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SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Media tongues are wagging about what potential streaming collaborations might be brewing in the wake of this week’s Allen & Co. conference for tech and media moguls.
The powwows between media bosses at the Sun Valley confab reached a new level of intensity this year, including meetings between bosses at Disney and Netflix as well as at Comcast and Viacom/CBS, one source told The Post.
“It’s like speed-dating” one conference attendee said of the frenetic pace of meetings at the Allen & Company conference. “Everyone is on everyone’s dance card.”
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who has been reportedly mulling a potential acquisition of media assets, met with ViacomCBS Chair president Shari Redstone on Wednesday, according to an attendee with knowledge of the sitdown.
“Shari, Brian, and the major sports commissioners — like MLB’s Rob Manfred and NFL’s Roger Goodell have really made the rounds,” the attendee said.
On her way into Sun Valley cafe Konditorei, The Post asked Redstone about her meeting with Roberts.
“I meet with everyone,” a perky Redstone replied before grabbing a latte and heading off to a 9:40 a.m. session hosted by the King of Jordan.
Even rivals Disney and Netflix powwowed this year, said the source of a sit-down between Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Disney Chairman Bob Iger’s with Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos.
While a Disney/Netflix union is unlikely, sources say the group could’ve been gabbing about possible collaborations.
“It could be Netflix and Disney collaborate on creative deals or monetize some parts of the library,” Neil Begley, a Moody’s SVP tells The Post.
“ESPN (a Disney subsidiary) already did a collaboration with Netflix on a Michael Jordan series so there’s a precedent there.” Begley said noting that in order to compete in this environment companies need to cut costs and likely work together.
Disney and Netflix did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The meetings come as the streaming wars continue to heat up, forcing collaborations big and small, with the biggest so far being the planned merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia.
Looming large is the threat of Amazon or Apple taking an even larger role in the media space. Amazon’s $8.5 billion purchase of MGM Studios — which is facing federal antitrust scrutiny — has made it clear that Bezos and new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy are willing to shell out big bucks to compete with streaming rivals like Netflix and Hulu.
The online retailer on Thursday revealed that it’s also willing to join forces, saying it will offer new live action movies from Comcast’s Universal Pictures four months after they debut on NBC’s struggling streaming service Peacock. The news comes as Bezos — who was seen clinking glasses with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday evening — attends the Allen & Co. confab with Comcast’s Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.
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