Expressing hope that the SAG-AFTRA strike would end “in the next couple days,” Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel noted that productions would need time to regroup and that the notion of scheduling actors at year’s end could create a frenzy.
Amid a Q3 earnings reveal that noted obvious downturns for representation (-0.7% from this time last year) but strong earnings for the sporting properties (up 19% from this quarter last year), Emanuel argued that “There’s lots of pent-up demand, lots of stuff on the runway.”
In terms of financial damage, CFO Jason Lublin stated that the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes cost Endeavor $40-$50 million in the most recent quarter. Speaking to analysts on a post-earnings shareholder call, Lublin stated that the strike impacts would continue throughout the current quarter even if the labor stoppage came to an end.
“We expect the originally estimated impact of the strike to continue, based on the lagging effect of the WGA strike, the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike as well as the time needed to ramp production,” he said.
Emanuel pointed to the “well-roundedness” of Endeavor’s overall portfolio while arguing that his company and many of his rivals/peers were “insulated” from some of the financial consequences related to the strikes. He said licensing deals for shows like “Ballers” and “Suits,” both of which have had successful runs on Netflix, delivered “big fees” and would likely continue to aid the conventional representation business.
President Mark Shapiro said he and Emanuel had hoped the strike would be resolved by this morning. “Let’s hope that by the time we get to Disney, that’s the case,” he said, referring to the Walt Disney Company’s scheduled earnings report scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The WGA strike began in early May and concluded last month while the SAG-AFTRA strike began in mid-July is still ongoing.
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