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PwC: Media Business Merger Activity Increased in 2Q

Merger and acquisition activity in the entertainment, media and telecommunications industry rose in the second quarter from a year ago, although the value of those deals dropped slightly, according to PwC.

There were 232 deals in the quarter, up from 216 deals a year ago. In the first quarter, there were 255 deals.

The deals announced in the second quarter were worth $18.8 billion, down from $21.3 billion a year ago. In the first quarter, mergers and acquisitions were worth $10.4 billion.

Big deals in the quarter included Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.8 billion bid to acquire Tribune Media, RCN’s $2.4 billion merger with WaveDivision Holdings, and Verizon’s acquisition of Straight Path Communications, worth $2.3 billion.

“Deal activity in 2017 continues to outpace 2016 as market participants look to secure their footing in the digital value chain and position themselves in anticipation of regulatory change,” said Bart Spiegel, partner, media and telecommunications deals.

PwC noted that it’s particularly worth keeping an eye on the broadcasting sector where some companies added cash from the spectrum auctions.

“The impact of a changing regulatory landscape in the industry on deal activity remains to be seen; how will the recently appointed FCC chairman differ in policies and approach to his predecessor,” PwC said in its report.