Comcast wants “fair deal” with Hollywood strikers

Comcast wants “fair deal” with Hollywood strikers, reports theatrical revenue boost

Studio-owning conglomerate warns of “negative impact all round” from prolonged stoppage.

Comcast Corporation is “committed to reaching a fair deal with the guilds as soon as possible,” according to president Michael Cavanagh, who commented on the Hollywood labour strikes while discussing the conglomerate’s strong second quarter financial results.

Cavanagh added, though, that if the labour unrest is prolonged “the longer it goes, the worse it will be.   It’s going to have a negative impact all around.”

He said the company remains “committed to reaching a fair deal [with actors and writers] as soon as possible, so we can get back to doing what we do best, which is making great content together.”

Cavanagh called the financial impact of the work stoppage “manageable,” at least for now.  The strikes “will shift studio working capital out of the near term… So probably, for 2023, a little bit lower working capital and higher cash flow, and the flip side of that in 2024.”

It won’t change NBCU’s strategy, he said.  What is that?  “We’re going to be very much focused on creating great content.  We already do create great content, when you look at the movie slates we’ve had and the TV that we produce for ourselves and others.  I think that strategy is going to continue.  We’re not going to be creating content exclusively for ourselves.  I think it’s a great advantage for our studios to actually have platforms that can take a substantial amount, though not all, of the content that we’re able to create.  … In terms of cost and strategy and so forth, we will work in the context of the industry and the buyers and what they’re looking for and be responsive to that.  But I feel very good about the way our studio businesses are set up.”

Moving into 2024 and beyond if the strikes are prolonged, he said the impact will obiviously be more pronounced — but “it would be for ourselves and others — so a level playing field.”

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