5 Reasons Katzenberg + AwesomenessTV Should Stay With NBCUniversal After the Acquisition Closes
1. Keep DreamWorks “Awesome.”
“AwesomenessTV has performed pretty well as part of DreamWorks Animation,” said Jan Dawson, a chief technology analyst at Jackdaw Research in Highland, Utah. “It’s highly profitable, and it’s been growing really fast, too, so it’s likely that Comcast would want to continue to invest in it and assets like it.” Katzenberg has always been a strong believer in the Hollywood-based digital video firm he acquired in 2013. It’s valued at a reported $690 million, and saw a 41 percent increase in revenue in the final quarter of last year to nearly $33 million.
2. He’ll be running the (AwesomenessTV) show.
DreamWorks suffered from the vagaries of being a publicly held independent studio in an increasingly consolidated media world. Embracing the conglomerate bounty offered by a giant media company such as Comcast could provide the stability Katzenberg has always dreamed of for his legacy and for emerging media properties such as AwesomenessTV.
3. For the children.
Netflix is the global home for DreamWorks Animations’ films and forthcoming TV content, and children’s media is the most valuable asset the streamer has. Katzenberg strengthened the DreamWorks-Netflix bond in January with an expanded partnership that would launch several new original series, including Guillermo del Toro’s “Trollhunters” and a reboot of the 1980s animated series “Voltron.” Katzenberg was already positioning to take DreamWorks into diverse distribution opportunities online, and being part of Comcast would help.
4. Possible Spielberg (cross-)pollination.
Katzenberg, who started his career at Paramount Pictures under Diller, is unlikely to walk away from the magic of the movies completely. He just spoke about the theatergoing experience at CinemaCon last month, saying, “In a movie theater, life’s distractions are sealed off outside those four walls.” With Spielberg’s studio Amblin Partners also back at Universal, is it possible a reunion could take place?
5. He can finally stick it to Disney.
Katzenberg left Disney in 1994 after more than a decade helping the entertainment empire become a leader at the box office again and supporting the animation department’s creation of some of its most critically acclaimed, highest-grossing animated features such as “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Passed over for the role of president by then-Chairman Michael Eisner, Katzenberg left to co-found DreamWorks SKG with David Geffen and Steven Spielberg later that year. With the backing of Comcast, he could now be part of an animation powerhouse that would compete with Disney’s Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios units.
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