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Overheard at UBS Global Media and Communications Conference

Welcome wall for the UBS Welcome Global Media and Communications

Photo: Christopher Adams

Comcast's initial Hulu check from Disney cleared on Friday, the company's president Mike Cavanagh told the audience Monday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.

Here's what else we heard this week:

Cavanagh celebrates Hulu deal and shrugs at large-scale M&A:

  • "We're pretty good with the progress we've been making [with streaming]. Remember, we started cold three years ago because of the change in ownership of Hulu, which, by the way, we collected a $8.5 billion check on Friday. ... We certainly hope to get more than that once the process ends."
  • "I'm not eager to distract us from everything that we've been talking about from the very top unless there's a strong, compelling reason to do it. Our job is always [to] look at things, but all I can say is that the bar is really high."

Andrew Lipman of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius predicts DirecTV-Dish would gain regulatory approval:

  • "This has been an uncommonly difficult administration for M&A. Unless you have the wherewithal to wait out the agency and go to court like Microsoft and Activision. Then, you're probably going to get a favorable result."
  • "You look at the FCC. TracFone-Verizon, Mint Mobile-T-Mobile. We wouldn't even be talking about those in prior years. Let alone how the FCC sent Tegna-Standard General into oblivion."
  • DirecTV and Dish "is not going to be an easy merger, but I think it could be granted by this administration, and if not, by the courts. Why? Because there's been a tsunami of overbuilding. ... There's an avalanche of over-the-top providers."

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz sees benefits to Liberty's proposal:

  • "The two sides I know are actively in discussions, and I can't share anything specifically, but I feel confident we'll get somewhere in a positive resolution. We all agree that something simpler makes sense."
  • "I think it'll position us really well going forward to execute on the transformation that we're undertaking and really look to have a much cleaner overall structure that's easier to understand, more liquidity."

Nexstar CEO Perry Sook on carriage negotiations with TV providers in the wake of the Disney-Charter dispute:

  • "I don't think it's more contentious; it's probably more complicated than when it started."
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