of piracy, but most of it depends on time-shifting not mattering. People who watch sports really want to watch the sports live.

Dan Abrams November 10, 2012 at 10:43 am

How iTunes Media and App Store, projected to do $13 billion in revenue in 2013?

Adam November 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Time Warner’s market cap is still over $40 billion, though barely, and of course, Disney’s divested media holdings would be worth well in excess of $40 billion. Kind of weird that there are only four, though. Four companies damn near control all media.

Careless November 13, 2012 at 1:54 am

Disney owns ESPN

maguro November 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Makes sense to me. DVRs are making sports programming almost uniquely valuable and ESPN is the most valuable sports sports programming brand in the world.

Steve Sailer November 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

When you are talking about The Smart Money, you’ve got to put the world’s richest man somewhere on the list: Carlos Slim.

As you may recall, when the New York Times was in danger of going under in 2008, the Mexican telecom monopolist loaned the NYT $200 million.

Slim makes exorbitant monopolist profits on phone calls between the U.S. and Mexico. And the NYT has been wildly vociferous in the last 4 years about how insanely evil anybody who wants to cut down on illegal immigration is.

So, I’d say that Slim’s rather paltry media investment (which he will likely get paid back in full) is working out quite satisfactorily for him.

Rahul November 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

What’s your underlying point? Slim might have exerted pressure on the NYT to bias its coverage? Ok. Let’s search for upright, unbiased competing newspapers that are impervious to investor pressure. Which might those be? The Onion?

doctorpat November 12, 2012 at 1:07 am

The fact that there are no heroes hardly disproves the existence of villains.

maguro November 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

As if the NYT ever needed to be bribed to sing from the liberal hymnbook.

Jay November 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

What is the enterprise value of MSNBC? -$40 billion? Based on multiples that would make Current TV worth about -$160 billion.

mulp November 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Why is ESPN worth $40B in market cap?

Because the working poor pay $100 a month for cable to watch others run around fields while they eat KFC on their couch, and drive a beat up car to a job they hate because the pay they get is so low for the effort for the company owned by a billionaire bitching about the lazy 47% like them that don’t pay income tax.

Good thing they live in America. If they lived someplace else, they might work hard, sit around drink wine and eating pasta, and play soccer on Sunday with their old friends and coworkers and their boss, and no one would be able to get ESPN.

Juan November 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

Ster Wers!

Andrew' November 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

And Disney owns that too!

Peter November 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

Advertisers love ESPN because it’s one of the few cable or broadcast channels with a predominately male audience.* A dirty little secret of television is that the audience for most non-sports programming is your basic Fish Taco Festival. Advertisers who want to target men** have few if any options other than sports programming. ESPN is the perfect advertising vehicle.

* = news channels are mostly male too, but their viewership is smaller and skews older and therefore less valuable
** = especially companies advertising the Big Four male-oriented products: cars, beer, life insurance, and limp-d*ck drugs

Nik November 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Er… Facebook?

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