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July 17, 2023

Barry Diller: Hollywood Faces an "Absolute Collapse" If Actor and Writer Strikes Are Not Resolved Soon

Via Ken Gardner who adds:


The former head of Paramount sees nothing but bad signs for Hollywood.

Former Paramount CEO Barry Diller delivered a grim prediction for Hollywood on Sunday, warning that the industry is facing an "absolute collapse" if the Writers' and Screen Actors Guild joint strike extends into the fall.

"What will happen is, if in fact, it doesn't get settled until Christmas or so, then next year, there's not going to be many programs for anybody to watch. So, you're gonna see subscriptions get pulled, which is going to reduce the revenue of all these movie companies, television companies, the result of which is that there will be no programs," Diller said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "And at just the time, [the] strike is settled that you want to get back up, there won't be enough money."


Diller said Hollywood is in the throes of a "perfect storm," adding that he doesn't think there is enough "trust" between the parties to reach a resolution soon.
Writer Eric Heisserer holds his writers strike sign on the fourth day of the writers strike in front of Netflix in Hollywood, followed by many other individuals

"The problem is... all strikes get settled. The issue with this one is had COVID, which sent people home to watch streaming television and killed theaters. You've had the results of huge investments in streaming which have produced all these losses for all these companies that are now kind of retrenching. So at this moment, this kind of perfect storm, it's okay if it gets settled in the next month but... what happens if it doesn't? And there doesn't seem enough trust and energy to get it settled soon."

The IAC chairman said he believes a settlement deadline of September 1 should be agreed upon by studios, streaming services and union leaders representing film and television actors to prevent "devastating" effects on the entertainment industry.

"I think there should be a settlement deadline because... this actually will have devastating effects if it is not settled soon," he said, adding that while the public might seem disinterested in internal Hollywood chaos, the truth is, "this is a huge business, both domestically and for world exporters."

"It sounds like I'm crying to the skies," he added, "but these conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry."

In semi-related news: Bob Iger says that Disney might be forced to sell off the ABC television network, the FX and FXX networks, and all "non-linear" networks... and wants someone to come in as a coinvestor to share the losses from the dying ESPN.

Walt Disney Company boss Bob Iger said the company is considering selling its TV assets while seeking a strategic partner for sports cable property ESPN.

Iger told CNBC on Thursday that he has had discussions with potential investors about buying a minority stake in ESPN, though he would not specify.

Iger said he hopes a partner would assist Disney with its sports-related "distribution or content," adding that the company "wants to stay in the sports business."

Iger added that he would be open to selling or spinning off Disney's cable networks, which includes ABC, FX and National Geographic.

Iger, who revealed on Wednesday he will remain CEO of Disney through 2026, told CNBC he did not anticipate the degree to which legacy television networks would be struggling.

Disney's television properties "may not be core" to the company, Iger said.

Note the properties he's considering selling are, mostly, companies that were purchased by Disney before Iger. FX and FXX were acquired by Iger when he bought Fox's entertainment divisions. But neither of those, I think, has ever been sold as standalone units and so do not have any valuations attached to them.

I point this out because of either Valliant Renegade's or WDW_Pro's point (forget which) that Iger does not want to sell off the big properties he bought -- LucasFilm, Marvel, Pixar, and even Fox, as a whole -- because the selling price will be much, much lower than the purchase price. This would expose him as rube who consistently overpaid for other people' successful studios to cover-up Disney's own struggling creative output. And it would also confirm everyone's strong suspicion that all of these properties are worth only 25-50% of what was paid for them, and therefore maybe all of Disney is similarly only worth 25-50% of the current market valuation.

He can't afford to sell anything that people know a recent purchase price for. He can only sell things acquired long ago (ABC) or which have never been sold on their own as standalone units (FX, FXX).

But he will never sell anything that he over-paid for. He cannot afford to let the world know, in stark mathematical terms, just how poorly he's run Disney these past eight years.

By the way, the last weekend's box office had Mission Impossible at number one and Sound of Freedom at number two. Phloebiana Jones fell to fourth. What a disgrace.

The Sound of Freedom has made $85 million in two weeks of release.

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posted by Ace at 03:52 PM

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