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Disney weighs cost of pay-TV M&A

Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer of Disney, has confirmed that it is evaluating how the planned merger of AT&T  and DirecTV and of Time Warner Cable and Comcast will affect its business, “Whether it’s that merger or Comcast- Time Warner Cable it’s no surprise to us that there is consolidation,” Rasulo told a Bloomberg Conference in New York. “We have strong relationships with all of those companies. We are analyzing how that will affect the ecosystem. This is early days.”

Disney, owner of ESPN, the Disney Channel and the ABC broadcast network, is one of the biggest suppliers of programming to cable and satellite TV providers. Like other content producers, the company has been selling more of its shows to online networks like Netflix. The pay-TV mergers potentially give the players involved more leverage on price and/or exclusivity.

“We recognise there is a change in the landscape from what has been a very valuable and profitable landscape,” Rasulo said. “The world is evolving toward more content being distributed over the top. Netflix is a great example. There will be more.”

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