MGM is for sale. And there are big implications for whoever takes over now.
Late last year, we heard MGM was for sale, but at that point, it was undefined and expensive—the cost is $5.5 billion. MGM hired consultants and was sussing out buyers. But as of right now, no bids have been tendered. Still, companies like Apple, Netflix, Comcast, Disney, Amazon, and even Warner Bros. have reason to buy.
When Disney acquired Fox, it changed the landscape of cinema. People have wondered about Fox's R-rated catalog, and Disney once again consolidated power, proving to be a studio that had so much money and so many franchises it has insulated itself from failure.
Now, MGM and its deep catalog are up for sale. MGM has sold so many times in the past that a huge chunk of its stuff is now at Warner, but there are still premium titles. It owns 50% of Bond, the Epix streaming channel, and franchises like Rocky, Poltergeist, Carrie, Pink Panther, Legally Blonde, and Robocop.
Aside from all that, you get a running studio with production capabilities and distribution capabilities that span the globe.
That could be very enticing for streamers who want to churn out content. Or add to their libraries. It also could change the fate of Bond. We know the movie is slated to come out later this year, but would that change if, say, Netflix buys MGM? Wouldn't it just drop the movie on its service?
Obviously, MGM is an attractive buy, but that price tag is high. Not many places have that kind of cash on hand. Disney could do it easily, but I'm not sure its content and those franchises line up with its current programming. Though it would not be unlike Disney to buy it and then find a different way to offer it to the public.
Warner seems like the most likely. It already favors adult-skewing content, and having that stake in Bond would be very valuable for the studio. It could put the older Bond movies on HBO Max and have franchises to load its new streamer.
Netflix seems like the other strong player. We know it tendered a bid for the new Bond movie, and we know it loves rebooting IP. I could easily see a Robocop streaming series or even a Poltergeist one. The question is, how much can Netflix afford to spend? If it gets into a bidding war over MGM, would it stick around if the price gets higher?
Finally, the big name is Apple. It has the money and the need for everything MGM has except for Epix, which it can easily roll over into its own service. Apple has more money than almost anyone else and can drive the bid up as high as it wants.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and the effect it has on Hollywood. Streamers need content, so whatever they buy that's old, they still need to be producing even more. A serious bidding war could hamper who can spend what in the new year.
We'll keep an eye on the situation.
Who do you think is in line to buy MGM? Let us know in the comments.
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Amazon, Apple, Netflix are all good buyers. MGM has been on the ropes for decades, maybe a new thinking firm could bring the place back. It has a strong brand, and a wonderful facility.
February 9, 2021 at 12:20PM
Aww nuts! I would totally buy it, but I just spent six billion dollars on Girl Scout Cookies.
Speaking of which, does anyone have a little extra freezer room? I’ve got 70 million boxes of Thin Mints...
February 10, 2021 at 5:38AM