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March 20, 2017

How Entertainment Will Be All About Experiences

Posted by Anurag Vardhan Sinha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 3:45 AM



BBC Frozen Planet Augmented Reality - created by INDE [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv71Pe9kTU0]

Technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have empowered entertainers to immerse their audiences into intended experiences. What is even more powerful is that the rate at which these new technologies have proliferated in the last decade is far higher than that of the entire previous half century of developments.

About deep immersive experiences

See-through AR device such as the Microsoft HoloLens is becoming mainstream. It has been effectively used in public relations and marketing initiatives for motion pictures, television and other promotional campaigns.

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February 27, 2017

Mission to Mars: New Frontiers for Media & Entertainment

Posted by Anurag Vardhan Sinha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:08 AM

Mission to Mars: New Frontiers for Media & Entertainment

A Mars rover on the surface of the red planet collecting soil and other material information. A rover is an automated motor vehicle that can be remotely controlled.

On 20th June 1969, an estimated 600 million people watched the televised landing on the moon. Audiences saw Armstrong walk, while Armstrong and Aldrin planted an American flag on the rocky surface.

Fast forward to 2030

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November 11, 2016

Thoughts on Windstream-EarthLink Merger - O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Posted by Anurag Vardhan Sinha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:30 AM

Thoughts on Windstream-EarthLink Merger  - O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Last Friday, I was having coffee with my team and discussing the wave of consolidations that are happening in the US communication industry when a colleague commented, "Anurag, with this pace of deal announcements, it looks like you will have to write an article every week." His words were prophetic, for two days later, on the eve of the historic US elections, EarthLink announced its merger with Windstream Communications in an all-stock transaction. The deal values EarthLink at about $645.2 million, and with debt at approximately $1.1 billion. Windstream shareholders will own about 51%, while EarthLink shareholders will own 49% of the combined company.

EarthLink was founded in 1994. It was envisaged as an alternative to dial-up internet service providers (ISP) like AOL who had a closed ecosystem. Dial-up internet services from EarthLink became popular by the turn of the millennium. They extended their success to broadband services but soon started facing pushback from Telcos. At the time of the merger, EarthLink had 29,000+ fiber route miles, 90 metro fiber rings and secure data centers that provide data and voice IP coverage. Dial-up as a mode for accessing the internet went out of vogue and by the end of the first decade of the new millennium, most of the dial-up giants like AOL got acquired. Those like EarthLink have been finding their new 'avatars' through partnerships/mergers and are focusing on niche markets not served or underserved by the telco giants of today. And it was only a matter of time that a player like EarthLink would want to grow beyond their niche market.

Continue reading "Thoughts on Windstream-EarthLink Merger - O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" »

November 4, 2016

CenturyLink -- Level 3 Merger: Expensive Network Buy or Strategic Consolidation?

Posted by Anurag Vardhan Sinha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:06 AM

CenturyLink.jpg

On 31st October, within 10 days of the mega- merger announcement by AT&T and Time Warner Inc, CenturyLink announced its decision to buy Level 3 Communications in a massive $34 billion cash-and-stock deal. The equity value of the deal, excluding debt, is about $24 billion. CenturyLink, offered $26.50 in cash and 1.4286 of its shares for each Level 3 share, there by valuing Level 3 at $66.50 a share. Post the acquisition, CenturyLink shareholders will own about 51% of the combined company.

CenturyLink, services 6 million residential Internet customers, mainly in rural areas and Level 3 operates mainly in cities on the East and West Coasts. Both companies have been facing immense competition from larger rivals and through this merger, believe that they can consolidate and stand up to the might of AT&T and Verizon. CenturyLink and Level 3 is expecting the combined company to save over $900 million in cost-cutting synergies, according to the press release announcing the deal.

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October 25, 2016

AT&T's Business Transformation: From Connectivity, to Services, to Experiences

Posted by Anurag Vardhan Sinha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:25 AM

AT&T's Business Transformation: From Connectivity, to Services to Experiences

Last Saturday AT&T's CEO Randall L. Stephenson announced that AT&T Inc. has reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion, including the Time Warner Inc's debt and cash, the purchase is valued at $108.7 billion. AT&T has agreed to pay $107.50 a share, evenly split between cash and stock and when the deal finally closes, Time Warner shareholders will own 14.4 % -- 15.7% of AT&T shares.

This is a landmark in the history of AT&T, as with this announcement, they have transitioned from a communications company to a media conglomerate. This will result in the largest vertically integrated media company, with a combined market capital of over $300 billion (AT&T has a current market capital of $230.64 billion and Time Warner Inc. has a current market capital of $69.7 billion). With this acquisition, AT&T will be able to combine content from Time Warner, a vast library of TV and movie properties, including HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and the Warner Bros. film studio, home to the Harry Potter and DC Comics franchises entertainment, with AT&T's distribution network of mobile services, broadband and TV in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.

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