U.S. downturn: Cable’s okay and so’s advertising…really?
There might have been concern in some quarters that the unfolding financial industry upheaval and its ensuing fallout would hurt the media industry, with financial advertisers getting hit and consumers tightening their belts.
But the media industry isn’t that concerned, according to CEOs who spoke this week at Goldman Sachs Media and Entertainment Communicopia investor conference. The execs said they were fairly comfortable that day-to-day operations of advertising and cable TV will get through the worst of this period relatively unscathed.
Cable and satellite executives who spoke at the event all acknowledged the economy is in a bit of difficult place right now but said this merely readjusted their respective plans for looking at borrowing in the capital markets for stock buybacks, acquisitions and asset divestitures.
But all said they don’t expect even hard hit customers to cut off cable or satellite TV.
“I think people look to television as something they can depend on,” said Chase Carey, Chief Executive of DirecTV Group Inc, the largest satellite TV provider.
“They cut out restaurants, they cut out theaters, but television is something they can hang on to in tough times,” said Carey.
Meanwhile advertising, often seen as one of the first areas to get hit in an economic downturn, has also been holding up nationally, according to national networks like Fox and CBS at the conference.
“The advertising on the upfront is holding incredibly. We’ve had almost no cancellations on the upfront,” said Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, which owns Fox Networks.
(Photo: Reuters of News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch)