US: How the World Cup drives mega media mergers

The world’s two largest merger deals were announced this year just ahead of the World Cup, which saw record-breaking audiences in the US. There’s a connection between the two, say experts.

According to reports, sports television is a major driving force between major M&A media deals. AT&T’s plans to acquire DirecTV and Comcast’s plans to acquire Time Warner Cable – both deals worth a combined $134 billion – both hinge on agreements regarding sports programming.

Under terms of the AT&T deal, for example, the telco will require DirecTV to renew its Sunday night football programming contracts.

Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, began looking for a buyer thanks to the rising cost of purchasing the rights to sports programming, according to reports.

And more media mergers are likely on the way, experts say.

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