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Rigorous Fearless Independent

"Peltz is an unusual character because what he's doing is going around to multiple companies and saying ‘I'm going to fix the show,'" says senior media entertainment analyst Gareth Sutcliffe from Enders Analysis.

"But the key point is an activist investor is only as good as the questions that they are asking of the board.

"And I think that the key point is that you want to have nominees who clearly have a background and experience and are helpful in terms of moving a company forward to the next stage."

"You cannot underestimate the level of interest there is in a company like Disney and the fact that people always think that they have the best ideas," Mr Sutcliffe said.

Shareholders have voted down director nominees proposed by Trian Partners and Blackwells Capital, providing a convincing, but hard fought, victory for Bob Iger and the current board

The proxy battle surfaced useful ideas and recommendations that Disney should implement: appointing a Chief Technology Officer to the C-Suite would help the company better respond to technology-first competitors and AI

After months of distraction, Disney leadership can now focus on important unresolved issues: completing the acquisition of Hulu, achieving profitability in direct-to-consumer services, and what to do with Linear Networks

“Paramount has devoted most of its scripted content budget to Taylor Sheridan after signing a multi-year deal with him in 2021 and his output has been astonishing,” says Tom Harrington, analyst at Enders Analysis. “His phenomenal speed – nine shows in three years – is at another level when it comes to creating franchises. There are others who have commanded similar control over the output of individual networks, like Law & Order’s Dick Wolf at NBC but he took years to expand his universe. The Sheridanverse feels like it has materialised in months.”

Karen Egan, head of mobile at Enders Analysis, says a refusal to allow consolidation has made investment “very difficult”, particularly for smaller operators.

“It’s a real balancing act between consumer prices and investment and I certainly think that regulators and policymakers in Europe have got that balance wrong of late,” she adds.

“You can have low prices and investment, but not four networks,” says Egan. “You can have four networks that are cheap but not great. Or you can have four networks that are really good quality but not cheap.

“You really can’t have your cake and eat it.”

"When you watch Gladiators, it's exactly the same as it was in the 1990s, in terms of the challenges, the music and the eliminations," Tom Harrington, an analyst at the media research firm Enders Analysis, told the BBC.

Mr Harrington said some other revived shows have failed because they've "been tinkered with" to the point they end up losing what made them good originally.

"With Gladiators, the producers understood what made it great to watch in the first place, and they've not messed with that at all," he added.

Mr Harrington said the Gladiators reboot had achieved a rare feat of getting families to come together on a Saturday night to watch TV.

"It's a declining phenomenon," he said. "Especially when you consider that younger viewers are moving away from TV to short-form video or streaming services.

"But here you have a show that's on at a particular time slot, and people [have tuned] in."

“They are more exposed than anyone to the advertising market,” says Tom Harrington, head of TV at the media consultancy Enders Analysis, with commercials providing about two-thirds of Channel 4’s income. Much of the surplus it boasted of having less than two years ago has been spent – including £17 million on staff retention bonuses. “It was clear the market was going to get more difficult,” Harrington adds. “Ironically, now they are letting a lot of those people go.” Among the highly-regarded commissioners to have departed in recent weeks are head of factual Alf Lawrie, Caroline Hollick, the Leeds-based drama chief who brought I Am Ruth and It’s a Sin to the broadcaster, and head of youth and digital, Karl Warner.

“The proxy battle has become an intensely personal issue for Iger, as well as his proxy supporters, specifically to stop Peltz at all costs from claiming a board seat,” said Gareth Sutcliffe of Enders Analysis.

“Disney in many respects is in a much better position than it was when Iger became CEO again,” said Sutcliffe, “but there are longterm risks, including what happens on linear TV networks and [streaming] costs. So there are still things that need to be done to put Disney on the right track.”